Carrying money around Africa

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Carrying money around Africa

1. Posted by jedmonds (Budding Member 32 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!


We are going on an African Safari in November for a month (Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Cape Town) and we have to give nearly 1000 US DOLLARS over to the tour guide when we get there for local payments. Other than that we need to keep money on us for activities and food etc, what currency do you think is best to keep? and is there a way of getting to money along the way?

I'm thinking there will be a lack of cash machines along the way and we will be forced to keep cash on us, we want to know the safest way of doing this...if there is such a way...

Many thanks.

2. Posted by dmutua (Budding Member 8 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I would like to take this early opportunity to wish you all the best in your forth-coming safari.

The best currency to come to Africa with is either US Dollars or Euros. We have bureaux where you can change into local currency.

Touristic Hotels and Lodges accept payment in USD or Euros.The local currency is is for payments for anythings that you might buy from the local markets.

The advise we give tourists is that you just carry enough..........what you think you will use that day. You leave the rest safely in the Hotel as you move around.

Most hotels accept Visa or master cards for meal payments, e.t.c

3. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 386 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jennifer, dmutua is right, both euros and usd are widely acceptable throughout Africa.

You can easily use cash machines in Both South Africa and Namibia and in the larger cities in Botswana and Zambia or in major tourist destinations. You can also easily use credit cards at the lodges and in the bigger cities...also anywhere in South Africa and Namibia. If you choose to do an excursion like a flight over the delta, sandboarding/quadbiking in namibia, bungee jumping vic falls, these companies always take credit. You'll want small amounts of cash on you for little things along the road, ie. snacks, curios, etc... Don't forget that you will need cash left over to tip your guide(s) at the end of the tour as well.

Your guide should let you know where the safest place to keep your money belt is. And if they tell you that a location that doesn't seem secure to you is fine, trust the guide's judgement. Usually there are agreements between the locals and the venues about theft. It's bad for business if tourists get ripped off while staying at their lodge/campground. That's not to say that it doesn't happen, so just use good judgement and always ask your guide what is best. Since you're on an escorted tour, the vehicle will most likely be locked up and will be safe to leave your stuff there as well.

It is always a good idea to spread a little cash around your stuff as well just in case. Whatever you do, don't keep it all in one place. I have learned this the hard way!

Good luck, Enjoy Africa and Happy Travels! Holly

4. Posted by caldnj (Budding Member 9 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

When I travel I carry some cash but depend mainly on getting money from ATM's, drawing on my checking account.
For the location of ATM's accepting VISA cards see: . For the location of ATM's accepting MasterCard see: .