Kenya food and tipping

sambuk lodge Tip your safari guides and helpers if you feel that your expectations have been exceeded, which happens often in Kenya | Credit: Sambuk Lodge

  • Tip in local currency where possible; it may be quite difficult for locals to exchange small amounts of hard currency into Kenya shillings.

  • Tipping is not standard at eateries or bars catering mainly to a local clientele, but that doesn’t mean a small something won’t be appreciated by the recipient.

  • Tourist-oriented restaurants operate on a similar basis to those in Europe or North America. A 10-15% tip to the waiter is standard, depending on the quality of service.

  • At hotels, it’s usually easier to sign drinks and meals to the room than to pay cash, but you could still leave a tip for an individual waiter or bartender, or add one to the bill before you sign it.

  • Hotel porters usually expect a tip equivalent to around US$1 per item of luggage.

  • On organised tours, it is customary to tip to the guide and/or driver and/or cook at the end, usually as a group rather than on an individual basis.

  • Upmarket lodges and camps that operate on a full-board basis generally have a tip box at reception. Tips will usually be distributed between all the staff, a system that seems fairest to backroom workers in a country where hotel staff is very poorly paid.

  • In game lodges that offer guided game drives, any guides, drivers and trackers should be tipped. Many such lodges have guideline in the rooms; failing that ask management for a directive.


Popular Kenya Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

The Uganda Hills | The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

Giraffes | Special Five Safari in Kenya’s Samburu (8 days)

Special Five Safari in Kenya's Samburu (8 days)

Even if you've seen the Big Five and the Great Migration, you'll appreciate the different beauty of animals like reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and bongo...

 | Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries...

Asilia Africa | Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings  (10 days)

Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings (10 days)

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River...

 | Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days)

Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days)

It's easy to see why so many visitors flock to Kenya from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations....

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Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

 | Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Explore the jewel in Kenya's crown; the wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve...

Enjoying a sundowner whilst watching the wildebeest migration.  | HerdTracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Journey (7 days)

HerdTracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Journey (7 days)

Witness the wildebeest migration in Kenya's iconic Masai Mara National Reserve with HerdTracker...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

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