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 Post subject: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Ok I know there was a thread similar to this on the Kruger forum a while ago -- but bear with me :lol:

I am looking for feedback on tipping.

Speaking purely for myself and SO -- we always tip the garage pump attendant, waitress in the restuarant, attendant at the wilderness camps, ladies who make up the room at main camps and the guide who does drives.

What do other people do ?

I do know (from experience) that very few folk actually tip the guide who took the drive out. Why ?
And do the tips depend on sightings, information shared, or .......

I do know that, if you stay at a private reserve, the gratuity for the guide is expected -- in fact you are told how many 100 rand a day is expected of you :shock:

Should the parks increase their drive prices to include the gratuity foir the guide ?

What do the rest of you think ?


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Tipping should not be a 'right' but a reward for good service.

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:38 pm 
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The tipping topic. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:52 pm 
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100 % in agreement with only tip for excellent service we are not where people only survive on tips ,
Woodsy :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:54 pm 
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It depends as BB said on if your service is worth it...............my tip of the day had been verbally to tell the person on just how bad the service was!!!! :x But that was once............we in the family have an hour rate and the guide gets that rate times the hours we were on the drive..........and if there was something really outstanding a bonus!!!! :dance: :dance:

BUT............I do know that some of the guides work for free and they depend on these tips........... :pray: :pray: they are sometimes students doing some work to get their needed practicals done..........

It's the same as the cook at the restaurant who has gone to a lot of ( I hope) trouble to make your meal something to remember and the waitress gets the tip for her smile and coming back to hear if every thing is fine the moment you have food in your mouth.............who should benefit??? the guide who has done the drive or Sanparks for having the service available????

Would it be possible that the info could be made public at the camps reception whether the guide is paid or not before you go on the drive........

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Last edited by lion queen on Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Location: Lonehill, Sandton RSA
When we visit the National Parks, we always leave a tip for the cleaning lady, however whether they always get it is debatable... I tend to hide the tip in an up-turned coffee mug, inside the washing up basin, because I have seen the guys who collect the linen etc, go through the chalets and pocket the tips left for the cleaning ladies :evil: The men normally won't do washing-up, so the tip is relatively safe in a mug.
When on a game drive and the driver makes an effort to show us some game and birds, we tip generously, however recently we had a bad experience in KNP and the so-called guide, who was a stand-in driver for the guide, was so bad and unresponsive to our requests to stop, etc, he got nothing. We complained about his lack of interest, and were assured that he would receive some training.
Petrol attendants will get a R5 tip if they clean the windscreen. Car guards get nothing, because something was stolen out of my vehicle recently - the side window was smashed, and the guards "had seen nothing" - I often think some of them act as watchdogs for criminals. Another time my husband's car was damaged in the parking area of a local shopping centre, where there are about 6 guards to a row of vehicles, and again they saw "nothing". So what value they actually add to the whole shopping trip is to my mind, negligible.

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:43 pm 
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BB ,

I do agree with you that when tipping a Field Guide / Student or training guide it should be for excellent service (going the extra mile) in giving the guests on the vehicle (May it be a game drive, trail or walk) value for their money. Tipping is totally up to the guests and is not a must.

Students / training guides are told beforehand that they might receive gratuities but it is not guaranteed as the placement park / lodge do provide practical experience for the individual. Many of the parks / lodges doesn’t have budget for having trainee guides or students but gives them the so much needed experience they would need for the future. One of the most difficult things in the industry nowadays is to get a placement where experience can be obtained. If it is about the tips then the standard of guiding goes down as the guide/student would expect it every time. We as Field Guides except the fact that the industry is not the best paying one but we have chosen this career path because we love what we do and to share information and not about the tips we receive.

What Guides / students don’t always realize is the Cost to the park/lodge, they do get free accommodation, water & electricity and also transport for when needed.

Although by measuring a student's /guide's tips you know at what level their standard of guiding is and the experience they have given to the clients other than going out with the individual and assess them on the activity.
Tips shouldn’t be expected but worked for at the end of the day. Not everybody sits in the financial comfort to be able to tip all around them.

It is also the right of any guest / visitor to South Africa to ask their Field / Nature Guide or Tour Guide their qualifications to determine if the person is qualified and able to take visitors out on tour / safari.

