Our travellers often ask for our advice on who and how much to tip when on safari in Namibia. Many people work to make your trip a success, including the safari guides and trackers, the back-of-house team and the camp/hotel manager - tips can be a significant part of the income of those working in service industries.
Tipping is discretionary and it's really up to you but, knowing the norms and standard practice, will help you to decide. How else can you know where to begin and what is generous and what's not? After all, a tip is really a monetary 'Thank You'.
USD 5 - USD 10 (N$ 75 – N$ 150) per guest per day to the safari guide at the end of the tour. The final amount is usually about 10% of their daily rate, so it will depend on the number of people travelling in your group. A total sum of USD 20 (N$ 300) per day for the group should give you a good idea to begin with.
USD 7 (N$100) per guest per day in a shared vehicle. This tip is given at the end of the safari or stay at your camp/hotel, not on a daily basis, given that you are most likely to have the same guide and tracker throughout your stay.
USD 4 - USD 10 (N$ 50 - 150) per guest per day at the end of your stay. Usually there is a communal tip box at reception which is shared amongst the general staff. If you would like to tip someone specific hand them the tip personally in an envelope at the end of your stay.
Although they are clearly important to the success of your Namibia safari, you wouldn’t normally tip them.
A 10-15% tip is acceptable for good service. This is not usually included in your bill for groups of under 8 people so you will have to add it to the total.
Tips are not normally expected for transfers.
For taxi drivers, round up the fare and leave the driver with the change. If the driver has gone out of his way to help you or if the trip is over 30 minutes, consider tipping around 10%.
Filling stations have attendants who will fill your tank, check your oil and water and wash your windscreen. A tip of about N$ 5 is welcomed.
Car guards will assist you to park and then watch over your vehicle while you are away. Payment of about N$ 5 is appreciated but not mandatory. Any change you have on you will do.
The above amounts are guidelines and serve as suggestions based on current tipping etiquette and exchange rate. What you decide to give while on tour is up to you based on the services received.
The South African Rand (ZAR) is considered legal tender in Namibia; the Namibia Dollar (N$) is pegged to the Rand at a rate of 1:1.