Tipping is different everywhere in the world, so how about tipping etiquette in Africa?
The list below contains tipping guides for (at the moment) 10+ African countries and is based on over 60 sources, including TripAdvisor forums, Business Insider, Conde Nast Traveler and the websites of the official tourism boards. If you do feel something is off for a certain country, let me know and I'll make a note of it for a future update.
For what concerns tipping hotel staff, the tips mostly apply top mid-range to higher end hotels. No need to tip a bellboy if there isn't one :-)
Pick a country or simply scroll down to see them all.
(Not tipping etiquette in Africa you're looking for? Check out tipping etiquette around the world for the continent of your choice.)
Tipping in Africa
Tipping in Botswana is never compulsory, but it's enthusiastically received. There's no need to feel embarrassed when tipping because it is perfectly acceptable in Africa's service industry.
Tipping at restaurants and bars It is a custom to add 10% on restaurant meal accounts. In bars, leaving small change for the bartender should suffice.
Tipping tour guides: Your Botswana itinerary is not complete without a safari tour. Tip safari guides 90 BWP per person per day, and trackers 60 BWP per person per day. For tours exclusive of camps or game lodges, the suggested tip is 75 BWP for a full day.
Tipping taxi drivers: Most taxi drivers won't expect a gratuity, but it's polite to round up the fare. For a longer trip, it's reasonable to leave an additional 10%.
Tipping hotel staff: In town hotels, porters hope for at least 5 BWP per bag they carry for you. Maids are typically given 8 GWP per day at the end of your stay.
Good to know: In Botswana, many lodges and camps have a communal tip box. These establishments usually have a clear tipping policy. In some places, the contents of the tip box will be distributed to all staff whereas in others, tips for tour guides should be given separately. It's common to tip guides, mokoro polers, and trackers directly, but not for all places. If you’re unsure, you can ask the manager about it.
Cabo Verde has no standard tipping etiquette. In the restaurant and hospitality industry, workers usually don't expect to be tipped. Regardless of that, offering a small gratuity for good service will unlikely be rejected.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Most restaurants will automatically add gratuity in the bill, but you can tip a little more if you truly appreciate the service. If tips are not included, 5 to 10% of the bill is a good standard.
Tipping tour guides: Tipping tour guides is not required, but you may offer 5 to 10% of the excursion cost if you wish to express appreciation.
Tipping taxi drivers: It's not a custom to tip taxi drivers in Cabo Verde. Still, feel free to round up the fare if your driver has assisted with your luggage or shared local information.
Tipping hotel staff: Like other service workers, hotel staff won't expect a tip. If you're not comfortable with leaving nothing, 100CVE per bag for porters and the same amount per day for housekeeping should suffice.
Tipping is an integral part of Egyptian culture, especially because wages there are extremely low. To a visitor, the tipping etiquette in the country can be confusing. Many instances require some form of gratuity, but there are no fixed rules on how much to give. Western tourists must get used to the constant whispering of ‘baksheesh' (tip) by eager wait staff. In a nutshell, tipping is expected throughout Egypt.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In restaurants, it is customary to add another 5% even if the bill is inclusive of service fee. If no charge is included, a 10% tip is warranted. The same rule applies at bars.
Tipping tour guides: If gratuities are not included in the excursion cost, tip tour guides an additional 10%. A good idea is around $20 for a half-day tour and $35 for a whole-day tour. If you're on a private tour, expect to tip more.
Tipping taxi drivers: When it comes to taxi drivers, you generally don't have to tip further. The fare is agreed upon in advance and tips should already be factored in.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters $2 per bag, concierge staff $10, and chambermaids $1-$2 (pay every day so you'll receive better room cleaning).
Good to know: Museum attendants may hold out their hands for a small tip. If they did a small form of service, consider giving 3-5 Egyptian pounds. However, you’re not obliged to tip if they didn’t do anything.
Tipping works on a loose set of principles in Gambia. Well-performed service is usually rewarded with cadeaux, a term used for tips, gifts, and even bribes. In most cases, only well-to-do locals and foreign guests are expected to give gratuity. For instance, a visitor in a classy hotel must tip the porter, but a solo backpacker in a small inn is not expected to do the same.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In nice restaurants, it's usual to tip 10% of the total bill. Check first if service is included in the quoted price. If it is, further tipping is up to your discretion. No need to tip in small eateries.
Tipping tour guides: At the end of a tour, consider giving the official guide a 5 to 10% tip. This should only be given if you think it’s deserved.
Tipping taxi drivers: You don't need to tip taxi drivers in Gambia, unless they performed extra services for you. In that case, rounding up the fare is appropriate.
Tipping hotel staff: In tourist hotels, tip porters D10 per bag and maids D10 per day of your stay.
Good to know: People at supermarkets who offer to carry your grocery bags to the car will hope for a small tip. If you don't want to bother tipping, you may politely refuse their service.