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Location: Stellenbosch
First of all why should you tip some one for doing his/her work?
Their employer should pay a normal salary
You are paying the required price for the accommodation, come in stay one night, clean up, do dishes etc etc
I was was brought up, clean your own mess ;) and leave it as you found it.
Though knowing an extra is a welcome I always leave something (goods or money)
Bringing toilet paper because there was not any is not going the extra mile but it's basic.
But if you are messy and you know that it will take extra time to clean it up then you DO leave something.

We know the life of a camp attendant at a wilderness camp is a lonely one, without family, TV, comfort of home, but that doesn't mean he should come by around dinner time with an empty plate asking for some 'leftovers' We hadn't eaten yet ! or anything else was good too when he noticed food was not ready for consumption yet. On the other hand everytime there was a sighting nearby he came and told us about it encouraging us to leave and see for ourselves. Every morning we gave him our 'leftovers' with a cooldrink for lunch which he gratefully accepted. And yes when we left we gave him some extra, because we found him inventive in his own way.

Do you tip a guide? I think that is really difficult
Once I had a guide in Karoo doing Pienaarsepas early morning, bitter cold chatting away for hours. Giving us so much information about the area, animals, people, his thoughts and believes ! it was a amazing and yes we did give him extra for which he was very grateful. A year later when we met him again telling us he was going to do that days sunset drive we signed up for it and again we had a most informative drive and awesome sightings.
And I saw everyone giving him something, because he and his spotter earned it going the extra mile.

It's already normal to pay the extra 10% on the bill and some rands for cleaning car windows at a petrol station. But why should I pay a car attendant when I'm parked at a mall where parking is free (part of the service) and all he does is whistle when I get out of my car expecting me to hand over money at return for what?

Bottem-line for me is when some one does do something extra I'll thank them for that, words, goods or money, but it's not naturally.


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Very true Jonkers.

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Thanks for the link DuQues :thumbs_up: my searches obviously need refinement ....

Thanks for the input from everyone else as well :thumbs_up:

KG this sums it up for me
Quote:
One of the most difficult things in the industry nowadays is to get a placement where experience can be obtained.

Having had kids who had to work for tips while studying, and kids who had the qualifications but not the experience for the job, this is just so true ...

And I certainly agree that indifferent service is not rewarded :evil:

All of which makes me wonder how the private lodges can "strongly suggest" the gratuities that they do for their guides :hmz:

Thanks everyone :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:36 pm 
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So this is what was stuck to the inside of the truck up at Nossob above the windscreen when we did a drive there last Jan with Melissa ....

Image

I'm still not too sure how I feel about it .....

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Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same ...


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:19 pm 
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p@m wrote:
...makes me wonder how the private lodges can "strongly suggest" the gratuities that they do for their guides :hmz:


Guilt for not paying them what they are worth?

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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:51 am 
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The past two mornings I have done two consecutive walks whereby I have been tipped both times. Not that I expected it since I was just doing my job and giving the guests a good time, keeping them safe and value for money.

When I dropped off the first guests they said to me that they are so sorry they can’t tip me more since this was the only cash on hands. I told them that it was not necessary as I loved it as much as they did. They told me that they have learned so much and this is how they would like to acknowledge and thank me. If they just said they had a good time and that they have learned something that would have been enough for me as it would mean I have done my job well.

The group of this morning also tipped and said they would like to do more walking on the condition that I take them out....now that is worth more than any tip as it again emphases that I have done a good job and that the guests were happy.

At the end of the day it all comes down to if a guest feels that he/she received very good service they can tip as they feel.

Have a great day

KG

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jan.kriel@sanparks.org


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:51 pm 
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:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Tipping guides, camp attendants and other staff.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I've been following this one with interest - thanks P@M for initiating such a thought provoking topic.
And I think all of what Jannie says is so true, and can be used as a benchmark, in particular how we
reward the guide. Can you imagine how the visitors felt, on this am's walk with Jannie.
First following cheetah tracks and then getting and impromtu talk by Gus Mills on the latest on the
cheetah front. Concidence yes but a lot to do with the guide going the extra mile.

I have 2 questions though and perhaps someone can help me out here. If you stay in a chalet is
it not up to the occupants to wash their own dishes? Is there not a sign to this effect in the kitchens?
Irrespective, we never leave our dirty dishes for the cleaning staff. Its a principle of ours.

Secondly is it part of the parks petrol attendants 'duty' to check tyre pressures? I always do it myself and
the pumping/deflating and cleaning the windscrean because their body language tells me 'its not my job'.
There are no signs to this effect.

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