Tipping is a way of showing satisfaction with your Kilimanjaro climb or safari guide and crew. It is a sign of appreciation for good service and helps ensure continued good service for those who follow you. Tipping is a traditional cultural practice after all Kilimanjaro climbs and wildlife safaris. As with any tipping situation, if the service was of particularly high quality, we encourage you to give a generous tip; if the service did not meet your expectations, adjust the tip accordingly. Below is detailed information about tips and their distribution to help make the process simple and transparent.
Please note that all SENE staff are paid a fair living wage so that no one relies on tips as their only source of income. However, tips provide valuable additional financial assistance to the crew and invaluable interpersonal benefits to all.
How much do I tip?
While guide books, ethics, and common sense suggest that tipping be made from an individual to an individual to ensure that what is offered is received, we have learned from experience that this makes no practical sense since climb teams may comprise from 2 to 12 climbers and up to 40 (or more) guides and crew. Therefore we find that combining all tips from the climbers into a tip pool and then distributed among the climb crew in relative proportion to their salary creates a simple and equitable method of tip distribution. This also recognizes the true team effort required on a climb and does not favor the more outgoing and personable crew who become climber favorites over those shy crew whose quiet contributions are equally important to the team.
As a general guideline, we suggest that each climber calculate their total tip contribution as:
$40 – 70 per day for each day on the mountain
With each climber contributing tips in this range and collecting all tips together we are able to distribute tips to each crew member within close range of the following per day recommendations: trip leader/head guide receives $40/day, assistant guide(s) receive $20/day; cook(s) receive $10/day; and porters receive $5/day. Staff at the Mbahe cottages also receive tips from this pool as a way to show appreciation for their important role in the complete climb experience.
How do I know the tips are completely and fairly distributed?
For simplicity, SENE has the host at Mbahe collect all tips and then divide and distribute them among the team. To instill trust among both climbers and crew we document the tip collection and distribution with sheets for Tips Given and Tips Received. After the climb, as tips are collected, each climber writes his/her name, amount given, and signature on the Tips Given sheet as evidence of their tip. As tips are distributed, each guide and crew write his name, amount received, and signature on the Tips Received sheet as evidence of receipt of his fair share of the tips. The total amount of money on Tips Given will equal the total amount on Tips Received. These sheets are always available for all climbers and crew to review and check.
When do I give my tip?
At SENE we recognize that a successful climb is a team effort that requires hard work and support on the part of all climbers, guides, and crew. We like to honor this collective accomplishment with an evening celebration after the climb at the Mbahe Farm House with the whole team. Therefore, there is no need to give tips immediately at the conclusion of the climb, but it can be done at the time of the celebration or the next day.
What currency should i use for my tip?
We can accept either U.S. dollars cash or Tanzanian shillings for tips. We cannot accept Euros, other currency, nor travelers checks.
Each group of two to six people on a wildlife safari will share one vehicle with a driver/naturalist. Camping safaris also include a camp cook and other crew (if a large group).
How much do I tip?
We recommend the following group tips for safari:
Driver/Naturalist: $25-50 per day per vehicle
Cook: $15-$20 per day per vehicle (camping safari)
Camping Crew: $5-10 per day per vehicle (camping safari)
When do I give my tip?
You may distribute tips at the conclusion of your safari to your safari team.
Most lodges and tented camps have a tip box at the reception desk. We recommend contributing $5-25 for each day of your stay. This will be shared among all the staff.
If you are staying at SENE’s Mbahe farm guest cottages, but not part of a climb group, tips to the staff are very welcome. We do not have a tip box, so please see Simon or your Mbahe host about contributing tips that will be shared among all the staff. For those on Kilimanjaro climbs, a portion of your climb tips are shared with the Mbahe staff.