Tipping Policy in East Africa


The East African region consists of several countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, D.R. Congo, Burundi and South Sudan. Here is some general information about Tipping Policy in East Africa and Visa applications in some of these countries:


Kenya offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas, and transit visas.

Kenya Visa Application Process: You can apply for a Kenyan visa online through the eVisa system or submit your application at the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate and you will obtain your Visa upon arrival at the airport.

Requirements: The requirements may vary depending on the type of visa, but generally include a completed application form, a valid passport, passport-sized photographs, travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, mandatory Yellow fever vaccination certificate and proof of sufficient funds for your stay.


Tanzania has different visa requirements depending on the purpose of your visit.

Some nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, while others need to obtain a visa before arrival. You can apply for a Tanzanian visa online through the eVisa system, from any embassy / consulate and obtain it on arrival at the airport.


Most visitors to Uganda require visa unless those clearly exempted on the Ugandan immigration website.

For Ugandan Visas, it is a must to apply online through the Electronic Visa/Permit Application System and obtain it on arrival at the airport. An ordinary Tourist Visa costs only 50$ (single entry) while East African Tourist costs 100$ and this gives one the right to enter at least three East African countries including Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

Visitors can apply for their Ugandan online visas via this e-platform – https://visas.immigration.go.ug/


Visitors to Rwanda generally require a visa, though some countries are visa-exempt.

Rwanda offers an online visa application system called the “Rwanda Online Visa Application System” (https://www.rwandaimmigration.org/) which allows you to apply and pay for your visa in advance. Visa on-arrival are no longer accepted in Rwanda.

Please note that visa requirements and processes can change over time, so it’s essential to check with the embassy or consulate of the respective country, inquire from a local tour agency or consult their official websites for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding visa applications.

Tipping Policy in East Africa

Tipping practices in East Africa can vary depending on the country and the specific service you receive and how appreciate.

Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated for good service.

In restaurants, a service charge may already be included in the bill. If not, a tip of 10-15% of the total bill is customary.

For hotel staff, such as porters or room service, a tip of around $1-2 per service is typical.

For safari guides and drivers, tipping is recommended for good services. The amount varies depending on the length of the safari and level of satisfaction, but a guideline is around $10-20 per person per day.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and tipping practices can vary. It’s always a good idea to consider the level of service you received and your own satisfaction when deciding whether and how much to tip. Additionally, some upscale establishments may have different expectations for tipping.

It’s recommended to carry small bills in the local currency to facilitate tipping, as it may not always be easy to obtain change for larger bills in upcountry restaurants and lodges.

Yellow fever in East Africa

Yellow fever vaccination is an important consideration when traveling to most countries in East Africa. In some, it is even a mandatory requirement before one obtains a Visa.

For Tanzania and Rwanda,Yellow fever vaccination is generally not required for travelers entering these countries.

However, if you are arriving from a country with high risk of yellow fever transmission, a yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required. It is recommended to check the latest requirements before traveling.

For Uganda, yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers entering Uganda and it is mandatory for everyone before acquiring a Visa.

You must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate (ICVP) showing that you have been vaccinated at least 10 days before entering Uganda.

In Kenya, yellow fever vaccination is not required for entry if you are traveling directly from a country not classified as a yellow fever risk.

However, if you are traveling from or transiting through a yellow fever risk country, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory. You will need to present a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) upon arrival in Kenya.

It’s important to note that yellow fever vaccination requirements can change, and it’s recommended to consult with the embassy, consulate, or a qualified travel health professional for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding yellow fever vaccination requirements in the specific East African country you plan to visit.

Remember that yellow fever vaccination not only serves as a requirement for entry but also helps protect you from the disease. It is advisable to get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before traveling to a region where it is recommended or required.

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