Tipping in Uganda is not obligatory but many travellers do leave tips and this extra money really helps boost the income of people working in the tourism industry. For restaurants, you can tip 10% for good service, and if you want to tip a taxi driver, then you can round up your fare. The question of when and when not to tip can be difficult in a foreign country. Here is a quick guide to tipping destination guides, safari guides and waiters in Uganda.
In Uganda, it is customary to tip your driver/guide at the end of a safari or hike, as well as any cook or porter that accompanies you.
A figure of roughly US$10–US$20 per day would be a fair benchmark, though do check this with your safari company in advance.
It is not essential to tip the guides who take you around in national parks and other reserves, but it is recommended, and the money will be greatly appreciated by the recipient; assuming the service has been good, anything from USD5 to USD30 is fine.
In some African countries, it is difficult to travel anywhere without being latched onto by a self-appointed guide, who will often expect a tip over and above any agreed fee.
This sort of thing is comparatively unusual in Uganda, but if you do take on a freelance guide, then it is advisable to clarify in advance that whatever price you agree is final and inclusive of a tip.
It is not customary to tip for service in local bars and hotels, though you may sometimes want to leave a tip (in fact, given the difficulty of finding change in Uganda, you may practically be forced into doing this in some circumstances).
A tip of 5% would be very acceptable and 10% generous. Generally any restaurant that caters primarily to tourists and to wealthy Ugandan residents will automatically add a service charge to the bill, but since there’s no telling where that service charge ends up, it would still be reasonable to reward good service with a cash tip.
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Highly recommended! Joseph created a fantastic, customized tour for my family. He listened to our many criteria and put together a wonderful package. He was always available and very responsive. Since we were on a safari that utilized flights within Kenya, there was no opportunity to enjoy Joseph's company (as others have commented). However, he made it a point to come to the airport at the start of our adventure and make sure we were all set. This was a small gesture that epitomized his character (I don't think this would have happened with a large tour provider). March 2023
This was our first safari and such an unforgettable experience. Communication with Joseph, the tour operator, was quick and easy. The proposed itinerary he provided was informative and we were able to easily modify it before finalizing everything. We enjoyed all the places we stayed at and there was something unique about each one. The game drives were just wow (super sawa sawa!). The tour guides/drivers (John in Kenya and Rajam in Tanzania) put in a lot of effort in finding the animals at the top of our list (leopard, rhino, calves, as well as a cheetah hunt and the most awesome selfie with an elephant). Each game drive was unique. There were so many encounters that left us awestruck—we’re still ooh ahhh-ing over our pictures and processing everything we experienced. Joseph was with us for the whole trip; he was quite knowledgeable about birds, which was a bonus. He also assisted with logistics (providing documents quickly for visas needed prior to arrival, getting us through border crossings, and arranging dinner reservations at a restaurant we wanted to go to prior to taking us to the airport). This was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had and we have White Plains Safaris to thank for that. They are reliable, prompt, friendly, and well worth the money. February 2023
Our experience with White Plains Safaris and Joseph was amazing! The service was impeccable since the very beginning: during the reservation process, Joseph was extremely helpful, flexible and very honest. After booking, he supported us in any way he could, including paying for our Visas as we had some issues doing that online by ourselves! He was also very helpful in creating the itinerary, which proved to be amazing as it offered great game drives and diversity of landscape. Things kept being perfect throughout our trip; the accommodations he had reserved were very nice and always positioned perfectly, to avoid extra driving. During the game drives he was very accommodating and always asking for our feedback to make sure we had the best time. He brought us in amazing spots thanks to his unstoppable Land Cruiser and we got to see many animals including 3 leopards from very close! We also enjoyed his company very much and he was always able to answer our questions and providing interesting insights on the animals, the parks and Kenya in general. We always felt safe and well taken care of, so I would (and will) strongly recommend Joseph and White Plains to anyone looking for a good time in Kenya and Tanzania. January 2023
White Plains Safari provided me with an incredible experience, they were really easy people to get to know and it felt like I had made another friend at the end of my trip. Their service was excellent, they were really outgoing and did their ultimate best to show us everything they could, even if it meant going out of their way in order to do so, they were very reliable and I personally had no concerns regarding their reliability. In terms of the tour itself, I would one hundred percent recommend my trip to Kenya to anyone, especially with White Plains Safaris. White Plains Safaris helped make my trip an experience I will never forget. May 2022