Most people on safari ask these questions; is tipping compulsory? Who should I tip? How much should I tip? At Kagera Safaris, we remind you that tipping is not compulsory even though most of the people on our safaris do tip especially when they are happy with the service offered. We are aware that most of our staff offer excellent service and are often very helpful beyond what the job requires.
The number of potential people to tip varies depending on the nature of safari you are on and the number of days. Generally you have our staff who start and end the tour with you – a tour guide/driver guide and or a tour leader. At the different national parks and sites, you will have the park rangers, site guides, porters etc. The biggest number of people are often found at the lodges/hotels – the waiter/waitress, bar man, housekeeping, the bellman, etc. Depending on your interactions with these people, you decide if you want to tip, who to tip and how much to tip.
The general standard for tipping is US$10 ( or equivalent) per client per day to the guide/ driver or tour leader. Some people tip less than that and others tip more than that, it is really upon the person tipping. This rule applies to the national park rangers, site guides boat captains etc.
If you are tipping small amounts and denominations, it is better to have it in the local currency. For example, where possible, instead of tipping someone $5, consider giving them the equivalent in their local currency. If the amounts and denominations are big, then USD, euros and pound sterling are acceptable, because they can easily exchange these at the forex bureaus. Remember that the foreign currency notes you give them should not be wrinkled, written on, stamped or torn. The bank and forex bureaus rejects such notes when they take them for exchange.
Remember that you can get local currently from an ATM or exchange currency at the forex bureau or from a bank. We advise that you always have some local currency in case the cards do not work in some hotels because of loss of network. You will also need local currency when purchasing some gifts/souvenirs at the different craft shops or buying drinks. Your tour guide will advise on areas to get this at the start of your safari.T
Do not hesitate to contact us for further clarity before or during your safari concerning tipping and any other questions. You can also ask the tour guide when unsure of amounts to tip and or if to tip. We hope this is helpful concerning the question of tipping on safari.