Top Tips For Tipping in Africa
Published on: October 23rd, 2015
Last modified: October 3rd, 2023
We've compiled our top tips for tipping in Africa, as well as guides to each country, to help you get prepared before your big adventure. Please read through, using the navigation bar on the left hand side of your page to move easily between the different sections.
Please note that requirements and advice can change so we do recommend you check in with your travel designer or concierge before embarking on your adventure.
Tipping Etiquette in Africa
While tipping is not compulsory, acknowledging good service with a tip is widely accepted as standard practice.
Along with our tipping guide below we also suggest adding an amount to your daily budget to cover any incidental expenses, ranging between USD 15.00 to USD 30.00 per day (subject to personal budget choice).
Please only tip guides, drivers and hotel/camp/restaurant staff. Please don’t tip children as this can encourage their guardians to keep them away from school.
Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
- Guides and personal butlers – USD 20.00 per guest per day
- Mokoro poler – USD 7.00 per guest per day
- Safari camp/lodge Staff – USD 20.00 per guest per day. This is typically placed in communal tipping box and shared between the staff, there are sometimes options to settle this tip by credit card
- Massage therapist – USD 5.00 per treatment
- Transfer driver – USD 10.00 per guest per journey
- Porter – USD 5.00 per guest per service
Tipping can vary from camp to camp, these are approximate amounts.
- Private guides who stay with you for your entire stay, not individual excursion guides in camp – USD 10.00 to USD 20.00 per guest per day
- Spotters on night game drives – USD 3.00 to USD 5.00 per guest per activity
- Rangers on night game drives and nature walks – USD 3.00 to USD 5.00 per guest per activity
Rwanda and Uganda
We recommend using local porters to assist you on your gorilla trek. These porters are extremely helpful and are very familiar with the terrain. They can assist with bags, lend a hand on slippery slopes and steep parts of the trail. This is also a way of giving back to the community as porters are organised via a cooperative which helps create jobs in the area, ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from the National Park. Porters are available at the start of each hike and do not need to be pre-booked.
We recommend tipping your driver/guide/porter/ tracker directly. For the general camp/lodge staff and massage therapists, gratuities in cash may be left in an envelope or settled by credit card with camp/lodge management to distribute to everyone.
- Guides/local tour leaders – USD 20.00 per person, per day.
- Drivers – USD 10.00 per person, per day.
- Transfer only Drivers – USD 3.00 to USD 5.00 per group, per transfer.
- General safari camp/lodge staff – USD 15.00 per guest this typically placed in communal a tipping box and shared between the staff, there sometimes options to settle this tip by credit card
- Gorilla trekking guides – USD 15.00 per person, per trek (usually there are two guides and it is standard practice to tip after each trek)
- Gorilla trekking trackers – USD 10.00 per person, per day for the group of trackers
- Porters on gorilla trekking – USD 5.00 per porter, per day
- Hiking/trekking guides – USD 10.00 per person, per day
- Porters – USD 2.00 per service at hotels and airports. At Wilderness Bisate and at Wilderness Magashi, gratuities can be left in an envelope with camp/lodge management.
- Massage Therapists – USD 5.00 per treatment.
- Meals in restaurants & hotels – 10% of the bill
- Transfer driver – ZAR 100.00 per transfer
- Driver and/or guide on sightseeing excursions – ZAR 200.00 per day.
- Porters – ZAR 25.00 per bag
- Safari guide at game lodges – ZAR 200.00 per day for the
- Tracker at game lodges – ZAR 100.00 per day
- General lodge staff – ZAR 50.00 per day for the staff, i.e. housekeeping, etc.
- Train/rail services – ZAR 100.00 per day for cabin attendants and about ZAR 75.00 per day for the dining car waiter/waitress.
Restaurants and hotels – 10% 15% is customary on your bill if you’re satisfied with the service.
Generally speaking, gratuities can be paid in cash (local or foreign currency such as US Dollars, Euro) or depending on the establishment, by credit card.