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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Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

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

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City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

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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....

 | 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...

 | Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

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....

 | Blissful Fly-In Kruger Safari (4 days)

Blissful Fly-In Kruger Safari (4 days)

Experience luxury in the Kruger Park ...

 | 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...

 | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent...

 | Sabi Sand Game Reserve Safari (5 days)

Sabi Sand Game Reserve Safari (5 days)

You'll trek Africa's Big Five members in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve...

 | Kruger to the Mozambican Coast (7 days)

Kruger to the Mozambican Coast (7 days)

Combining the bush and the wildlife found in the famous Sabi Sand in the Kruger National Park with a tropical stay in one of the sublime lodges of Mozambique's Ponta Mamoli...

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