How To Be Generous And Courteous With Tanzania Safari Tipping

Most people who visit Tanzania for a safari often talk about the wildlife and the natural vistas that they and other tourists come across.

They often don’t pay much consideration to the people part of the safari and hospitality industry who make it happen for them. Many of those people treat anyone visiting as their family, often going out of their way to make the safari as memorable as possible.

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In this guide, we shall focus on how you can make your visit worthwhile for them in a financial sense, i.e., through tips. This shall help you with all the relevant Tanzania safari tipping guidelines, from the correct amounts to how you should go about tipping the various service staff you come across.

Brief About Tanzania

There’s no two ways about it – Tanzania is not a wealthy country. It is a nation that has a great chunk of its income depending on the tourism industry.

As such, the economy got hit quite hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the UNDP reports that things have improved since then, it might be quite a few years before Tanzania gets things back on track to pre-pandemic levels.

The government is refocusing its efforts on combat poaching, making safaris more sustainable, and investing in travel infrastructure. But until those projects are complete, it’s kind to leave a generous tip for the people delivering to you the experience of a lifetime, especially as most of them make less than USD 3 per workday.

Tipping Etiquettes in Tanzania

Tipping on safari in Tanzania is not only welcome but also encouraged. Yet, the etiquette may differ from what most people in the West are accustomed to. If you leave some money on the bed in your hotel room or with the bill of a restaurant, you might find a staff member contacting you shortly afterward thinking you left it by mistake.

Therefore, the best way to tip a safari guide in Tanzania is to hand them the cash yourself and thank them for their service. Additionally, you can leave a review of your stay, ask them their name, and assure them that you’ll be back to experience the safari again in the future if you get another chance.

Image credits: Freepik

Swahili is the vernacular in Tanzania. So, it’s assuring to say “Asante” (Thank you) as you tip the guide, staff, or just the taxi driver who is dropping you to and from your safari destination. Many of them may even offer you a memento to remember them by. It may not look like much, but the gesture alone transcends any financial value. Keep it safe and try so that it makes it back to your home in one piece.

Who To Tip?

For many people planning their safari in Tanzania, tipping the right person may determine what kind of service you get. Of course, that means tipping the right people for their services. You must not feel compelled to tip all service personnel you come across, but a bit of generosity goes a long way in showing your appreciation.

Hotel and resort managers often get much higher salaries and incentives than receptionists and porters, so you don’t need to tip them outright. Instead, save your tips for the floor staff once you know that they’re going to check out for the day.

Have about USD 5-10 handy to give them once you’ve availed of their services. Don’t forget to compliment and tip the chef as well if you’ve had a hearty meal.

Another method is to leave a large tip with the manager and mention the names of their staff members who delivered exemplary service. That way, you don’t need to carry a wallet with you all the time, and the staff shall appreciate that you put in a good word for them in management. It’s a common sight to see someone promoted after a few months of hard work in the Tanzania tourism industry.

When To Tip?

It’s common to tip the taxi driver and the safari vehicle driver (should you opt for such services) once you complete the trip. Don’t offer the money as soon as you reach your intended destination. Indulge them in a quick small talk about the areas of interest and the vehicle that you just took a ride in. Then tip them thanking them for their services and assure them that you shall be back to see them again.

Image credits: Freepik

For the hotel/resort staff, you can leave a tip at the end of the day or upon completing your stay, as per your preference. If you happen to go on any safari or adventure activities, you may tip the guides and support staff once you’ve had your thrills. It sends a good message to the local community that you appreciate all they’ve been doing for you while letting you in on lesser-known facts and trivia about the countryside.

How To Tip?

The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling. 1 USD amounts to about 2543 Tanzanian shillings, depending on when you might read this article. Tipping Tanzania safari staff in the local currency is a good way to let the people know that you respect their culture and economy.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to tip in US dollars, as a variety of banks and companies accept them as payment modes throughout Tanzania. It is also the currency most locals utilize to invest in their savings. If you’re still unsure, you can always ask your manager about it, as the trend may be different depending on which part of Tanzania you’re in.

How Much To Tip?

Tanzania safari tipping guidelines deem it appropriate to reward the staff with 15%-20% of the total bill of services rendered. But how much you’re willing to tip is left to your discretion.

Just be mindful that food, groceries, and other amenities can be surprisingly cheap in Tanzania from a Western viewpoint. Thus, it’s best to not tip less than USD 3 to each member of the staff for the day. Many people depend on tips more than their wages to support themselves and their families.

Another piece of advice for tipping safari Tanzania consideration is to give more generous tips to people from villages than those from urban areas. The rural community of Tanzania rarely observes more footfalls of tourists than the luxurious stays in the city that are often backed by local businesses.

