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.


You might also like

South Africa in May

May is a great time for safaris in the east of South Africa Johannesburg and the highveld is warm by day, cold at night, and dry. Cape Town and the Western Cape is warm by day, cool at night, and might be wet and windy with winter rainfall. The Kruger Park and surrounds is hot by day, cool at night, and dry. May is an ideal time for beach holidays on the Indian Ocean coastline of…

Budget safari holiday in South Africa

Camping is a budget-friendly activity in South Africa | Credit: Getaway Magazine South Africa is well-suited to budget travellers. There are backpacker hostels and affordable B&Bs as well as self-catering options in all major centres. There are also very affordable and well-equipped campsites, usually with hot water in the ablution blocks and electricity. For transport, the perennially…

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…

Getting around in South Africa

A good network of domestic flights connects Johannesburg and Cape Town to other major cities such as Mbombela (for the Kruger Park), Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George (for the Garden Route). Trunks roads are all surfaced and well maintained, so self-drive is a straightforward option, provided you have a valid license. The usual international car rental companies are…

Medical requirements for South Africa

Malaria is absent from most parts of South Africa, and it is nowhere as prevalent as it is in much of equatorial Africa. Exceptions are the eastern lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, which is classified as a moderate-risk malarial area, and coastal KwaZulu-Natal north of Richard’s Bay, which is regarded to be low risk. Transmission is more-or-less confined to the rainy summer months.…

Kruger National Park

Extending over a mind-boggling 19,485 km², the Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest and most iconic safari destinations, comparable in area to Wales or the state of New Jersey, and sharing open borders with several smaller private reserves as well as two transfrontier national parks in the form of Gonarezhou (Zimbabwe) and Limpopo (Mozambique). It vies with with Cape Town as…

Popular South Africa Safaris

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

 | Luxury South Africa to Zimbabwe safari (8 days)

Luxury South Africa to Zimbabwe safari (8 days)

Spot the Big Five in Thornybush Private Game Reserve and enjoy the majesty of Zimbabwe's roaring Victoria Falls ...

 | South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five...

 | City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

 | Exhillarating Garden Route Adventure on a Royal Enfield Motorcycle (7 days)

Exhillarating Garden Route Adventure on a Royal Enfield Motorcycle (7 days)

Experience the Cape and Garden Route in a thrilling motorcycle safari ...

 | Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Encounter the Big Five safari and discover the elusive leopard...

 | Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari

Start your trip in South Africa and finish in Mauritius. Experience the stunning beaches and the Big Five in the Phinda Private Game Reserve. ...

 | Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

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

 | South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa has so much to offer, from spotting the elusive leopard, to exploring Johannesburg's historical sites. Include the tropical island of Mauritius for an even more unforgettable vacation....

 | Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Enjoy the city life in Johannesburg and track the Big Five in the Thornybush Game Reserve...

 | Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

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

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2