Advice on how, when & why to tip while on a safari in Uganda & Rwanda

Going on a safari in Rwanda and forgetting to reach Uganda is really a misfortunate and the reverse is true. Most visitors find it interesting to visit both countries to make their safari to east Africa more memorable and amazing. The highlight of a safari in Uganda and Rwanda is the gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park – Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking in these two East African countries attracts thousands of travelers from different parts of the world. Most tourists to Uganda and Rwanda always get worried and ask themselves about tipping on the safari, now in this article, we are here to advise you on how to tip, when to tip, why to tip, and whom to tip when on a safari in Uganda and Rwanda.

Most tourists all over the world find it confusing when it comes to tipping while on a safari in Africa. Here is the complete guide with all the information you need to know about tipping on a safari. However, tipping is not a must and it depends on the client’s satisfaction with the service given to him/her. Tipping also depends on the budget of the client and the amount to tip is not fixed it depends on the client’s satisfaction and the size of the wallet. Clients with big budgets are free to pay large amounts than those with small wallets and those with a fixed budget can give sincere thanks for the services.

When to tip?

Tipping is done after receiving a good service and the service provider who offers good service is reliable to earn more. In other words, you can tip when you check out of the hotel or lodge, at the airport when you are dropped off at the end of the safari, or in the park after tourist activity like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, boat cruise, game drive, community walk among others. Still, clients can tip in the restaurant for being served food, and in many other situations when you are given a service.

Whom to tip?

Any person who has offered a good service to a client deserves to be tipped.

  • Tour guides/drivers

The tour guide or your drivers play a big role in your safari whereby they are responsible to transport you from one place to another and are responsible to answer all the questions you want to ask. Still, it’s the work of these tour guides to ensure the safety of the visitors and also to ensure that visitors stay in the agreed upon accommodation and also to check the cleanliness of the accommodation.

  • The Ranger Guide

The rangers are always found in the national parks for example when you go gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, they will be responsible to take you through the trekking process and even responsible to answer all your question when you are in the game drive they are responsible take you through the game drive trails, spot and describe all the animals you will find on the way and still they are responsible to give you protection through the park and also when you on local community visit. These people play a big role and they deserve to be tipped in case you are happy with the service they provided.

  • Porters or luggage carriers

The luggage carries are found at airports, hotels, and national parks most especially where trekking takes place. For example, in case you go for chimpanzee tracking, gorilla trekking, or when you going for mountain climbing, you will need a porter or luggage carrier to help you carry your luggage and trekking gear. So at least they deserve to be tipped because of their tiresome and good service.

How do tip?

  • Tour Guides and drivers

It’s a common practice to tip a tour guide or driver at the end of the safari and in case it’s a group tour and you believe that the tour guide has made your safari enjoyable at least you can tip him anything from 10 USD per person.

For those on a private tour for example a couple or a family, then we recommend you tip the driver anything from $30 and up. Guests are welcome to tip more if they feel that the driver/guide made their trip enjoyable.

  • Gas Station Attendants

For self-drive travelers, it’s a must-visit gas station to refill their vehicles with petrol, diesel, or tire pressure and even do some car checks like engine oil, water cleaning the windscreen, and others. It’s an act of kindness to tip the person who has worked on you something because still, gas stations are perfect to visit in case you need direction, you can always stop at your nearest gas station to get clear directions. The average tip can be anything from $ 2.

  • Car Guards

These are mostly found in hotel parking, supermarket parking, or any other place where there is a parking lot. These guards are there to watch over your vehicle and also help to direct you while parking. Leaving these people with something like 2$ can put a smile on their faces.

  • Waiters and Waitresses

They play the role of serving food to the visitors and ensuring that meals are provided on time among others. They really need a tip of at least $ 10, 20, or more.

Why tip?

Visitors tip service providers as a sign of appreciating their services and motivating them to improve even more. The tip also acts as a measuring scale of whether the services are good or bad but it shouldn’t be misunderstood that failure for the client to tip means bad services but it can happen when the client has a fixed budget.