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Old February 4, 2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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African Hunting Gratuity

What is the average on tipping the help on an African hunting trip. I have no clue and when I go I don't want to insult anybody. What did you previous hunters tip?
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Old February 4, 2009, 02:20 PM   #2
lt dan
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Ja, this is a difficult question. much more than you expect it to be. you might not know or understand this , but your question speaks to the very foundation of racial relationships in Africa. the help(as you called it) vs the employer. a good pH will be able to tell you before hand to the "rule of law" in his camp. you may find this odd but some personnel may find it offensive to be offered a tip, while others from a different tribe will expect it. so the easy answer is ask your pH. but beware of being exploited.

having said this be prepared to absolutely be in awe of your tracker. i have my own tracker. and even though his tribesman taught me how to track since a young age, my knowledge is nothing compared to his six sense.

however if this (gratuity) is the biggest of your worries, then Africa will suit you just fine.
If youth is wasted on the young, then Africa is wasted on the Africans
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Old February 4, 2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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My father changes his story often, but the most common version is that for his particular hunt; all gratuity was given to the PH. The PH then distributed it to his trackers, drivers, etc...

The PH received a tip of a couple hundred dollars for himself, I believe, plus about a hundred rounds of ammunition. (Would have been a Weatherby rifle as tip, but that ended up being payment for another animal.... long story, not relevant here.)

However, bringing up the rifle does lead me to this:

If you intend to use a rifle as tip or payment for your hunt; talk to the PH before you even go. Certain countries won't allow it. Certain PHs don't want it. Certain countries don't allow specific calibers/cartridges to be in the hands of locals. Also, certain Professional Hunters may be insulted if you try to give them a rifle in an odd-ball caliber, a caliber in which they can't get ammunition (even though it may be easy for us), or a caliber in which they have 17 rifles.

Lt. Dan may have some more advice on the subject.
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Old February 5, 2009, 03:56 AM   #4
phil mcwilliam
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After my 2 weeks plains game hunt in the top of South Africa, I tipped the cook/maid $50 & the skinners $20 each & my PH $200. They all seemed happy with that amount, but beware of my advice as being Australian we are known as poor tippers.
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Old February 5, 2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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On my African trips, this is always discussed with the PH. This is very important because the PH has to handle any problems you unintentionally cause long after you're gone. The amounts and types are discussed. Who is to actually do the presenting of the tip ? It is important that alcohol not be involved.

For the trackers, skinners, cook, laundry, etc, the amounts average in the $25 each range but does vary by station.

As to the PH, we always leave cash in the neighborhood of 20% of his personal fees plus...

(1) Unused ammo and empty brass (makes good trading material even if your specific PH does not have that caliber of rifle personally). Heck, have used my own previously left ammo when there on a later trip. (Assumes factory ammo or handloaded ammo that is full-length sized and will chamber in any SAAMI chamber.)

(2) Over-the-counter medicines that are not needed for the trip home. Was surprised how much this was appreciated the first time I did this.

With prior discussions before the trip but not with the actual recipient, we also brought the PH's family gifts which were presented on the second night of the visit. Again, thought given before the trip as to helpful gifts and ones that would not cause troubles after we were gone. Brought his teenage children music CDs popular with that age group. Brought his wife a laptop computer capable of internet connections in Africa. Brought the PH himself commonly-needed repair and replacement parts for his gun (knew the makes and models beforehand). Brought magazines and books to leave for coffee table and blind reading.

Where the actual cost of the trip is paid (not the tips) can be important. Some PHs want to be paid in a bank in the U.S. as opposed to in Africa.

Be a gentleman and a good ambassador for your country. It will be reciprocated.
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