A Tips Guide for Your Hunting Trip… How Much to Tip a Guide?

Because hunting guides are part of the service industry, it is customary, but not always expected, that a guide receives a gratuity from the client. Here’s a tips guide for your next guided hunt:

Recommended Tip for Your Next Hunt

A typical tip for a hunting guide is between 10-20% of your hunt or daily rate total for your hunt or safari. This total amount is normally split between the PH or outfitter and their staff. This is just a tips guide… tipping your guide is not required, but is very much appreciated. Guides often depend on tips as supplemental income. Hunting guides work extremely hard to make your hunt a successful and memorable experience, and if you feel a guide, PH or particular staff member had a significantly positive impact on your safari experience, please tip that person accordingly.

Non-hunting Observers are also encouraged to tip, although usually a lesser amount.
Tips guide for non-hunters – 10-15% of daily observer rate split between PH and other staff members

On an International hunt, USD cash is the preferred form of tip, as many foreign banks charge a large commission to exchange checks into currency.

Other things to consider as a tips guide:

  • Tips are not required, though they customary.
  • The amount that you tip your guide usually depends on your level of satisfaction with your guide(s) and the trip.
  • A 10% to 20% tip is customary.
  • When planning to tip your guide, be prepared to give cash. Sometimes this means having the cash with you on the outing, as upon your return to the lodge or base camp. You may not be able to access an ATM, or bank before you leave, so have your tip for your guide with you on the hunt.
  • If in a group setting, with multiple guides, consider selecting a leader among the clients to organize a donation pool for the gratuity to be split between the guides. Choose an appropriate time to present the gratuity, making sure all the guides are present, and that they know the gratuity is to be shared equally among them. Consider dividing the cash equally and present to each guide their tip at the same time, if possible.
  • When hunting with a guide you have had numerous hunts with, perhaps working on many different objectives over the years, your personal relationship with your guide is such on a different level, that your gratuity not always be consistently the same. Your gratuity may vary from trip to trip, and may include as a combination or supplement to your normal cash gratuity, a useful and applicable gift, such as known needed equipment, a bottle of your guide’s favorite fine spirits, or other items that you have learned to be personal and appropriate for the guide you have come to know over the years.