Tipping guidelines. How to tip on your Ugandan safari holiday.

These tipping guidelines will help you easily extend your gratitude to the people who help you on your Uganda safari holiday. As you plan your safari, you will realize that ‘tip money’ is not considered as part of your overall all-inclusive package. This article is intended to give you a starting idea about tipping in Uganda, as well as the neighboring destinations where we service trips.

Unlike in other places, tipping after service is not a compulsory or expected custom. This means that no one will remind you or hint at it, and therefore, as a guest, tipping is at your discretion.

Besides the norm, tipping someone for good service is greatly appreciated. We encourage our guests to extend a tip to the service people who play an important role in making your journey a memorable one.

Inasmuch as the people serving you are paid by their employers, tips provide an extra amount of money which can greatly help them out. Most Ugandan salaries are small and tips are highly appreciated.

hiking to the gorillas

Given the non-customary norm with tipping, you can tip anyone extending a service or product to you. From your driver-guide to the game rangers, hotel/lodge staff, and the people selling you souvenirs or street food.

It is therefore advised that you get some local Ugandan currency for tipping people who might not easily change money to UGX.

Here are some simple tipping guidelines to help you think about this better. Just remember, give according to your heart and means because there are no rules to this.

  • Gorilla & Chimpanzee Guides: Tips should be placed in the central tip box if provided or given to the main guide who will distribute them amongst all the trackers and game guards – the region of USD15 for the main guide (per guest)
  • Porters: This is an optional extra and they are normally hired for around 20 USD per porter per day and the tip will vary depending on the workload – between 5 and 20 USD per guest for each porter. Sometimes the group of tourists tips collectively such that the porters can share equally afterwards.
  • Safari Driver/guides: USD 5 to 10 per day – per guest, averaging 4-6 guests in a vehicle. If you are traveling alone (solo), i.e. just two of you, please tip at your discretion. In most cases, guests give this tip at the end of the trip when all that is left is a drop off at the airport or the guests accommodation.
  • Lodges /camp staff: We suggest USD 3 to 5 per guest per stay. Many of the smaller lodges have central tip boxes. At hotels and larger establishments, it is generally given at your discretion to individuals who have performed well.
  • National Parks Guides (rangers): For each guide USD 3 to 5 per guest in local currency. 
  • Porters at hotels: Around USD 1-2 in local currency – which is around 5,000 Ugandan shillings.
  • Waiters / Bar Staff: About 10% of the bill, or say Uganda Shillings 2,000 to 20,000 as a tip for service

Once again, Uganda has no strict tipping culture or expectations and you should follow your heart on whether to tip or not. This is why we have given you these tipping guidelines so that you can have an idea of what happens. Since you will be traveling with our driver as your guide, always feel free to ask for his/her advice on anything – including tipping.

We hope this gives you a good perspective as you plan your safari to Uganda – or any of the places we work in. If you have any questions about tipping, or anything else to do with travelling to Uganda, please reach out to us and ask – our team will do everything to assist you.