Tipping in Africa – how, where, how much?

On a business trip to Nigeria or on safari in Zambia or Zimbabwe, you may ask yourself: should I tip? How much is appropriate? And what is the best way of handing over cash in gratitude and thanks for good service? 

Go2Africa has compiled an extensive list of how-to’s on this subject, starting with who to tip: cleaners, cooks, gardeners, maintenance workers, guards, guides, waiters and waitresses, spa therapists and transfer drivers.  

The hardest question is how much to tip. It depends on the service you received, your personal budget, your ideas around gratuities. The story mentions a few pointers – 5 dollars for a transfer, 10% on restaurant bills. The list of do’s and don’ts is useful: take small bills with you, as the only place you can reliably draw money from ATMs or cash machines is South Africa. Bring cash, preferably in US dollars, as these are the most widely accepted across Africa. 5 and 10 dollar bills are easier to hand over and few places will be able to break $50 or $100 notes. In some countries, local legislations makes tipping easy. As the report says, “in some countries, like Zambia, you are legally required to get all change in the local currency, leaving you with a handful of kwacha that you can’t use back home or elsewhere.” 

Further reading go2africa.com


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