If you’re planning to travel to Africa, it’s important to be familiar with the protocol for tipping in Africa. Many African countries have no set rules for tipping, but if you’re on a guided safari, you’ll find that tipping guides and lodge staff is often expected.
Etiquette for tipping in South Africa and northern African countries may also differ from central African nations.
Safari Travel Tipping Guide
Many people travel to Africa to experience its unique wildlife and open savannahs. Countless African service workers make their living exclusively in the safari travel trade. Customs and expectations for tipping in Africa while on safari may differ from what you’d experience tipping in African cities.
A good travel tipping guide will suggest that you tip tour guides between $5 and $20 (U.S., or equivalent) per day. This same daily amount can be given to the communal gratuity fund at most hotels and lodges. Service workers in restaurants typically receive a tip that is equivalent to 10 percent of the check total. Baggage porters can be tipped $1 or $2 per bag.
If you’re paying a package price for your safari vacation, you may find that gratuities for guides and hotel workers have already been added to the total price. Check your bill to make sure. If this is the case, it’s still acceptable to leave small tips when you feel you’ve received particularly good service.
Tipping in Africa: Central African Nations
As a rule, when you travel to Africa you should leave a 10 percent tip in most restaurants and tip baggage handlers the equivalent of $1 per bag. Housekeeping staff at most hotels should be tipped $1 to $2 per day. If you’re staying in a high-end or luxury hotel, you may want to increase the amount of your tips as you see fit for the level of service you receive.
Tipping in South Africa
Tipping in South Africa is similar to the rest of the continent, except for the fact that tipping percentages tend to be slightly higher. For example, waiters should be tipped 10 to 15 percent of the total restaurant bill. Taxi drivers and tour guides are customarily tipped 10 percent. Additionally, in South Africa, many gas station attendants and security guards also receive small tips–often just a few coins.