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Tipping In Kenya- Who & How Much To Tip

Intro to Tipping in Kenya

Preparing for your Kenya safari adventure, and not sure who to tip or how much?

I completely understand! When I traveled to Kenya, I had no idea how much to plan to tip! 

Luckily for you, this guide will cover everything you need to know about tipping in Kenya, and everything I wish I knew. 

Plus, this ultimate Kenya travel guide, will guide you on everything you need to know before your trip with all my best tips and recommendations. 

Kenya Safari Tipping Guide: 

In Kenya, tipping is expected, but will never be demanded from you. However, it is GREATLY appreciated as it goes directly to supporting your local guides, servers, and safari drivers. Here is a summary of what you should expect to tip while in Kenya: 

  • $15-20 per day for safari guides
  • $8-10 per day for solo travelers for safari guides
  • $1-$2 per bag for porters
  • $1.00–$2.00 per day for hotel staff
  • 10-15% of the overall cost for waitstaff and bartenders 
  • $3.00–$5.00 per day for personal butlers, trackers, drivers
  • $1.00–$2.00 for airport/ hotel transfer drivers

Feel free to tip more if the service exceeds your expectations. 

Tipping in kenya

Who to Tip and How Much:

When you’re on a safari, one of the most incredible experiences Kenya offers, knowing how to tip your safari guide is crucial. These guides are key to a memorable safari, offering knowledge, safety, and insights that enrich your adventure.

Tipping is expected, but not demanded (but GREATLY appreciated).

Safari Guides

Safari guides are paid a standard livable salary, however, tips are how they generate most of their money and can support themselves and their families. These safari guides are knowledgeable, friendly, and most time know exactly where the animals are located so you can get the best possible picture. So make sure to budget accordingly so you can tip a good amount to your amazing safari guides. 

  • Expect to tip around $15-20 or ~2,200 KES per room/tent per day. 
  • If you’re traveling solo, then you can tip around $8-10 or ~1,200 KES per day.
  • If your family is sleeping altogether in the same room or tent, then aim for $25 per room, per day. 

Most commonly your safari guide will also be your driver, so you can pay the same person one large tip at the end of your safari trip. 

However, if you’re traveling with a large group and have a tour director (person organizing your trip and traveling with you) in addition to a safari driver, then you are expected to tip both an appropriate amount. I would personally recommend adding an extra $5 per day and evenly splitting the tip between your tour director and safari driver. 

Expect to tip your safari guide at the end of your safari trip, and try to pay in KES shillings if possible. It may be difficult for your guide to exchange USD for KES, so try to tip them in KES when possible. 

Daisy’s Pro Tip: You can easily pull out shillings from ATMS that are commonly found in malls, banks, airports, etc. Just be aware that your bank may charge an international processing fee. 

Hotel Staff

Hotels and lodges have various services offered to their customers, and you may have to tip each person different amounts. So here is who you may be expected to tip. 

Bellhops or bag porters: 

Are the people who typically carry your luggage from your safari vehicle to your room. You should expect to tip them 100 KES ($1-2) per bag for handling your luggage.

Bag porters are very common in all safari lodges, and they help you find your way to your room, let you know about the fun activities around the lodge, and adjust the temperature in your room if needed, so please tip them accordingly! 

Please note that bag porters may help you carry your bag when you first arrive and as you’re leaving, so you may be expected to tip them each time they are handling your bags.  

Or you can carry your own bags for free! 


You can tip your housekeeper around 200-300 KES ($1.50-$2.50) per day to show your appreciation for their hard work. You can also tip the total amount at the end of your stay with a nice note on the table. 

Front Desk or concierge:

While it’s not common, you can tip the front desk staff if they help you plan your safari day or provide exceptional service and you want to share your appreciation. Typically, they will have a tip jar at the counter that you can tip around 500-1000 KES ($4-$8) at the end of your stay. 

Waitstaff and Bartenders

You are expected to tip your waitstaff and bartenders in Kenya. Especially when visiting Nairobi, the coastal cities, and while staying in your safari lodges or hotels. 

Expect to tip around 10% of the total bill in restaurants and bars, but feel free to tip more if desired! 

Tips for Tipping in Kenya

  • Tip In Kenyan Shillings if possible. While USD is widely accepted, tipping in KES is preferred for locals, as it may be difficult for them to exchange another form of currency for KES. 
  • When tipping in cash, try to ensure that the notes are always in good condition! 
  • Try to tip at the end of your trip and hand it to the person directly. This allows for a more personal connection where you can express your gratitude. 
  • Tip discreetly so you are not drawing attention to yourself or to the person you are tipping. 
  • Tell them Asante Sana, which means thank you very much in Swahili, when giving your tip. It’s a kind gesture to show them your appreciation of them and respect for their culture.  

View more top Kenya travel tips that I wish I had known before traveling to Kenya

When Not To Tip?

Again, tipping is greatly appreciated by all people who provide exceptional customer service. But avoid giving money to beggars or children on the side of the street asking for money. These children should be in school, and may be one of the biggest scams that you must avoid while in Kenya which was created for unaware tourists. 

Do not tip if the service is extremely bad or if a person is rudely expecting tips from you. 

In my experience traveling to Kenya, everyone was extremely friendly and kind, so you should never worry about bad customer service.

But you may be approached by children for money especially when walking the streets in Nairobi, so politely decline and continue walking.


Whether you’re ending your safari adventure or preparing for your 10-day Kenya safari trip, I am confident that your guides and servers made it a magical trip for you. So make sure to tip your guide accordingly, and thank them for a magical trip! 

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