Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda

Posted by on July 6, 2017

A  tip left will have an impact in the life of a Person and even their Family

 Best Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda invest in the Lives of Africans

Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda makes a difference in the lives of many involved in the Tourism Sector of Rwanda and Uganda. The Salaries of wait-staff, room-cleaners, parking attendants, Front-Desk staff tends to be on the low side when it comes to Salaries.

Tipping also makes a difference in the lives of Rangers who take you on game drives, Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking. 

Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda Here is the Reality behind that African wait-staff person’s smile:

Life is tough for many Ugandans or Rwandans, that person serving your meal, bringing your drinks makes a very small salary and has to try to stretch it a long way.

The service sector in Uganda or Rwanda brings little pay, but many times that is the only job that they can find.  100 USD a month would be a lot, most likely it closer to half that or a bit more.

Waiters and Waitresses work 6 to 7 days a week, most likely 12 hours or more a day.  There is no minimum wage in either country, the salary depends on the business owner.

In some cases, workers are given daily transport since that can amount to 2000 to 4000 shillings a day (1 USD and plus).  They are given a Ugandan meal which is most likely consists of Beans and a local Maize flour called posho or on a good day rice.  Meat a few times a week, but not the kind you are being served in the restaurant.

A tip then of any kind will make a difference in the life of tTipping-Uganda-Rwandahat waiter or waitress.  In some cases, it is a meal, or it goes to school fees for a child, a doctor’s visit, etc.

In Europe, the price of a meal often includes gratuity so the thought of leaving a tip may not be there, but it would certainly help the person serving you, especially if the service is good since gratuities are not included here in the price of a meal.

In the USA tips of 10 to 20% are usually given.  If you spend 20,000 shillings – 8 USD on a meal and leave 2000 shillings or even 3000 shillings you will make someone happy. 5% and 10% for excellent service would be highly appreciated and not only is a bit of money, but a small micro-investment in the life of an Africa.

Tip in Ugandan Shillings or Rwandan Francs:

Your Tour Guide can be of assistance to you.  If you gave someone 3 USD they would have a hard time changing it into spendable currency.  There are often no banks or Forex Bureaus out in the Bush.  Even when giving larger tips make it in local currency.

Tips at Hotels-Lodges:

Though you may pay a fee for having your clothes washed and ironed, pay a little tip and the next time an even better job will be done for you.  Often your shoes will be cleaned without you even asking. The little investment of a tip will be appreciated and increase the level of service you receive.  The same applies to waitstaff at lodge restaurants.

Some lodges have a tipping jar, which unfortunately is placed in a prominent place, ignore it and give to whom you want and served you well. 3 to 5 USD in Budget to Moderate Lodges – More in upmarket Lodges.  Aw

Be Mindful that you are an Ambassador for your Country:

In a way, you are an ambassador of your country and your tips will show to Africans that assist you that they are appreciated and will make them form a better opinion of your country of origin. Go beyond tipping, engage in some meaningful conversation – find out more about the person serving you, that often will go further than just a tip.

Results of Tipping:

When you meet that person again that served you in one way or another, they will even greet you in a more welcoming manner.  Extra things will be done for you automatically and they will remember your preferences, all because of a little something you gave them.You will also have faster service of food and drinks as a result of tipping.

Customer Service or Customer care as it is called here is not part of most African businesses.  You enter an establishment and you often receive an indifferent look, that is not because of you, some have never been trained in customer service, that applies especially at lower priced budget hotels and lodges.

Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda while on Safari: 

Your driver guide – a simple 10 USD in shillings per day will be most appreciated – on a game drive a tip  of less than 5 USD will make a difference to the Wildlife Ranger – on a gorilla or chimpanzee tracking hike the same 5 to 10 USD is appreciated by the ranger who takes you on the trek.

If you have any further questions about Tipping Practices for Visitors to Uganda and Rwanda while on safari with us, please contact us.