In this latest article, you’ll learn what the tipping etiquette in Rwanda is like. I’m writing this because I was truly confused when I first entered the country. Some people seemed legitimately upset when they didn’t get a tip. However, there was also people that didn’t seem to care at all!

So how does tipping work in Rwanda? Read on to find out!

Tipping etiquette in Rwanda

Hostels

If you decide to stay in a hostel in Rwanda, you generally don’t need to tip the staff working there. During my time in Rwanda, we stayed at a hostel for two nights. Never did they ask for a tip. And the owner of the hostel also said we don’t have to worry about tipping the staff working there.

Fancy hotels

If you stay in Akagera Game lodge or higher end hotels, you do need to tip. It’s almost expected for you to tip. Should you forget to tip, you’ll get a grumpy look right away.

If someone helps you bring up your luggage to your room, you generally tip $1 USD or 1000 RWF. When someone brings something to your room such as your laundry, it’s also $1 USD or 1000 RWF.

At restaurants, you want to tip anywhere between $1-5 USD or 1000-5000 RWF.

Game drive guides

If you decide to do a game drive, you typically want to tip about $5 USD or 5000 RWF. You’re more than welcome to give more if the guide is really good at finding rare animals. And less if they don’t do as well or if they’re not very pleasant.

 

 

Driver

If you hire a driver to take you around Rwanda, the general tipping etiquette in Rwanda is $5-$10 USD per day for the entire car. That means if there’s 4 of you in the vehicle, you can split the cost of $5-$10 USD per day.

For our driver, we ended up tipping him $75 USD for the 8 days he was with us. This is close to $10 per day and we split the cost of this tip.

Our driver did an amazing job, with great service and very personable so we felt he deserved it.

Restaurants

You don’t need to tip at all restaurants. You’ll have to use your discretion for this one. In general, tipping $1 USD or 1000 RWF is enough and they’re pretty happy with that amount.

 

Tipping Etiquette in Rwanda

 

Conclusion

The one thing I didn’t mind in Rwanda was tipping the workers at non-fancy hotels. They really tried their best and they really deserved it. I never liked tipping in fancy hotels because there seemed to be a self-entitled attitude towards it. I think they’re spoiled by American tourist who always tips 15-20% just like in the USA.

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4 thoughts on “Tipping Etiquette in Rwanda (My Personal Experience)”

  1. Honesty if you are too cheap to tip at certain places like fancy hotels, maybe you shouldn’t be staying there to begin with? End quote.

    1. We didn’t want to stay in Akagera Game lodge but they have a monopoly on accommodations. You’re not allowed to do night game drives unless you stay at the overpriced accommodations within the park. And I have no problems tipping well, just not to people who expect it. Tipping should be voluntarily be given to those who provide great authentic service, not a sub-par service.

  2. Hi Kendrick,
    I missed out on getting to Rwanda last time as I got really sick in Uganda on the last day of my safari. Anyway I would like to make it there when I go back in Nov. do you have a contact number on whatsap or an email or something for your driver? He sounds wonderful!

    1. Hi Marlene, please shoot me an email, I’ll send you the whatsapp number!

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