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Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Bungalow Etiquette

Unread post by Kathy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:25 am

This may seem like a strange question, however, I was reading the posts regarding tipping, and this suddenly came to mind.
What is the correct procedure regarding 'cleaning up' of the bungalow - dishes, making of beds etc. when you leave for the day - it is rude to leave dishes to be done by the cleaners? Also, when you leave the park, if you have food / perishables left over, is it ok to leave them in your fridge for the cleaning staff? Hope someone can help - am never sure what the right thing is to do...
Thanks as always!

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Bungalow Etiquette

Unread post by kevinm » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:38 am

Hi,Kathy we have found that although the rules for the camps state that washing of dishes is not the responsibility of the staff if you approach the bungalow cleaner they are willing to do this "chore" for a small fee which is usually in the region of R10.00 per day.
We have also found that most staff are appreciative of the excess and perishibles left behind in the fridge

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Unread post by Jock » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:40 am

I can only comment on what we do Kathy. When we stay at Ngwenya Lodge (timeshare owned by the family) we do leave the dishes, but we do make sure they have soaked during the night so it does not make for hard work. Inside Kruger we do clean up ourselves. Generally I think it is stated on the arrival form if cleaners will clean dishes or not. We also always leave unused food that we cannot take with us behind for the cleaners.
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Unread post by nunu » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:45 am

We always leave a tip in the ash tray. We work it out on a pro rata basis at around R15 per day. My old man tips more. If I ask the attendant to wash dishes then I pay separately for that.

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Unread post by bert » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:23 am

nunu wrote:We always leave a tip in the ash tray. We work it out on a pro rata basis at around R15 per day. My old man tips more.

We also tip R10-20 per day
Depends on the service


Unread post by laserblazer » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:25 am

My brother-in-law, who is South African always has a go at me for tipping too generously even when I'm only giving some loose change. I love the custom of accepting a tip in both hands, I've been told this is to show you haven't got a knife in the other hand?

A few years ago, we travelled from Durban, stopping at Omfolozi and then Hlane in Swaziland. By the time we reached Skukuza, the car was absolutely filthy inside and out. We saw a sign for the car wash so decided to have it cleaned. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't two lads and a hosepipe. They cleaned the outside, took about 20 minutes, then started on the interior with small paintbrushes. The car ended up like new. When I asked how much, they said whatever you like. It would have cost me a fortune to have had it cleaned like that in the UK, so I gave them R50. They seemed to be happy with that. Is the car wash still the same at Skukuza?

Another time, we arrived at Shingwedzi, it was mid December and steaming. I had promised the kids we would go straight to the pool but my wife decided that the laundry had to be done there and then. I wasn't going to argue, so I dropped her and her mother at the laundry and took the kids to the pool. When we got back from our refreshing dip I found my mother-in-law on hands and knees mopping the flooded chalet floor with a towel. The look she gave me would have floored a bull ellie, so I simply stepped out of the door and called over one of the maids. She came into the chalet, took one look at my mother-in-law and said "Why are you down there you silly lady? Get up now." she then reached up above the door and took down a mop. Continuing to mutter "Silly lady" she cleaned the floor. That got her a few extra rand. In fact, I was tempted to hire her as a bodyguard. Anyone who can best my m-in-law!

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Unread post by Toddelelfe » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:30 am

I never leave dirty dishes on table or in the kitchen. I don`t like. Because i think insects or others will come, so i clean it by myself. If staff clean my dishes, i will tip them, because it`s not their "common".
Also when i leave my accommodation for the day, i try to put my things and clothes on one point to make the job for the staff a little bit "comfrtable" :lol: But often they are so excellent in their job. When i came back all my clothes are well prepared for the luggage, the bear is sitting in the right position and zhe other goodies also well placed.

And for a good job i give a (for me small) tip from 10-15 Rand.
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Unread post by Shidzidzii » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:53 am

My fellow forumites all have the correct idea .

Bear in mind the cleaning staff are salt-of-the-earth folk and anything you give them is very highly appreciated . In return thay have no issues with extra chores , especialy units with kitchenettes and utensils . To us the amounts mentioned are trifling but it has a huge value , financialy and dignity wise - to them .

We personally spend long periods mostly at the same huts and the attendants know us intimatly . I always take along "OROS"
in 5 liter bottles , frozen stewing meat like chuck/shin and
baked beans etc. Above their value these are items they can't readily buy in the park shops , but which they realy like .

