Whether to tip, who to give the money to, and – more than anything else – how much to give, are questions that preoccupy many travellers both before and during their African safari holidays. Tipping on safari can become thornier than a flat-topped acacia – but as always, common sense is the best currency.
Home and away
At Art of Safari, we’re often asked about tipping on safari. That’s perhaps understandable, given that there are multiple angles to consider, from the attitude to tipping in the guest’s own culture to concerns over relative wealth and cultural stances on money in different parts of Africa.
Tipping is standard practice in most western countries. However, it’s not universal. In North America, for example, tipping is much more commonplace than in Europe. Then there’s the question of whom to tip. Say, why do we tip bartenders but not baristas?
In countries where tipping is widespread, expectations may be created. This can lead to resentment on both sides of the equation where a tip is expected but not given, or if the customer feels that it’s not deserved. Many people would consider that a person who’s simply doing the job they’re being paid for – or ‘going through the motions’ – does not deserve a tip.