You've finally landed in Cape Town after an 18 hour flight from NY. The porter has carried your overweight bag to your room, shown you how the AC works and the toilet flushes. The big smile and outstretched hand indicates it's time for you to tip. Even if you were organized enough to get some South African Rand at the airport, your jet lagged brain won't let you do complex math to figure out the exchange rate. You pull out the wad of foreign bills and they all seem to be too large. To avoid more stress you hand over a $5 and smile back.
As soon as the porter leaves you have that nagging feeling you've done something wrong. Did you give too much? How is he going to exchange your US $'s? Will he lose half the tip to bank fees? If so, you may not have given enough. The stress of tipping cannot be underestimated. Tipping is an artful science, and it's worth studying before you head to Africa on vacation.
The situation described above can happen several times a day. Meals, taxi rides, guides, porters, gas station attendants, housekeeping, everyone depends on you to get that tip right. It's no surprise that some safari companies like Micato have included tips in the price of their safari itineraries. It saves their customers from having to carry around wads of small bills (no one ever has change) and also takes the stress out of deciding when, where, who and how much to tip on every occasion. So, before you over tip (not too terrible), under tip (the worst) or miss tip (which could offend both the giver and the receiver) check out my -- Tips on Tipping
© Getty Images -- Image of Kilimanjaro Porter - You want to get this tip right