The issue of tipping has for all along remained a puzzle among a range of world travelers including those on Safari in Uganda and Rwanda especially due to absence of standard tipping guidelines.
The Tipping in Uganda and Rwanda is not mandatory and thus would depend on the travelers’ discretion. However, it is always considered prudent to appreciate the service rendered at various points including at lodges & hotels, National Park ranger guides and the full time driver guides. Uganda safari undertakers and those on holiday Safari tours in Rwanda normally do this courtesy.
Some recommendations may differ between individuals and agencies but this intends to give highlight of the estimates at various tipping points while on vacation tour in Uganda and Rwanda. The Ranger guides can be given $10 per person per ranger especially after the Uganda Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari activity experience, $5 per person for the porter who would have assisted with the baggage, $10 per person per day for the Driver guide, while for restaurant waiters 10% of the Meal cost would be appropriate.
Other important note about Tipping in Uganda and Rwanda is that though the respective persons would be glad to receive any tip, the end benefit may not be the same. For example, foreign currencies like US Dollars have to be changed to local currency for those that do not operate US Dollar accounts. The exchange rate for small notes like $1 would be extremely low even if they are many notes. So, a bigger note like $50 or $100 would attract a better rate than many $1 notes in the similar range. For people in the countryside, the local currency like Uganda Shillings or Rwanda Francs can be appreciated since the services of Forex bureaus and banks are limited in those areas.
Tips though not mandatory, if received, contribute to the local economy and the person’s standards of living and ultimately his / her family. This is important especially considering the fact that service industry in developing countries still features low salaries.
The perception of the local people and the employees in the tourism and hospitality industry of the respective destinations about various nationalities is at times influenced by their tipping culture. This makes each traveler a representative of his country while on Africa Safari holiday. But of course, other factors like behavior also matter.