South African food and tipping

Restaurants operate on a similar basis to those in Europe or North America. A 10-15% tip to the waiter is standard, depending on the quality of service.

At hotels, it’s usually easier to sign drinks and meals to the room than to pay cash, but you could still leave a tip for an individual waiter or bartender, or add one to the bill before you sign it.

Hotel porters usually expect a tip of around R10 per item of luggage.

On organised tours, most tips are handled by the guide, but it is customary to tip to the guide and/or driver at the end, usually as a group rather than on an individual basis.

Upmarket lodges and camps that operate on a full-board basis generally have a tip box at reception. Tips will usually be distributed between all the staff, a system that seems fairest to backroom workers in a country where hotel staff is very poorly paid.

In game lodges that offer guided game drives, any guides, drivers and trackers should be tipped. Many such lodges have guideline in the rooms; failing that ask management for a directive.

South Africa has strict foreign exchange regulations so best tip in rands rather than hard currency.


Popular South Africa Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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Explore two of South Africa's most desirable locations in this whirlwind safari tour...

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Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....

 | Forray into the Wilderness of Sabi Sands and Madikwe  (7 days)

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Our selection of South Africa's top safari lodges and game reserves are guaranteed to suit every taste and budget...

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Experience Cape Town, the lush Cape Winelands and a safari in the Kruger National Park and you'll fall under South Africa's spell...

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This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

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Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Explore the famous reserve that offers exceptional game viewing and sight the elusive Sitatunga antelope in the Okavango ...

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The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

Get the best possible chance to see the Big Five wildlife in the iconic Kruger National Park and Manyeleti Game Reserve ...

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Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

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Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

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