Tipping is not necessarily expected in Ghana, but it can be considered an act of goodwill because most service workers are not paid much. The amount you decide to tip should reflect the quality of service you received.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In Ghana, restaurant servers are oddly not used to receiving tips. However, it may be rather expected in upscale establishments. Around 5-10% tip should do the trick. For smaller eateries, 1 cedi is already generous and will get you better service on your next visit.
Tipping tour guides: Ten percent of the tour fee is a suitable tip for guides.
Tipping taxi drivers: Tip taxi drivers 5-10% of the fare, especially if they were helpful and efficient.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip hotel porters a cedi or two, and chambermaids at least 2 cedis per day.
Good to know: As a tourist in Ghana, you may be unfamiliar with some instances that require a sort of tip or “dash”. Some of these are: when someone goes out of their way to show you directions to a place, when you receive assistance for loading luggage in the bus compartment, and when someone helps you select and bargain for a certain purchase. Usually, a few cedis should suffice.
Tipping in Kenya is not protocol. It's more of a gesture indicative of appreciation for good service. Kenyans in the service industry receive fairly low salaries and rely heavily on tips. Still, the choice of how much to tip is all yours.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In restaurants, the norm is to leave a tip amounting to 10% of the bill. For exceptionally good service, you may tip an additional 50 shillings or more, but this is at your discretion. Bartenders are typically given 20-30 shillings per round of drinks.
Tipping tour guides: On Kenyan tours, guides will expect around 100-200 shillings for a full day tour. If a driver accompanied you during the excursion, you should also tip him around 150 shillings. If going on a safari, the camp or lodge usually suggests an appropriate tip amount for guides, drivers, butlers, and other staff. In some places, you may be instructed to leave tips in a communal box, where the amount collected will be distributed evenly among the lodge staff.
Tipping taxi drivers: Most likely, taxi drivers won't expect a gratuity for their services because this is already factored in the fare. If you wish to tip extra, rounding up to the nearest 100 shillings is enough.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters at hotels are given 50-100 shillings. Hotel maids are accustomed to receiving 200-500 shillings for a whole week of service.
Good to know: Make sure to tip in the local currency (Kenyan shillings) and not your native currency. Tipping in foreign bills makes it difficult for the recipient to exchange.
Among Mauritians, tipping simply isn't a habit. That doesn't mean you're not allowed to tip if the service exceeded your expectations, but generally it's okay to skip the tip.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Restaurant bills are inclusive of a government tax, and sometimes a service charge. Tipping is non-obligatory, but if you were rather satisfied with the service you received, a 5-10% tip is fine as long as it has not already been included in the bill.
Tipping tour guides: You're not obligated to tip your tour guides in Mauritius. Only if you received exemplary service then 10% is a generous tip.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip your taxi drivers. If they have been informative and helpful, rounding up the fare should suffice.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters will be thankful if you give them a few rupees per bag. As for housekeeping staff, 50 rupees is a sufficient tip.
Good to know: Many Mauritian hotels encourage guests to leave tips in a shared tipping box. This amount collected in the box is divided equally among all hotel staff. It’s a good idea to check the hotel’s tipping policy first.
In Morocco, there are often no standard tip percentages that you should follow. As a basic rule, only tip if the service is satisfactory.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Nicer restaurants especially catered to tourists usually incorporate a 10% service charge. You don't have to tip any further. However, if the server attended to your needs efficiently, consider leaving 10-20 dirhams. In more casual establishments, tipping isn't expected.
Tipping tour guides: If your tour guide has done a fairly good job, the suggested tip is around 10 dirhams per person per day. Some unofficial guides will offer to guide you in the medina and ask for a hefty tip. If you're lost and have to avail their services, 5-10 dirhams should be enough.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi fares in Morocco are negotiated in advance. If you wish to tip, the rule is to just round up the amount to the next 10 dirhams.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel porters typically receive 10 dirhams per bag. Chambermaids receive 10-20 dirhams, preferably paid on a daily basis.
Good to know: In Morocco, tipping discreetly is the way to go. Say your thank-you and hand the cash quietly to the staff who served you.
There is no rule of thumb per se when it comes to tipping in Namibia. In most places, the caliber of service leaves a lot to be desired so you won't feel like tipping generously. Nevertheless, it is a welcome practice especially since Namibian service workers earn little salaries.
Tipping at restaurants and bars You're only expected to tip in upscale restaurants, where around 10% of the bill or a maximum of 100 Namibian dollars is recommended. It is not customary to tip bar staff.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides are tipped separately since they are excluded from the communal tip box. Around N$ 100 per day for a small group is a suitable amount. Also, keep in mind that tipping in national parks is strictly banned.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers are not usually tipped, but you may opt to leave small change if they have been particularly efficient throughout the ride.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel porters look for around N$ 10, while chambermaids receive N$ 20.
Good to know: People who watch your car in a parking lot should be tipped about N$ 2-3.
Tipping is not a common practice in Senegal. Unless the service you receive deserves extra recognition, gratuities are not warranted.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In upmarket restaurants, expect to tip around 10%. Sometimes this amount is already included in the bill, so check that first. It is not normal to tip in cheap, roadside eateries and fast food places.
