Etiquette

  • Greetings Greetings are important. Never launch into a conversation, even when just asking for directions, without first greeting the person with whom you're speaking. Learning a few words in Swahili helps.
  • Eating Never, ever handle food with the left hand! If others are eating with their hands, do the same, even if cutlery is provided. If eating in someone's home, leave a small amount on your plate to show your hosts that you’ve been satisfied.
  • Children Don’t hand out sweets/pens to children on the streets, since it encourages begging.
  • Patience Impatience will get you nowhere in East Africa, where nothing is hurried. If in a frustrating situation, be patient, friendly and considerate. Never lose your temper as a confrontational attitude won’t go down well.
  • Photography Always ask before photographing people. Never photograph someone if they don’t want you to. If you agree to send someone a photo, do so.