It can be something of a minefield to work out who to tip and how much they should have when travelling.
Read on here for a few tips about how to tackle tipping when you are on safari in Africa.
As a rule, it is always up to you whether you tip or not.
Many people choose to give tips to show that they appreciate the service they have received. If you have experienced particularly good service, you can give more than if, for example, you have experienced satisfactory service.
In some places, the tip means a lot, especially to service staff (maids, guides, chefs and waiters), because their wages are not always enough to make ends meet. But always follow your gut instinct and tip if you feel the staff have done a good job.
For many people, giving the tip can feel awkward and unnatural. But in a lot of countries it is quite normal, and after a while you get used to it.
In some places, there will be a box for tips. It may be a shared box, but there may also be a box for each guide. If there is no box, you can give the money directly at the end of a tour or after a day trip, in an envelope or using the “handshake trick”, for example.
In some places you may also be lucky enough to be able to tip by credit card, but you shouldn’t count on that.
Tipping customs vary in different countries. Below is a guideline on how much to tip at our various African destinations.
NB: The amounts are in USD and in the local currency (exchange rate: May 2019). Ideally, you should have some of the local currency to tip with.
In Kenya, it is the norm to tip guides, service staff and waiters.
As a rule of thumb, you can give:
We recommend that you tip the guide at the end of the trip.
In Tanzania, it is quite normal to tip.
If you wish to reward the good service, you can, as a rule, give:
On our tours to the top of the mountain, there is an agreement to give a total of 250 USD (575,000 TZS) per person to guides and porters for the whole tour.
The same guidelines also apply to Kilimanjaro as in the rest of Tanzania.
In South Africa, tipping is very important. The tip is indirectly part of the wage because often the service staff cannot live off their monthly wage alone.
If you wish to tip, you can follow these guidelines:
Remember to have cash for tips (in local currency) at hotels and for guides, while tips at restaurants can be added to the bill.
If you are on a self-drive holiday on the Garden Route, for example, there are staff to refuel your car at the service stations. So, it’s always a good idea to have a little change to hand as a “thank you for help” gesture.
It is very normal to give tips in Namibia – and it is also much appreciated.
As a guideline, you can give:
In Botswana, there are no guidelines on tipping. It is entirely up to you if you wish to tip, but if you experience extraordinary service, the guide or staff will always appreciate the gratuity.
You can tip in USD or in BWP, which is the local currency.
In Zambia, hotels and restaurants have usually included 10% on the bill, so no tip is expected.
If you have experienced extra good service, it is perfectly okay to give a tip – in both USD and in the local currency, ZMW.
It is not customary to give tips in Uganda. It is not expected, for porters or maids, for example
If you wish, you can give your guide about 5 USD (19,000 UGX) per person, per day, and it is a good idea to give it at the end of the tour.
In exotic Mauritius, a fee of 10% is usually included at hotels and restaurants. So, tips are not expected.
If you have received exceptionally good service, tips are always welcome.
As mentioned above, what is expected and what the custom is when it comes to tipping at our destinations varies greatly.
If in doubt, trust your gut instinct or ask what the norm is where you are.
The guidelines can change all the time, and if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact our travel consultants.
Finally: 3 quick tips about tipping:
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