Tripping During A Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda
Gorilla Safaris involve a team of different groups which are recognized separately with a gratuity. There is no fixed rule for the amount but see below for the different teams involved and customary amounts given for their great service:
Porters – do not earn a salary from the park or any other source. They may be hired to carry your daypack and offer vital assistance along the many rough spots on the trekking trail (highly recommended). They may be hired for US $10 (or Rwanda Franc equivalent) per porter, with an added tip at your discretion for going above and beyond in personal aide.
Trackers – they seek out gorilla family locations ahead and cut the path through the jungle to get to the gorillas. There are usually 6 trackers on each safari, and a tip of US $5 (or Rwanda Franc equivalent) per tracker is presented to the head tracker to be shared by the others.
National Park Ranger and Guide – they lead the way to the gorillas and are educated advisors on gorilla behavior and protocol while among the gorilla family. US $10 for each ranger and guide is customary (or Rwanda Franc equivalent).
Your driver/personal guide who transports you to your lodge/hotel and to the trekking sites and all other activities slated from the start to finish on your safari. $US 10 per day per person in the driver/guide’s group.
Lodge/Hotel Staff – gratuities appreciated for personal service (restaurants servers/shoe cleaners/etc).
Most folks in Rwanda are paid low wages, and tipping makes a big difference in their lives, and they are known to go out of their way to ensure you have the very best experience on your safari.
Extra note on tipping in foreign currencies – locals need to exchange foreign currencies at a Forex Bureau, and for ease of exchange the best bills given as tips are ones more recently issued and in good condition.