It would be wrong to abuse them with bribery eg. to supply firewood . Also avoid giving alchohol to them they are on duty .

They often ask to wash vehicles and that is up to your choice although I personaly don't need it.

I think it is also only fair to be neat and clean in the bungalow and bathroom . Your own dignity is on display .

Picnic site staff similarly don't object to dish washing for a fair consideration - they anyway wash the skottel braai , and that is very handy .

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Unread post by Jen » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:40 pm

I agree with mikev - we also try and take something with us when visiting the park for the staff (especially the camps further north that don't have easy access to shops). The hut attendants usually appreciate a small bag of Mielie Meal / sweets / fruit. I always make a point of taking a small "gift" when we visit over Christmas as most of the staff have children. I also like to take a box of biscuits for the reception staff - especially the camps that we visit regularly.
It costs very little when you consider how much we spend on petrol, toll fees and accommodation etc to enjoy the KNP.
We also leave a tip of between R15 - R20 per night for the hut attendant.

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Unread post by DebM » Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:00 am

laserblazer wrote:My brother-in-law, who is South African always has a go at me for tipping too generously even when I'm only giving some loose change.

Also get told this, though don't think that we do. Always do the washing up, don't want to encourage the creepie crawlies.
I do try to leave the accommodation tidy, nothing on the beds or floor, so that cleaner doesn't have mounds to move before getting on with their work.
Any excess food is left in the fridge or cupboard, as I been told by the fore-mention brother-in-law that it is appreciated.
Last edited by DebM on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by fannymays » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:29 pm

Hi everyone

I would never just leave dishes (glasses, cutlery and crockery) to be cleaned by others. However if we have used a pot to make pap or something like that and it is soaking overnight, we will first ask one of the cleaning staff if they would mind cleaning it, and only if they agree will we leave it. For that they will be paid between R10 - R20 ( only $3 you know)

Having been camping and caravaning for a million years now, it is all part of the fun. Especially if you have kids, doing the dishes is a ritual and is delegated amongst family members. It gives the kids a sense of responsibility too.
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Unread post by Bushmad » Sat May 06, 2006 10:07 pm

Interesting topic!

As I have mentioned before, I am a little obsessive when it comes to cleanliness :wink: .

I always clean our dishes and cutlery, firstly I cant handle allowing them to be dirty for any extended period of time and because I would feel bad to leave the dishes for the staff to clean. Even if they did clean them, I would still re-wash them just to be sure that they are 100%...... :lol: In fact I realised that I was spending too much time cleaning that could have been better spent and now bring along very good plastic plates that I throw away after use, only use tea cups and cereal bowls etc..

We keep the bungalow as tidy as possible. We also make sure that 'our' attendant will be there the day we leave and make sure she gets a tip..usually R15 - R20 per day..sometimes more, depending on service. We definitely leave unused food items in the fridge; eg..milk, fruit, veggies & meat, it is most appreciated.

I agree about the cleaning of the braai..I am sure that the attendant is the one who cleans it...

I think another aspect of bungalow etiquette or general camp etiquette would be that of being good neighbours. Loudness is really the only problem that we have experienced in terms of those around us on occasion. We mostly have like minded neighbours but have had some that are less so. Be considerate and know that sounds carry in the bush AND that if your neighbour's lights go off, they have probably gone to bed, so once again be mindful of others. We once had people shining spotlights at our windows while we were trying to fall asleep and they were was really not in the spirit of being in the park...but as I have said these experiences are few. Everyone is a first timer to begin with so perhaps a discreet notice of some kind would be helpful in educating new or uninformed visitors.

Once again, a really useful topic, well done!
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Unread post by ngwenya » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:25 am

iLoveMeerkats! wrote:How much do you generally tip the kind fellow who washes up the skottle?

We normally give the guy R5 and he is always happy, be interesting to hear others views. :roll:

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Unread post by Freda » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:30 am

We also give R5 if he just takes the skottel but if he washes our other dishes he gets a well deserved R10 and any food that is left :D

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:30 pm

It makes me happy to see that folks are generally generous with the grassroots staff.

For those who cannot tip, just smile and say, "thank you".

I might sound like a school marm here, but I have seen some bad behaviour towards some of ground staff.
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