Tipping Advice for Tourists
Gorilla trekking is regarded as life changing experiences that tourists can only find while on a safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda. This same information may be helpful to tourists visiting the Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Tipping while on safari is encouraged given that it is one way to appreciate a person for the service rendered. However it should be noted that it is not mandatory.
Tipping helps in motivating service providers. During a gorilla safari in Uganda, you will encounter different people who will make your trip memorable. From the the park guides who lead you on a hike to see the great apes to waiters, waitress or local community members whom you will interact with. It is not a must for you to tip but it is acceptable for interested visitors. Your tip however small or big it can be is of great contribution to the lives of the people you will come across and a small note left with them will impact on their livelihood.
Life for most people in most African countries, their lives rely only the small salaries given out by the organizations they work with. You will find out the in the rural areas, many sleep on one meal a day or none. Most of them struggle to raise fees for their children from the work they are doing. Therefore tipping is permitted and recommendable.
How about tourist guides? It is encouraged to to tip your guide. Before tipping your guide, it is also important to cooperate well with your guide. Guides are important and valuable people. They will escort you throughout your trip and they are always on road with you from the first day of the gorilla trip up to the last day. A tour guide is responsible for transferring visitors from accommodation facilities to the park headquarters where the treks start from.
If you are in a bigger group, you can agree on the amount say each person $10 to $20 to give him as appreciation for his work on the last day of the safari in Uganda. And if you are alone, you can offer a tip depending on the level of service delivery.
For park guide, given that they are ones who will take you through the steep slopes and the thick vegetation to look out for the group of mountain gorillas, you can give him or her $5 to $20. At times, you can give directly or drop in tipping box at the park headquarters when you return from the trek. However most tourists prefer tipping directly to the people who have led you on a trip. You will find that you have park guides, scouts and a ranger in your company. Therefore if you are tipping the entire group, you can give the tip to the head guide who will distribute equally to the rest of the guides so that they all benefit.
Porters are normally locals who will help carry your backpack during the gorilla trek. Depending on the luggage you may need to carry, you may hire one or two porters. Porters will give you a hand as you hike through the forest in search of the mountain gorillas. If you hire a porter to assist you carry your hiking equipment during the trek, besides the hiring price, you can also give him a tip ranging from $2 to $3.
Tipping Lodge Staff
And as well, you will be at the lodge or restaurant and while there, waiter or waitress will be offering a service and after you may need to tip. You can give from $3 to $5 per stay or drop in center tipping box for them to share.
In conclusion, tips should be given based on the level of customer care or service rendered by the park ranger guide, waiter, waitress, driver guide, cultural members who will perform before cultural and traditional dances, music and other cultural encounters or any other person who will plays a part towards your satisfaction in the destination. Your tip is highly appreciated as it will impact positively to the lives of many Ugandans, Rwandans or Congolese. At the end, they will keep offering quality services to many visitors.