Gratuities: Tipping guidelines for Uganda safari holiday

This tipping guideline is meant to help you easily extend your gratitude to the people who help you on your Uganda safari holiday.

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 always encouraged and greatly appreciated.

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 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 15 USD per porter per day and the trip will vary depending on the workload – between 15 and 20 USD per guest for each porter.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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. Since you will be traveling with our driver as your guide, always feel free to ask for his/her advice on anything – including tipping.

This is important since you might not be familiar with the local currency and what is a good tip for a service – especially in cases where you are purchasing something small.