Tipping on Holiday in South Africa

By Tuningi Safari Lodge on April 13, 2023
Your guide to gratuity on safari

Travel is a wonderful way to experience new countries and new cultures, but without knowing any background info on the destination you’re visiting, it can be difficult to know what to expect as a guest.

Tipping is one of those things that is different all over the world . In some countries it’s included in a bill for example and some countries it’s not.

We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you navigate tipping while on holiday in South Africa.

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General guidelines for tipping in South Africa

South Africa is a place where tipping is expected. The general rule is to start at 10 – 15%. However, you are not obligated to tip if you are unhappy with the service you receive.


Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills – but double check especially if you are a large group. It is customary to leave a 10-15% tip of the total bill in restaurants.

Car guards and petrol attendants

For first-time visitors to South Africa, car guards may be a surprise. Car guards are self-appointed, informal people who usually wear a reflective vest and help people navigate parking. A R5 to R20 tip is the norm.

Parking and petrol station attendants can be given whatever small change you have available. This is always appreciated, even though it may seem a small amount.

Petrol attendants are another uniquely South African service. The attendants will fill your car with petrol, offer to clean your windscreen and check your oil and water. Tipping between R5 and R20 is standard.

Hotel staff

If you are staying at a hotel, it is common to tip the staff who provide you with services such as carrying your bags, cleaning your room, or serving you food and drinks. A tip of around ZAR 20 to ZAR 50 per person per service is usually appropriate.

If you receive any other services, such as hairdressing or spa treatments, it is customary to tip around 10% to 15% of the total cost of the service.

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Tipping safari lodge staff

If you are going on a safari, it is customary to tip your guide and tracker. The amount you should tip can vary depending on the length of the safari and the quality of service provided.

Tipping at Tuningi Safari Lodge is never something that is expected, but is always greatly appreciated. Our guideline that we give when asked is as follows:

Ranger R350 per day.
General Staff R350 per day.

The currency does not matter, whatever is easiest for you. You are also able to use your credit card for this. Please do not hesitate to chat to us if you have any further questions.

It is important to note that tipping is always discretionary, and the amount you choose to tip should reflect the quality of service you received. Additionally, if you are unsure about whether to tip or how much to tip, it is always best to ask the service provider directly.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our accommodation options at Tuningi, please follow the link to our Suites here. Alternatively send our team an email at or book online directly here.

We look forward to giving you a warm welcome to Tuningi Safari Lodge in the near future.

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