Tipping in Kenya

Kenya is one of the most visited countries in the continent of Africa. With its beautiful Indian-Ocean coastline, lakes, savannah grasslands, valleys and highlands it has a lot to offer tourists. Not to mention its bustling capital city, Nairobi. Its climate and exotic wildlife means there is a big market for tourism across the country with locals offering a great insight into their country. 

In Kenya, those who work in the travel industry are generally paid poorly and rely heavily on tips. Whilst there is a reliance on tips, you should only tip what you think the service justifies. In addition, it is best to tip in the local currency, Kenyan Shillings, due to the difficulty many staff will have changing foreign currency (and the fees they will pay doing so). 

So, how much should you tip when on holiday in Kenya? 

Tipping in a restaurant in Kenya

If you’re dining in a hotel, you should tip between 100 and 200 Kenyan Shillings. If you go out to a local restaurant it is considered adequate to tip 10% on top of the total food bill. Be sure to hand the tip over to the person who has served you to ensure they receive the tip – do not leave it on the table. 

How much do you tip in bars in Kenya?

When you are drinking at a bar in Kenya, tip 50-100khs per round of drinks. If you are running a tab then tip up to 10% of the total bill depending on how your service was. 

Leaving a gratuity in hotels in Kenya

Leave the porter or bellhop 200 khs for helping you with your bags. If you are staying in a hotel for a week, leave the housekeeping 1000 khs per week. Tip the pool attendant 100 khs per day you use the pool. There are also a lot of backroom staff who you may not see, such as gardeners and chefs. At the end of your stay ask if there is a communal gratuity box where you can leave a tip to be shared out. 

How much to tip in a taxi in Kenya

If you are using an airport transfer, tip the driver 100-500 khs for driving you and helping you with your baggage. It is not necessary to tip in a taxi in Kenya as all costs have been factored in, although you can tip them if they help you with your baggage – 200 khs should suffice. 

How much do I tip tour guides in Kenya?

When you are having a tour in Kenya there are different people to tip. If a porter helps you with your luggage, tip them 200 khs per day. The safari guide should be tipped around 1000 khs per person per day at the end of the safari. If you are staying at a lodge, then lodge staff will also expect a tip depending on their role. 200 khs per day for housekeeping, baggage assistance and any additional help is advisable.  

Top Tip: When you take money out at an ATM ask for, for example, 4900 khs rather than 5000 khs to ensure you get some small change. Or when you get you Kenyan Shillings before your holiday ask for some smaller denominations so that you will be able to tip the staff. If you don’t it is likely the smallest denomination you’ll receive will be 1000 khs.