How much to tipThe guidance we offer here is based on our experience in Namibia. In the end, though, tipping depends on your personal opinion and your individual satisfaction – moderated by some understanding of the issues mentioned above.
With this in mind, we’d recommend that for good service, our travellers tip around:
- To your guide: N$/ZAR60–120 per guest per half-day activity (morning or afternoon excursion), or N$/ZAR120–250 for a full-day excursion.
- To the lodge staff: N$/ZAR50–150 per guest per night.
- Restaurants: A 10% tip is acceptable for good service – or more if you consider the service to have been exceptional.
- In bars: Tips are the exception rather than the norm, and even then, the loose change from your drink is generally acceptable.
- Filling stations: All filling stations (petrol garages) in South Africa have attendants who will fill your tank and wash your windscreen. A tip of about N$/ZAR5 is welcomed.
- Car guards: Whenever you try to park in urban centres, car guards will assist you (not always competently) to park and then watch over your vehicle while you are away, with a view to deterring vehicle-related crime. Some belong to more formal security companies than others and where possible we recommend using these. A ‘donation’ of N$/ZAR5-10 usually suffices depending on how long you have been parked.
Gifts as a tipIf you’re returning to a camp, it is a lovely gesture to bring personalised gifts for their staff, perhaps the guide or the butler. This isn’t particularly common, but it is always appreciated. Favourite items include pens and books – especially wildlife guides (eg: comprehensive and detailed field guides).
Tipping is a sensitive issue, but there is no need to feel awkward. It’s a normal part of a service industry in Namibia, as it is in many countries. Just remember that thoughtless tipping by relatively affluent visitors can have a big impact on the local economic and social balance – so please keep that in mind when you tip the staff during your safari in Namibia.
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