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Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Unread post by DinkyBird » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:36 pm

MM wrote:but I have seen some bad behaviour towards some of ground staff.

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Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:21 pm

I trained as FGASA guide, so I'm probabily the worst customer to have because I know what guides should be capable of. Unfortunately a lot of the guides now days, specially the ones belonging to private tour companies, don't really care that much.

My gripe specially being aimed at those guys who went into guiding because it made them look all macho, the ones who repeat the same mindless drivel information we have all heard countless times before, the ones who only care about how many of the big five they can get their clients to see without bothering about explaining how integrated everything in the bush is.

Fortunately I have also encountered guides who really do carre about the bush and imparting the knowledge of the bush onto their clients. These guys get a great tip from me. Even if they tell me things that I already know it's nice to see that at least they are trying.

So let's dump the cr.ppy guides in the bush and see if they make it :twisted: and get more of the guys/gals who actually care about their jobs and realise it's importance :clap: .

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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:52 pm

As a guide in Cape Town, I would say as much as possible....... :twisted:
Seriously now, tipping depends on the type of service you get. Some guides/watrons/service providers just expect a tip. I would say that a pleasant experience is mandatory for what you are paying, and would tip averagely. Darn it all, isn't that why we go away on holiday. If it is any less than that, I would not tip, unless it is out of control of the tipee. For 'extra mile' type of service, a good tip rewards the effort and encourages repeat behaviour.
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Unread post by Wild-doc » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:53 am

10 US$ per person/per drive for both guide and spotter
10 US$ for the tent steward/day
10 US$ for the overall staff/day

Yikes :shock: . Can I be your spotter guide etc. Would make a fortune in salary if this is what you tip people 8)

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Unread post by pirata » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:00 pm

I have a "domestic" problem with this topic... I always want to tip, and my husband NEVER... wich comes to a funny discusion every time, and always ends with me taking some money and giving whatever I want... :roll:

when I was in southafrica last year we tipped R5 at the person who cleaned the window, then 10% At restaurant, and I think we made a "pot" betwen all the people of the group and gave it to the drivers, but I can't remember about the trail, going with southafricans I can't remember how it went, actually, this is something we asked them as soon as we started to be friends...

My husband has a different way of thinking, he says that no one tips him when he works, then why should he tip? I understand, because it's not only sometimes tiping, at the end you feel yourself tipping all the way, and I understand that he says that we have already spent too much money...
so that is why we always argue... (but I confess that I always do what I want, in this issue only :redface: )

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:15 am

Pirata, I know, it can often cause problems when two people think differently.
The way I look at it in this country is that the lower basic wages are very much subsistance wages. My tip will maybe go towards wether there is meat on the table that week or not, or maybe whether a child will get a new pair of school shoes one day.
I feel grateful for the priveledge of being able to travel and it is some way of giving back to the community.
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Unread post by Skillie » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:47 pm

Tipping is, IMHO, personal. To day SO and I had lunch out. The waitress was attentive, saved us several pounds by recommending a special which was basically what we wanted anyway, was in the background and checked twice to make sure everything was ok so in my mind deserved the 10% tip of the bill we left her in cash. (In many restaurants etc in UK the management keep the tips if put on the card!) Turned out she was a student and this was her extra job and she relied on tips to help pay her way through uni. :clap:
In SA it is different but I think the same principle applies. Service gets tips. At the petrol station usually R5 if they're pleasant, in B&B's R10 perday stayed provided the room and bathroom are spotless. In the park breakfast left for the cleaner plus R10 per day stay, R50 when they ask to wash your car, especially clearing the door locks of rust. :lol:

What does annoy me is the Waterfront in CT at places like Dros where the staff expect big tips for little service, there I go minimilistic :evil:

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:00 am

The South Africa Rand is going through a pretty rough ride at the moment and I don't see that it will improve for quite some time. I think that when you arrive here you will find that your dollar will go a long way.

I find that a useful way of understanding the currency, is to look at the MacDonald's index. It will give you some idea of the worth of your money. Once you know that, you will be able to compare monetary values more realistically.
So, once you arrive, see how much a Big Mac costs, turn that around into how many Big Macs you could buy for the equivalent in your currency and work with that.

I know that the Bib Mac index is seen by many to be the most accurate measurement of money.
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Unread post by christo » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:22 am

The general rule when with a guided trip is:

1) The operator should pay all tips. I have a rule on my trips that no staff member may accept a trip, as this could lead to them expecting it and not giving the service they should if they do not get a tip. If I get good feedback I reward my staff myself.

Usualy you would find that the more professional a guide is, the better he is payed and the less he would depend on a tip.

