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

 | 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...

 | Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Combine the best that Cape Town and the Kruger National Park have to offer – beach and bush – for the ideal family holiday...

 | 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...

 | 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...

 | Cosmopolitan Cape Town and Kruger Tour (7 days)

Cosmopolitan Cape Town and Kruger Tour (7 days)

Discover the Big Cats in the Kruger National Park and enjoy the bustling harbour, world-class beaches and top-notch vineyards in Cape Town...

 | Best of Botswana and South Africa (11 days)

Best of Botswana and South Africa (11 days)

Experience the best of two of southern Africa's gems ...

Mountain Walk | Cape Town, Whale Coast and Victoria Falls Tour (10 days)

Cape Town, Whale Coast and Victoria Falls Tour (10 days)

Experience a safari adventure that combines the very best of Victoria Falls with the undeniable highlights of Cape Town and the Whale Coast....

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

Stunning view from the Rovos Rail | The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and an elegant Big Five safari for a stylish South African holiday...

 | 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. ...

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