Other Considerations on Tipping in Tanzania

In addition to the above criteria, tipping on safari in Tanzania can also include additional considerations on a case-by-case basis. A few of the most noteworthy ones include the following.

Tips at Safari

Depending on where you go for a safari in Tanzania, you might have to reserve multiple tips for different kinds of personnel part of your excursion. Your safari guide surely deserves a bonus for their efforts, but you must also not forget the drivers, security rangers, and transporters who carry all essential supplies.

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Most of the safaris in Tanzania are conducted by professionals who are willing to assist you with any resource or information you require.

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t provide them with anything close to what they deserve after their toils over the years. Many such professionals often rely on tips to pay the bills, so it helps to remain generous throughout your trip.

Tips at Restaurants and Bars

Tipping in Tanzania safari isn’t limited to the outer wilds. You can also leave a 15% to 20% tip on your bill that you get after eating at any bar or restaurant. While the chefs and managers are much better off, the waiters and receptionists at such places often don’t make much from their salaries.

Unless the place has a strict “no tips” policy, feel free to thank the waiting staff and tip them a fair share for their service. In the case of bartenders, it’s best to tip on a per-drink basis rather than a portion of the total check.

Tips for Drivers

Tanzania doesn’t have a robust public transportation infrastructure, which is why most tourists depend on taxis and rental cars to get around. Most drivers in the country not only have to support their families but also maintain their vehicles against the harsh elements of the roads.

Therefore, it’s best to ask your driver whether there is anything that needs fixing in their car before deciding on how much to tip them. They won’t be visiting an official service center anytime soon, so it shouldn’t cost much to relieve some of their repair charges off their bill.

Camp Staff

The camp staff is responsible for your safety, amenities, and, in some cases, entertainment during your night out in the safari wildlands. While many managers in the region discourage them from taking tips, it’s a good idea to at least offer 5-10 USD for every guest per day.

Tips For Porters and Waiters

Porters and waiters are the unsung heroes who hold up the majority of hospitality services within any country. They are often those who take up most of the physical work on any floor, from carrying luggage to bringing the local cuisine to your doorstep. Many of them often take up the position for years before they’re transferred to a senior position.

Tipping porters and waiters generously helps them support their families, and lets you open up honest conversations regarding the local customs and nightlife. A few can even inform you of lesser-known destinations and villages nearby, providing an option to truly experience Tanzania in all its glory.

For Overall Experience

One thing you must always keep in mind is that you’re not obligated to tip if you don’t have a satisfactory experience. Yet, your generosity may not only guarantee you a premium vacation at a lower price but also open up opportunities that don’t make their way to constrictive tourists.

Tipping as a Custom on Safaris

Over the years, tipping safari guides in Tanzania has become a custom. Both the staff and locals think of you highly if you’re a generous tipper, and it doesn’t take much to become one. A safari in Tanzania costs anywhere between USD 300 to USD 1000 per person per day. So, giving away about USD 35 is nothing to elevate your respect for the people who make it happen for you.

Image Credits: Safari Bookings

Guidelines for Easier Tipping

To make your tipping process easier, it’s great to keep a few Tanzania safari tipping guidelines in mind. A few of the most critical ones are mentioned below.

  • You can leave a large tip with a manager or senior guide, thanking them for their and their staff’s service, letting them decide who gets a fair share.
  • Always carry some change or a few thousand Tanzanian shillings in case you’re willing to tip someone for unexpectedly outstanding service personally.
  • Cash is mostly preferred throughout Tanzania as most staff don’t have electronically accessible bank accounts.
  • Make sure to tip a safari guide or staff member in a private space, away from the eyes of the public or other staff. Always thank them and remember to ask for their full name, should you require them again in the future.
  • Don’t force your tips if the staff or guide informs you that they operate on a no-tipping policy. Ask the manager of the facility to see if it’s possible to bend the rules a little to show your appreciation.

Key Takeaways

Your unforgettable adventure awaits you in several safari destinations. These Tanzania safari tipping guidelines can let you get the most from your vacation while letting the staff know that you appreciate them for their efforts.

Remember, being in their good graces lends you a similar experience should you or your friends decide to visit again.

Moreover, if you’re planning to visit Kilimanjaro for some mountain-climbing action, be sure to check out our packages for the best Kilimanjaro tours for 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may tip 8-10 USD per day for a group guide, 5-10 USD per day for a safari chef, 5 USD per day per guest for the hotel staff, and 10 USD per city transfer.

No. Most Zanzibar resorts often have a no-tips policy. Nevertheless, you can ask the manager if it’s okay to leave a tip for exemplary service.

It’s best to tip in the local currency (Tanzanian shilling) as the staff can invest it directly into the local economy. However, US dollars are also accepted by various businesses and are often the means for citizens to invest in their savings.

It’s a good idea to leave 10%-15% of the total bill as tips for the restaurant staff.

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