2) When not with an operator it is basicly up to yourself. Many people are pressured into tipping. Tipping is suppose to be givven to those that really offered an exceptional service, not to the average worker who (usualy without a smile) just does what they need to.
3) Meal and other services can be tipped anything from 5% to 15% of the value of the service rendered. The tip does not usualy exceed R50.
4) Fuel attendants can be tipped anything between R2 and R10, but ensure that they did provide a service, as in check water and oil, tyre pressure and wash the windscreen.
5) I only pay a car guard once I'm back at the vehicle and then anything between R2 and R5 is acceptable.

Hope this helps. As I've said some people do go overboard with tipping and this is creating a lot of problems in the service industry.
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Unread post by annalie » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:12 am

Please don't let the tipping issue stand in your way of a beautiful visit to SA.
Rule no one: Not everybody is expecting to receive tips.
It is customary to tip waiters at restaurants 10% of the total bill, but before doing that make sure that service fees has not already been added.
Some restaurants do add service fees on the bill, then tipping is not necessary.
Fuel attendants - it is totally up to you if you want to give a tip or not.
Parking lot attendants is between R2-00 and R5-00 depending on the time spend in the parking lot (this normally happen at shopping malls etc.)
Baggage handling: The amount of R5-00 per bag is the going rate.
We (myself and SO) personally don't tip the housekeeping attendance personnel every day if we are longer than one night in a camp, but at the end of our stay we give a once off tip according to the service rendered. Paid for and booked Game drives:
I have never paid an additional amount for tips, as I am of the opinion that if that is the case, the guides will identify the "big tippers" and will be giving more attention to them and neglecting the people who don't tip big.
You are paying for the service and game drive beforehand and that is that.
It is therefor totally up to you if you want to tip the guide/driver.
Golden rule: remember most of the people working is South African National Parks do receive a fixed salary and tipping is a means of adding to their income - you be the judge whether their services deserve a big tip or not. (I know I am placing myself in the position of being hanged by this statement, but I have been taken for a ride to many times before by paying tips just because I was feeling guilty and not for being satisfied with services rendered).
You be the judge.
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Unread post by wingman » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:30 am

I am probably open to correction on this but I recall reading some place that the staff doing the night rides and early morning rides receive a small basic but are basically volunteers unlike the trail guides etc.
Maybe this could be confirmed or corrected but either way when it comes to the park staff I always reward a job well done some of the tips mentioned are generally a bit high particularly the forecourt when filling up at R10 the restaurants 10 to 15 % is fine if the service is good.
I do find people tend to judge the food quality into this remember the waiter is not the chef.
The cleaning staff in many places are the ones I feel are the hardest done down as they do an essential service but as they are often not seen they get neglected so I always try to leave something for them.

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Re: Tipping

Unread post by Imberbe » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:28 pm

SANParks guides are usually full time paid employees of SANParks. That does not mean that they get the biggest salary ever!

Honorary Rangers do sometimes assist in these activities and they are volunteers who get no pay for the job they do. In fact to be able to do this service will cost a HR a good amount of money in courses, registrations, exams, etc.

Regarding the tipping of guides: I think that it is important to tip guides who gave good service. This does not necessary mean good sightings, because that is not something the guide necessarily have controle over. But a good attitude, good information on what is seen, and following proper guiding principles is important. Tipping these people will encourage them to do a good job, and boost the "good guides". I also think that it is important not to tip a bad or disinterested guide.
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Re: Tipping

Unread post by Stark » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:09 pm

We did about the same that pippa did when we were at a private reserve.

10 US$ for the staff to split/day
15 US$ for the guide and spotter to split/day

...and, we were the only people who tipped on the SANParks sunset drive out of Satara. 50 rand, I believe.

All these tips might be out of the norm, high or low, depending on where you're from. We're still not sure we did it right. :)
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Re: Tipping

Unread post by bert » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:14 pm

Suspect most people do tip
I do:
For the cleaning staff R15-20 per night per accommodation
(also depending on job well done)
Guides get R20 or more if they did a very good job per person
And also tip the petrol guy R5-10
And some loose coins in the shops/restaurant and the anti-poaching can receives coins as well

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Re: Tipping

Unread post by dohmai » Tue May 18, 2010 11:16 pm

Hi, I found this thread doing a forum search and just wanted to bring up the question of tipping again as I am planning to visit a SANpark later this summer (Addo).

I have signed up for the guided game drives, and I'm just wondering what would be an appropriate tip rate% for a good guide with good information and provides a pleasant experience?

Looking through the thread I have seen a wide range of suggestions, but was wondering if there's just a pretty standard/expected %? per person?

I certainly do want to show my appreciation for a job well done and a good guide, but I am also on a fairly tight budget and want to see what is a good amount.


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