Tipping in Kenya

Tipping in Kenya. The Ultimate Guide 2023

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This is the ultimate guide for tipping in Kenya. Whether you’re on Safari, vacation or a business trip.

Tipping in Kenya is more of culture and norm to many especially to those in-service industries. They might not be paid as much but tips and gratuity make their overall earning better.

It is not like they depend on tipping but it goes a long way. I have worked in a hotel for a year and I know where and when tipping is necessary even when you still don’t have much.

Our pay was relatively low and we would work and give exceptionally high-end services even though our hotel was no near 4star.

Well, not a single day we were disappointed as the tips were equally good. Of course, because of our incredible services.

Without much ado, let’s delve in and see how and what should one be tipping in Kenya in the travel Industry.

How much should I tip Safari Driver/Guide in Kenya?

How much should i Tip Safari Guide
How much should I Tip Safari Guide?

Most tour companies will have what we call two in one, meaning your driver will still be your guide.

They get paid differently depending on the contract they have with their employer. However, some have employed themselves meaning they own those Safari vehicles they tour guide with.

No matter how they are paid the pay will never be enough and those who own vehicles they have hectic loans to service.

Tipping them will come in handy and go a long way. Depending with their service you should tip them from Kes1,000 $10 to Kes2,000 $20 Per Day or even more if you`re able or just want to appreciate more.

I have witnessed whereby driver guides are gifted worthy goodies like high-end Cameras, Binoculars and others lucky enough to be surprised with brand new Tour vehicles as a present.

How much should I tip Safari guide?

Well, some tour Companies and tourists though only a few believe in having a dedicated driver and a tour guide. However, this calls on majorly when you have a large group. Or a Long dedicated Itinerary like this.

I usually see these arrangements in overland truck groups where you have your dedicated tour guide or tour leader to lead your all-inclusive camping itinerary.

Tipping in Kenya is common but this one is usually lucrative for the tour leader as he`s the one who collects all the tips and gets to tip the other service colleagues. Such as the Chefs, Driver and the pitching boys.

You can tip the Tour Leader from Kes1,000 or $10 Per Day Per Person if you`re a group of more than 10 Pax. If you`re less than 10. Tip them Kes2,000 0r $20 P/p Per Day.

How Much Should I Tip in a Restaurant in Kenya?

Tipping in Restaurants in Kenya
Tipping in Restaurants in Kenya

What is the difference between a restaurant and a Hotel? Well, this is where the real service matters. Make it a Culture whether you`re a tourist or not. Please tip these guys.

Tipping in Kenya shouldn`t be only on high-end restaurants but also in those street foods and `Vibandas` we love.

If you`re visiting Kenya make sure you exchange your money to Kenyan Currency as tipping those waiters with a small change of $1 will be hectic in exchanging bureaus.

Once you exchange the money you will most likely be given in Numeration of Kes1,000 notes. Break further in Kes100,200 and 500 notes.

Even when am going to the countryside I make sure I have loose change. They believe if you stay in Nairobi you have a lot of money and you pay for that.

This is where a minimum of 10% of your total bill applies as a tip to your waiter but having been there, I always try and add something more and so should you.

How Much Should I Tip in a Hotel in Kenya?

I suppose you read the difference between a Hotel and a Restaurant above. There`s no much difference when it comes to tipping in hotels it is just like in the restaurants but this section has different, let me call them departments even though they are not.

Tipping Potters in Kenya.


Tipping in Kenya for potters is common. I personally feel indebted whenever someone helps me out of their own volition even if it is their duty to assist. I believe we all feel that way whenever.

So, upon checking in a hotel you will be met by these potters who will offer to assist you with your light or heavy bags straight to your room.

Each bag should stand for Kes100 up to 200 or even more according to your will. You will always see the grim and the brightness on their faces. Who doesn`t feel happy making someone else smile?

Tipping Receptionist in Kenya.

This is the person who welcomes you at the check-in point. As much as I respect and appreciate everybody equally.

I find myself friendlier with the receptionists. They can make or break your day in a snap. Tipping in Kenya is rising and receptionists are being appreciated more like never before.

Let me give you a secrete about these guys you may be not aware of. The time of checking in at the reception.

Don`t just stand there in a bossy way waiting to be attended to. Be friendly with the receptionist, ask him or her which is the best room? They know every room cons & Pros, if you`re nice you might just get the best room.

I always ask for an upgrade if the hotel is not full and since I mostly travel offseason. I have had an upgrade all the time thanks to the receptionists. Be nice it doesn`t hurt. A tip from Kes1000 a Day will be okay to them.

Swimming Pool Attendant.

This mostly applies if you have a young family. The attendant will engage your kids and probably teach them how to swim.

If you do not know how to swim, they can assist and teach you how to. A tip of Kes500 per session will be okay.

Room Service.

Yes, you have paid for room service but it is only noble of you to tip the attendant. Motivate them to even be psyched to serve you first hand.

Just to comb those who might not know room service is being served straight in your room. Be it breakfast lunch, or Drinks from the bar straight to the comfort of your bed.

Tipping in Kenya is common with room service please don`t spoil the culture. Each service you can tip Kes100 or Kes200 depending on the service.

House Keepers.

In most cases, it is unlikely you will get to see them. You will only find your room and beddings spotless clean. It’s not magic, it is the work of the housekeepers.

In case you leave your safe unlocked or forget your valuables these are the first-hand people who will come across it and they may just decide otherwise.

Well, be nice If you don`t get to see them, leave anything from Kes200 Per Day with a note. “To the House Keeper” somewhere visible.

Tipping in Kenya Bars and Clubs.

The most common phrase for tipping in Bars in Kenya is “Keep Change”. Most probably you are impaired and it is advisable to give your tip in the first drinks before you get high.

Otherwise even though rare. You will find writing a 5-figure cheque as a tip duh! Anywhere around Kes200 to 300 will be more than enough of course unless you want to add them more.

A secrete I want to share with you especially when in clubs in town. If you`re not so sure of the prices ask at the counter or just ask more than two waiters. I learned this the hard way. They know when you`re new in town.

How much do I Tip Taxi Guy/ Uber/Bolt in Kenya?

Taxi in Kenya
Taxi in Kenya

All these apps on and offline are all taxis. However, sometimes bolt or Uber might give you great offers or book an uber and at the end of your trip. You feel like you underpaid them.

Like I have repeatedly said be nice and Tip these people and if possible, don`t forget to give them that 5 Star rating.

Tip them anything from Kes100 or 200 upwards or 10% of the total bill. It will go a long way.


Tipping in Kenya is a culture and it is said if you go to Rome behave like Romans. If you`re visiting Kenya for the first time first of Burst these Travelling Myths to Africa.

Then read these Travelling Facts and Tip as much as you can. Don`t get it twisted. Tipping should be from your own volition and nobody should ever force you to.

Most Hotels will have Tips and gratuity box within their premises whereby at the end of the Day the Tips are shared equally among the staff.

Pandemic hit Tourism industry so hard that it will take time to recover. The least you can do is to book and once on the ground just tip what you have it will go a long way.

Some may confuse Tipping with Corruption lets iron this. Tipping is from heart, corruption is evil.

Did I leave anything you feel I should add? Hit me up on the comment section. Asante na Karibu Kenya. (Thank You and welcome to Kenya).

Summary of tipping in Kenya
Summary of tipping in Kenya

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