Tipping tour guides: Though it is not customary to tip your tour guides, no one will stop you from giving a small cash reward for good service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Locals typically don't tip taxi drivers. You agree on a fixed price beforehand and you're expected to pay only that amount.
Tipping hotel staff: Again, tipping is only expected in nicer hotels. If you're happy with the service you received, tip hotel staff the equivalent of $2 in local currency.
Good to know: To give you an idea of the appropriate tip, in most cases it is enough to give your server the amount ‘to have a drink'. This is roughly the cost of a soda bottle or a glass of beer.
For most services in Seychelles, gratuities are included in the quoted price whether it's in a restaurant, hotel, bar, or cab. Although tipping is not compulsory, that should not stop you from rewarding impressive service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Restaurant bills are inclusive of a 5-10% service charge. Servers don't expect to receive tips, but giving a small additional won't be taken as an insult. Another 5-10% is a generous tip. The same applies for tipping bar staff.
Tipping tour guides: If taking a city tour, you may want to give your guide 10% of the tour price. If you don’t want to do percentages, around $5 for a half-day tour and $10 for a whole-day tour is more or less an appropriate tip.
Tipping taxi drivers: Cab fares already include a service fee, and so further tipping is not necessary. Some locals just round up the fare for convenience.
Tipping hotel staff: Tipping at hotels is discretionary. If you wish to tip individual staff who assisted you, SR12 for the porter and SR10 for the cleaning staff is reasonable. You may also just place a general tip in an envelope and hand it at the reception. The amount you give will be shared equally by the hotel staff.
Before visiting South Africa, you may want to factor in tips when working out your travel budget. Tipping is widely practiced in the rainbow nation. Although standard tips are not as huge as that in the US, gratuity customs here are fairly defined.
Tipping at restaurants and bars It is standard to tip restaurant servers 10-15%. Check the bill first because some establishments will automatically add a service charge if you're with a big group. If a service charge is levied, tipping extra is up to your discretion. Most locals also tip bartenders an amount corresponding to 10-20% of the total bill. For a small round of drinks, loose change is enough.
Tipping tour guides: In South African safaris, it is customary to tip guides a total of R50-R500 depending on the size of your group. Other safari staff who provide attentive service such as rangers and trackers must also be tipped R100-R300 a day per family or couple.
Tipping taxi drivers: You'll find two types of cabs: kombi taxis and saloon taxis. In kombi taxis (minivans), you’re not required to tip – just pay the exact fare. In saloon or metered taxis, simply round up to the nearest 10 rand or tip roughly 10% of the total fare.
Tipping hotel staff: At hotels, R10-R20 is an appropriate tip for porter service. This averages to around a dollar per item of luggage. If you wish to tip the hotel maids, around R5-R10 is a suitable amount.
Good to know: Car guards are common in South Africa. These are people who assist when you’re parking and proceed to watch your car while you're away. If they show an official badge and wear a reflective vest, that means they're employed by the city. Tip them any amount from R2-R5.
Locals in Tanzania tend to skip tipping, but it's certainly a welcome practice especially for tourists and expats. When deciding how much to tip, remember that it should always be proportional to your level of satisfaction with a particular service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Only restaurants in touristy areas tend to incorporate service fees in the bill. If no charge is included, about 10% is a sufficient tip. Don't stress yourself too much because even locals don't tip when eating out. At bars, you can round up the bill if you like.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides usually receive $8-$10 per day for a small group, while private guides are tipped more (around $15-$20). In Kilimanjaro climbs, you're expected to tip guides, chefs, and porters. A good tip is about $20 per day for the guide.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxis are unmetered, so you have to agree on a price with your driver before the trip. Tipping on top of that amount is uncommon.
Tipping hotel staff: If a communal tip box is available, you can leave your tip for all hotel staff there. The other option is to tip them directly. Tip porters $1 per bag they carry and chambermaids $2 per day of your stay.
Good to know: In safari tours, consider tipping the chef $5-$10 per day and the general staff $2 per day.
The practice of tipping in Uganda is not obligatory but is done out of courtesy. Workers in the service sector earn very low wages, and thus rely on tips to boost their income. Leaving a couple thousand shillings will help them provide their family's basic necessities.
Tipping at restaurants and bars At restaurants, it is customary to tip at least 5% for good service. If the waiter or waitress did an excellent job attending to your needs, allow up to 10%. Most establishments tend not to include gratuities in the bill, but it doesn't hurt to check before you decide how much to leave. At bars, tipping is not required but you may round up for convenience.
Tipping tour guides: Local guides who accompany you through bird watching and trekking excursions should be tipped the equivalent of $10-$20 in Ugandan shillings. For private driver-guides, the reasonable tip is $20-$30 per day between the group.
Tipping taxi drivers: For cab drivers, you may just round up the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotels in Uganda have a communal tip box where you can place your tip for the entire staff. This ensures that all staff, even those who do not directly interact with the guests (cooks, gardeners), get a fair share. The suggested tip is about $2-$10 per guest per day. Leave your collective tips on the day of your departure.