How To Tip Your Safari Guide Driver In Tanzania

tip safari guide in Tanzania

A Guide For Showing Appreciation To Your Safari Guide

Tipping in Tanzania, especially for tour guides, is an important aspect of the travel experience. While tipping is not mandatory, it’s highly appreciated and often expected, given the service-oriented nature of the safari and tourism industry. This post will explain why to tip your Tanzanian tour guide, how much to tip, and the best way to do so.

Why Tip Your Safari Guide Driver?

Safari guides in Tanzania work hard to ensure you have an unforgettable safari experience. They often go above and beyond, sharing their extensive knowledge about wildlife, nature, and local culture. There are a few reasons why tipping your Tanzanian tour guide is a thoughtful gesture:

Recognition of Expertise: Tour guides in Tanzania are highly knowledgeable about wildlife, nature, and local culture. Their in-depth explanations and insights can significantly enhance your safari experience. Tipping acknowledges their expertise and the value they bring to your trip. 

Appreciation for Effort: Tour guides go above and beyond their job descriptions by creating a memorable experience. They might adjust itineraries based on animal sightings, ensure your safety and comfort throughout the safari, and even answer your endless questions with patience. A tip shows your appreciation for their dedication and effort. 

Supporting Local Livelihoods: In Tanzania’s tourism industry, tips can form a significant part of a tour guide’s income. By tipping, you’re directly contributing to their well-being and supporting the local economy.

How Much To Tip Your Safari Guide

Several factors should be considered, including the length of the safari, the quality of service provided, and your budget. These elements play a crucial role in determining an appropriate tip that reflects your appreciation for the guide’s efforts and ensures fair compensation for their services.

The length of your safari is a primary factor in determining the tip amount. For shorter safaris in Tanzania, such as a day trip, a general guideline is to tip around $10-15 USD per person per day. For longer safaris that span several days or weeks, you might consider adjusting the tip slightly upwards, especially if the guide has consistently provided excellent service throughout the trip. For multi-day safaris, a tip of $10-20 USD per person per day is a good benchmark. This adjustment acknowledges the sustained effort and dedication required to ensure your safari experience is seamless and enjoyable over an extended period.

The quality of service provided by the guide is another important consideration. If your guide has gone above and beyond in making your safari memorable—such as demonstrating extensive knowledge about the wildlife and environment, showing exceptional hospitality, or ensuring your safety and comfort—it’s appropriate to reflect this in your tip. Exceptional service might warrant a tip at the higher end of the spectrum, or even a bit more if your budget allows. On the other hand, if the service was satisfactory but not extraordinary, sticking to the standard guideline is acceptable.

Your budget is the final factor to consider when deciding how much to tip. While it’s important to be generous in recognizing good service, it’s also crucial to stay within your financial means. If your budget is limited, don’t feel pressured to overextend yourself. A smaller, thoughtful tip given with gratitude can still convey your appreciation. Conversely, if your budget allows, tipping on the higher end can make a significant positive impact on the guide’s livelihood.

By considering these factors, you can determine a fair and appropriate tip that reflects your appreciation for the guide’s hard work and enhances their overall compensation. Whether you opt for the standard guideline of $10-15 USD per person per day, or choose to adjust based on exceptional service or your budget constraints, your thoughtful gesture will be greatly appreciated by your guide. In summary:

  • Safari Guides Drivers: It is customary to tip your guide around $10-15 USD per person per day.
  • Camp & Lodge Staffs: it is customary to leave a collective tip for the staff, which can be around $5-10 USD per person per day.

How To Tip Your Tanzanian Safari Guide

Tipping is a great way to recognize hard work and contribution of your tour guide to your unforgettable safari experience. Tiping should be done discreetly and ensure the tip receiver, receives the tip conveniently in a manner which is respectfully and appropriate.


The best time to tip your tour guide is at the end of your safari. This allows you to evaluate the service provided throughout the entire experience. If your safari spans multiple days, tipping at the conclusion of the trip gives you the opportunity to express your gratitude for the guide’s consistent effort and dedication. 


While both Tanzanian shillings (TZS) and US dollars (USD) are generally accepted, USD is often preferred due to its stability and widespread recognition. If you choose to tip in Tanzanian shillings, ensure you have relatively new and untorn bills, as damaged or old local currency might not be well-received. For USD, make sure the bills are in good condition and of recent issue, as older bills might be refused due to counterfeiting concerns. 


When tipping, it’s important to be discreet. Handing over the tip in a private or less conspicuous manner shows respect and avoids putting the guide in an uncomfortable position. You can place the tip in an envelope or hand it directly to the guide while expressing your thanks. This approach helps maintain professionalism and respect for the guide’s role.


Imagine you’ve completed a seven-day safari with exceptional service from your guide. At the end of the trip, as you’re saying your goodbyes, you might find a moment when the guide is alone or when other guests are not nearby. You can hand over an envelope containing the tip, saying something like, “Thank you for making our trip unforgettable. We really appreciate your hard work and dedication.” This thoughtful gesture ensures your tip is given respectfully and privately.

Considerations When Tipping Your Safari Guide

Several factors come into play to ensure your gesture is appropriate and appreciated. These factors include the group size, quality of service provided, and ensuring there’s no pressure in the tipping process.

Group Size
The size of your group can significantly influence the amount you tip. For smaller groups, a higher individual tip might be expected as the guide provides a more personalized experience. Conversely, in larger groups, the tip can be divided among the participants. A general guideline is to tip around $10-$15 per person per day for a guide. For instance, if you are in a group of four on a five-day safari, collectively you might tip $200-$300 at the end of the tour.

Quality Of The Service
The quality of service is a crucial determinant in deciding the tip amount. Exceptional service, such as a guide who goes out of their way to enhance your experience, shares extensive knowledge about the wildlife and environment, and ensures your safety and comfort, warrants a higher tip. Reflect on the guide’s punctuality, friendliness, expertise, and overall contribution to your safari experience. If the service exceeded your expectations, consider tipping more generously.

No Pressure
It’s important to remember that tipping should be a voluntary and personal decision. There should be no pressure to tip a certain amount. While tipping is customary, it’s not mandatory, and your financial situation should always be considered. Guides appreciate any amount as a token of gratitude. If you feel uncomfortable with set amounts, tipping based on your personal budget and the level of service you received is perfectly acceptable. Additionally, discussing tipping with fellow travelers can help alleviate any pressure and ensure a fair and appreciated gesture.


By following this guide, tipping in Tanzania becomes a way to express your gratitude and enhance the cultural exchange. A thoughtful tip shows your appreciation for the dedication and expertise of your tour guide, leaving a positive impact that resonates long after your safari adventure ends. Remember, tipping is a way to show your respect for Tanzanian hospitality and ensure that future travelers continue to have enriching experiences guided by passionate professionals.

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