Tipping on holiday in South Africa

By Focus Online Team on February 13, 2020
Your guide to gratuity on safari

Travel is a wonderful way to experience new cultures, but without knowing any background info on the country 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 – 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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Some general guidelines for tipping in South Africa


South Africa is a place where tipping is expected. The general rule is to start at 10%.

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.

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 R10 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 the norm.

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Tipping safari lodge staff


Tipping at Tuningi Safari Lodge is never anything that is expected, but 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 easier 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.

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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