What is a tip?
It is a token given after service delivery. It is a sign of appreciating the service given – Tips are mainly given to waiters, waitresses, and driver – guides, fuel attendant, Lodges or Hotel attendants, consultants, park rangers, Park guides/destination guides, Teachers and many more. Tipping is done willingly – not a must but in developed states like United States of America, Japan, Chaina and so on, tipping is a culture every after service.
In East Africa, the culture of tipping is just developing by the tourist on holidays for leisure, Wildlife viewing, Gorilla treks, chimp tracks, Mountain climbing among others. To many tourists from developed countries, find it a must to tip but the question are; how to tip? When to tip? Who should tip? And to whom?
How to tip?
As discussed above, tipping is done willingly by the client (s), he or she can decide to tip or not. However if you decide to tip, feel free to give any amount basing on your budget and satisfaction. Tipping creates confidence and friendship between the staff and the client. In East Africa, a client can tip in Uganda shillings, Kenya Shillings, Tanzania Shillings, Rwanda Francs or in major International currencies like US dollars, Euro and Australian Dollars.
When to tip?
According to Mathias Mukasa from Rwanda safari company known as Gorilla Expeditions Limited, tipping is always done after service delivery – it is a sign of appreciating the services rendered to the client (s). The amount of the tip depends on the clients’ satisfaction delivered from the utilization of commodity. Mathias gave an example of tourists on their safaris in Rwanda who tip guides at the end of the trip (At the airport or hotel), and park rangers tipped at the end of gorilla trekking, same as hoteliers given tips on check-out, or after order delivery.
Who should tip?
The clients/ visitors are the ones supposed to tip but it is done willingly – not forced.
Visitors/ clients tip to show their appreciation for the service delivered to them.
They also tip to create or strengthen friendship between the service deliverer and the service.
Whom should be tipped?
The service deliverer is the one supposed to be tipped, they include waiters, waitresses, drivers, guides, consultant among others. On other words, each person should be tipped in his / her place of work depending on the kind of service delivered. For instance, if you went out for a game drive in Akagera National Park with a ranger guide, he deserves a tip depending on the service delivered, that is, if you are satisfied. If you went on gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park in accompany of a armed rangers, park guides and porters, those people deserve a tip, however small it may be. Above all, your driver / Guide also deserves a tip as he contributes a lot to your holiday.