The art of tipping
Tipping in Africa
Tipping is something of a tradition on safari. Having said that, it is not compulsory in Africa and always remains at your discretion.
Should you wish to show your appreciation to guides, drivers and camp staff, an amount of your choice can be added to your bill upon departure from each property, or placed in a gratuities box (where available). This money will then be distributed among all the staff. Alternatively, you may prefer to personally thank – and tip – any staff members you feel went the extra mile to ensure your safari was a memorable experience. Staff are usually extremely hard-working and proud of their contributions, and very appreciative when they receive a gratuity and a personal note of thanks. This is an effective way to acknowledge the great job they’re doing and what a positive effect it had on your experience in Africa.
1. We recommend you travel with small envelopes so you can distribute tips discreetly
2. Feel free to include a short personal note of thanks with someone’s tip if they’ve been particularly impressive or helpful
3. Tip guides and trackers separately to camp staff. The best time to tip guides and trackers is during your last safari activity, or on departure if they’re taking you to an airstrip or other drop-off point
4. When tipping general camp staff, do it in one single tip. Give this to the camp manager or place it in the tip box that’s usually located in the reception area or somewhere central. This tip money will then be divided among all lodge staff.
5. In some cases, staff may be cheeky and ask for money or gifts. Please report any unprofessional behaviour such as this to the camp manager, at the time.
6. Never accept help from anyone at an airport unless they’re in uniform and bearing identification. At Johannesburg Airport, for example, people have been known to come in and offer people help to get to the security gates, and then demand big tips for the service
7. You’ll find it very handy to carry a generous amount of small US dollar and rand notes for tips, so you don’t have to worry about accessing change
8. There should be no obligation for you to pay more than what you’re comfortable with, or to tip at all if you’re not happy with the service. And don’t compare your tipping with what others are doing. There is no right or wrong and it should always be done out of gratitude for the service provided.
Once you’ve booked your holiday we’ll provide more information about tipping in the online Safari Concierge.