Gratuities -Tipping while on a Safari in Uganda

Posted by on December 5, 2019

Practical Tips on Gratutuities – Tipping on Safari

Common Sense Tips on Tipping while on a Safari in Uganda


 Tipping while on a Safari in Uganda. Uganda, like other East African Countries, has a nontipping culture. The exception is the Tourism Industry. Tour Companies, Hotels, Lodges that cater to tourists. Ranges, porters, and others who provide vital services for Tourists.

Tipping has increasingly become part of the norm and the expected in the Tourism Industry. There are quite a few who now firmly believe that a tip is mandatory. A few tour operators even publish and give their clients extensive lists of expected tips.

We might be a bit old fashioned, but we do not believe that Tipping is required must. Tipping, as we know it today, originated in the US. Some historical evidence suggests that it was racially motivated.

Today it is part of everyday American life and culture. It is not that way in much of Europe. A service charge is added to the bill. One reason that in Uganda, Americans are preferred since they are inclined to tip and often in more significant amounts.

When it comes to Tipping while on a Safari with us, we have a different attitude than many others. We see tipping, a gratuity as a reward.  It is recognition of Service that is above the norm. A gift, a tip is something given voluntarily beyond the obligation. It is not according to a formula but a matter of heart recognizing excellent Service. 

Tipping in Uganda like elsewhere in the world is not obligatory. Tips are not Tariffs. The Ugandan Tourism Ministry has never published a tipping tariff list though some tour operators have.

 We recommend that you use common sense. Your Driver-Guide will be your best tipping advisor.

We believe in Tipping and know Tipping Impacts Lives. At the same time, we think that Tipping is the Decision of the Tipper. Tipping is never obligatory. There is no such thing as a minimum Tip – as such, it becomes a fee no matter what it might be called.

 See yourself as an Ambassador of your Country. If you Tip, give it with sincerity. Tips, Gratuities will make a difference in the lives of Ugandans that you will meet on your Safari. It is not the size of the Tip, Gratuity that you leave behind; it is the spirit in which it is given.

Tip in Ugandan Shillings:

 Use no Foreign Coins – that is a definite no. It is too hard to change small foreign coins or bills into Shillings. Tip in Ugandan Shillingssince the person receiving the Tip can use it at once rather than converting it from dollars into shillings.

Use your Driver-Guide for Tipping Advice:

The driver knows Uganda. He knows what is proper when it comes to Tipping, and he will give you common-sense  advice. Allow your Driver-Guide to be your Tip-Master, who handles the tips for Gorilla Treks, Chimpanzee Treks, Hikes, and Game Drives. He can arrange the porter and their payment, including a tip if you see so fit.

The driver is the key to an outstanding Safari Experience. His expertise and guidance enhance your time on safari, whether short or long.

Tipping Impacts African Lives for the Good:

The Salaries and Benefits for those in the Tourist Industry are better than what most Ugandans make. Young People especially have a tough time finding work, whether they are trained or not. In Uganda, Youth Unemployment runs as high as 90%. Those that find work in the Tourism Industry are fortunate. The wages are still relatively low. The hours are long. There is never enough for school fees, medical care, even rent. Your tips make a difference; in some cases, empower someone to get a better education.

 You can Choose another Way of Tipping-We Handle the Tips:

Here is an option that is quite radical in Uganda Tourism. We include Tips in the price of your Safari. We take all of the hassles of tipping out of the Safari equation. There will be no one standing around hinting about Tips.

If you like this option? Then let us know.

Tipping while on a Safari is like an investment in the future of a Ugandan man or woman. In some cases, it is a form of empowerment.  Some save their tips and invest in a home, a business of some kind. Or support a family as a single mother. A tip, not obligatory, but appreciated and put to work, it becomes a part of a brighter future for those that you impart the Tip to. Thank You for your generosity. The one receiving your Gratuity will most likely use it wisely.

If you come from a nontipping culture, put aside your lifestyle and leave a gratuity for excellent service given.