What are Some Tips for Tipping on a Uganda Safari?

Tipping on a Uganda safari, is appreciated and often expected as a way to show gratitude for good service. However, while on a Uganda safari and are concerned about tipping in Uganda, you should be aware that tipping is not mandatory and not necessary anywhere in Uganda. Nonetheless, tipping is suggested whenever possible and is entirely at your discretion; you determine whether or not to tip and how much to tip. 

For establishments like restaurants, you can pay 10% for excellent service or any reasonable amount you wish. It is also customary to tip drivers, safari and gorilla tracking guides, and porters after a safari or trek. Private drivers are often tipped between \$20 to \$30 per day, safari guides are often tipped between \$10 to \$20 per day, and porters \$5 to \$10. On the other hand, travelers offer a $5 to $10 tip for the lodge staff. Tipping on a Uganda Safari helps to appreciate greatly those working in the service business.

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What are some Tips and guidelines for Tipping on a Uganda Safari?

Understand the Tipping Culture: Tipping on a Uganda safari is not mandatory but is appreciated and considered a gesture of goodwill for good service. It’s essential to remember that many people in the service industry rely on tips as a significant part of their income for their survival.

Carry Small Denominations: While tipping on a Uganda safari, it is helpful to carry small bills both in Ugandan Shillings or US Dollars to make tipping easier. Small denominations ensure you can tip appropriately without needing change. However, it may be safer to use Uganda shillings when tipping the local staff like porters, or lodge staff since dollars cannot be exchanged anywhere. While US Dollars are widely accepted, tipping in Ugandan Shillings can be more convenient for local staff.

Tip at the End of Your Stay: Tipping on a Uganda safari is often done after your activity or at the end of your stay, allowing you to base your tip on the overall quality of service.

Express Gratitude: Along with the monetary tips, it is customary to extend a little context of verbal appreciation and a thank you note to show your gratitude for excellent service.

Tipping on a Uganda Safari

Distribute Tips Fairly: In cases where you are tipping a group such as the lodge staff, ensure to distribute equal and fair tips. For lodges with communal tip boxes, use the communal tip box to ensure tips are distributed fairly among all employees, including those who work behind the scenes.

Plan for Tips: It is essential to plan your tipping budget before embarking on your Uganda safari to ensure that you have enough cash on hand and can tip appropriately without worry.

Respect Local Norms: While tipping on a Uganda safari is appreciated, always do so respectfully and discreetly. Avoid flashy displays of wealth that may make the locals feel uncomfortable or expose you to the risk of being robbed.

Check Lodge Tipping Policies: While tipping on a Uganda safari is done at your discretion, some lodges include service charges or have specific tipping policies. Ensure to ask about these policies upon arrival to ensure you’re tipping appropriately.

Tipping on a Uganda Safari

Who Can I Tip on a Uganda Safari?

Safari Guides: Safari guides play a crucial role in your Uganda safari experience, providing knowledge, driving, and ensuring your safety. Safari guides are often tipped around \$10 to \$20 per person per day. But if you wish to tip them more for their exceptional service.

Trackers and Rangers: Trackers and rangers are met during gorilla and chimpanzee trekking and tipping these staff is customary. An amount of $10 to $15 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Lodge Staff:  Travelers at lodges can tip the lodge staff in two ways: a general tip for all staff or individual tips for specific services. However, most lodges have a communal tip box at reception and for the general staff, a tip of $10-$20 per person per day is recommended. Should you want to extend exceptional gratitude to specific staff members such as housekeeping and waiters, you might tip them individually for about $5.

Porters: If you use porters to carry your luggage or assist during activities like hiking, chimpanzee trekking, and gorilla trekking, a tip of \$10 to \$15 per person is appropriate.

Drivers: For drivers who transport you between locations or on shorter trips, a tip of $10 to $20 per person per day is customary.


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