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South African Food and Tipping

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris

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South African Food and Tipping

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By Andre Van Kets

Co-founder, Discover Africa

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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 organized tours, most tips are handled by the guide, but it’s customary to tip the guide and/or driver at the end, usually as a group rather than individually.

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.

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

South Africa has strict foreign exchange regulations, so it’s best tip in Rands rather than hard currency.

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Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | South African Food and Tipping | Last Updated: 29 September 2023