Tips in South Africa are normally done in Rand, though US dollars are also accepted.

Restaurants and Bars

Tipping in restaurants is practiced mainly in the larger towns and is customarily kept at 10% of the total shown on the bill. Many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to a bill if the number of guests exceeds six. This amount is VATable. Any service charge included in a hotel or restaurant bill which is levied by the accommodation establishment itself, will attract VAT at the standard rate in the normal manner, regardless of whether any amount is later passed on to the establishment’s employees or not.

Petrol Stations and Car Parking 

Petrol station attendants may be tipped a few rands if they wash the windscreen, and offer to check oil and water abd the tyres. Car- guards or parking-attendants are usually given R2 - R5.

Car parks and areas around many popular tourist spots are populated by locals in day-glo yellow vests who offer to direct you to a space or to "look after your car for you." They are not threatening and you do not have to pay them, but giving them a few rands may stop them from turning to petty crime.

Cape Town has recently instituted a more formal parking attendant system in the downtown area, where uniiformed attendants with handheld machines take payment for parking. You'll need to estimate how long you'll be staying and pay for that amount of time - if you run over, you can pay the difference when you return to your car (an improvement on the need to worry about the meter!). Payment needs to be in cash, and you can get a receipt.

Tour Guides and Drivers 

Tourist guides and coach drivers are tipped at the end of the day. On a group day tour (7 seater vehicle) there is usually a single driver/guide. On coach tours, you would normally have a driver and a guide. Recommended tip is usually R10.00 per person on a day tour and R15.00 per person per day on overland and local coach tours. The money is split between the tourist guide and the driver.

For private tours, R50 per person per half-day tour and R80 per person per day for a full-day tour is the norm.


At hotels it is customary to leave R50 per person per day for housekeeping. If a porter assists with your bags, it's normal to tip the porter R15 per movement, assuming about two normal-size bags per person. Outside of larger cities, you may be asked to pay your tips to the hotel front desk. You may want to consider tipping the person directly.

For information on Tipping on Safari, please see this TripAdvisor page.