Etiquette for Tipping Your Adventure Tour Guide
What about tipping in Ethiopia? What are the local rates? Can I only use US dollars?
We get these type of questions all the time. Below are some guidelines and suggestions on tipping for service while traveling.
It is advisable to carry enough small notes (10 birr notes are very handy) for small payments and tipping tour guides. You can usually get a bunch of these at any local bank.
Guidelines for Tipping
‘Ferenji’ (‘foreigner’) restaurants: about 10%, if the service charge is not already included.
Local restaurants: rounding up the bill, add on about 5%.
Porter: 10 birr ($0.35 USD) per piece of luggage, more for considerable distances at lodges or i.e. to the cultural guest houses in Harar.
Small services (i.e. taking you somewhere): 20-30 birr ($1.00 USD).
Local scouts/guides: This is very personal and should be based on satisfaction, our suggestion 150 – 250 birr ($5 – 10 USD) for half day to 250-400 birr ($10-15 USD) for each full day. Needless to say, bigger tips are always appreciated.
Your driver/guide and escort guide: this is a more personal service, since you will spending a lot of time with them. Of course, you can follow the suggestions above but we strongly encourage you to follow your own feelings and budget. And remember that your driver/guide will not mind if you give him a tip in foreign currency.
Please note that older series USD banknotes are not accepted, they have to be of the series minted after 2000!!