Travel Advice & FAQ

Tipping Guidelines for Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Tipping is voluntary and depends completely on the quality of service you have received and your willingness to tip for that accordingly.

A rule of thumb for restaurants, bars and coffee shops is to add 10% of your total bill as tip for the waiter. Keeping in mind that most of the waiting staff in restaurants earn a very basic salary and rely on the 10% tip to earn a decent salary.

Tipping your private guide or pilot is the norm, but tipping pilots on scheduled flights is not necessary. Usually, guests give about U$5.00 – 10.00 per person per day, the same goes for your Rangers and Guides at the lodges you stay at.

Tipping porters is not uncommon, and they usually get about U$1.00 per bag they carry, but not more than U$5.00 in total.

General workers at remote lodges (Staff, waiters etc) usually get U$5.00 per person per day.

Most Lodges have a tip box for the staff, where you can add your tip at the end of the stay for all and it will be divided. Some have one box for the general staff and one for the guides, some only have one box. If you are not sure about the tipping polices of the establishment you are staying at, you can gladly ask a manager on duty, but often tipping guidelines are also displayed in the info booklets found in the rooms.

Tipping in cash at lodges and hotels (US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Namibian Dollars or South African Rands) is the norm and preferred method. Tipping with credit card at lodges is often not accepted and even if, it’s a lengthy process until the tip ends with the intended people and often enough it doesn’t get to them as credit card payments are often not handled by the lodge, but an office hundreds of kilometres away.

However, adding the tip to the bill in a restaurant in the cities and paying with credit card is widely accepted.

Please make sure that you bring along enough smaller notes for your daily tipping. You can also exchange money here into local currency, which makes it easier, but all the above currencies are welcomed thankfully. To make it easier, you can also pre-plan some tips by adding daily amounts to envelopes beforehand and according to your itinerary.

Beware of over tipping, even if your intentions are good. Over tipping can lead to numerous problems between staff members and the whole tourism industry. Keep to the above guidelines and you shouldn’t encounter any problems.

Entry requirements for children under 18 years for South Africa, Botswana and Namibia

Important information on entry requirements for South Africa, Botswana and Namibia regarding the entry of children under the age of 18:

Children need their own passport and their original birth certificate for entry into the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. This should be the original! Certified copies are not accepted!

For South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, new requirements were introduced that all minors (children under 18 years) are required to produce, in addition to their passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate which shows the details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Further documentation may be required. For full details please visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website.

In the case of entry with only one parent, a power of attorney must also be provided that it is entitled to enter South Africa, Botswana or Namibia alone with the child.

PLEASE NOTE: It is the responsibility of clients to ensure that passports, visas, or other travel documents are valid for the duration of their stay in Namibia and other areas. Firefinch Safaris will entertain no complaints related to invalid travel documentation and can not be held liable if guests are not allowed to board the plane or are not granted excess to the above-mentioned countries.