Cash?

Countrylife

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I've got 3 weeks to go! Time to order foreign currency from the bank. I'm wondering about cash and how much and of what type I should take. I've got a handle on the tips at camp and the VISA for Zimbabwe. I'll be hunting in Namibia and spending two extra days in Windhoek before leaving for Victoria Falls for two days before heading home. I plan on using credit cards for all the purchases that I can so I don't have to carry much cash. Which raises the question, How much do I need to take with me? I plan to visit the wood carver's market north of Windhoek - do they accept credit cards? I wouldn't think so, but I've been surprised before. Also, what kind of prices are they asking for carvings that fit inside checked luggage. Do they want USD or NAD or Rand? I want to get about an 18" cape buffalo carving and a few other things. What about meals, do most places take credit cards? What do lunches and dinner run? I see the menu for 3 monkey's resturant in Vic falls runs about $15 for a hamburger - I assume that is USD since I've heard the Zim govt wants USD for VISAs instead of their own money. Is that typical of meals in Windhoek & Vic falls?
 

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I would try and exchange in the country you are visiting either through a bank or your PH. Most banks in the U.S. are only missing masks and guns when you do a foreign currency exchange. They usually charge double or triple the exchange fees (mine charges TEN PERCENT! ) that you can get in the LOCAL, NOT U.S. airport (and they're robbers too). I don't now about Namibia but in RSA, you can go to a bank and change your U.S. dollars in to rands with a valid passport and the exchange rate and fee are minimal. I exchange my U.S. dollars with my PH/farm owner. I get the day's rate or better, no fees and no exchange rate reduction. Their are ways to change money and their are ways to get screwed. Your call.
 

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Regarding credit cards, make sure you communicate to your card companies the dates and countries you are traveling in. Even then, sometimes your card may get shut down until you communicate back to them it is really you. Some do this as a natural course of business even after you have notified them of your travel plans.
Some card companies won’t process charges from Zim. As of last July, Cabela’s Club visa would not work in Zim.
Stuff is generally expensive in Zim, especially around Vic Falls.
If you are going to be entering and exiting Zim more than once, you may want to get the KAZA visa. It is good for unlimited border crossings for a set number of days. 30 I think? No one will tell you this. I learned about it the hard way...
 

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Yeah, getting foreign exchange from your local bank is a rookie mistake. I realized how much they must be charging when they offered to send a courier 35 miles to my house with the money. The last couple of trips I didn't get any foreign currency at all, just gave my tips in U.S. currency and used my credit card at the airports.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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In Zim, use US dollars. In Nam, current exchange rate is $1 = 12 Nam dollars. Ask your PH/Outfitter if he wants USD. As mentioned before, let your credit card company know your travel plans so your credit card charges will go through. This doesn't always work though.

BTW, at Vic Falls, check out the "Big 5" wood carvings. They are a really cool souvenir and come in all sizes, large and small.

 

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I have not exchanged anywhere in years. I use a credit card for most purchases that has no exchange fee. I use my ATM card to obtain local currency, the fee is very low. In VF the ATM dispense USD. I was able to use a card everywhere except the Falls Park, and street vendors
 

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Never exchanged money, always used credit card or euros for tips.
 

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I've always tipped in US dollars and the outfitter always would exchange for the staff, PH's like US dollars. I use credit cards for all other purchases. On some of my early hunts I exchanged dollars, but now I see no need.
 

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The US dollar seems welcome in most countries? Make sure in Africa you take relatively new currency!
 

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Going to Namibia I changed currency at Joberg airport while waiting for connecting flight to Namibia .
We spent four days in Windhoek shopping and drinking to much .
Your credit card will be fine there but taxis and smaller items were paid for with Rand or Namibian dollars
I exchanged about 5k namibian and used it all in the end .
We had to get more local currency in Omaruru after the hunt for our road trip .
You will need local money for the craft shops in Okahandga .
Go to the second there if you can , they were to pushy at the fist one and it drove us nuts .
There are plenty of atms in Namibia so getting cash with your credit card is not a problem .
Beware atm phissing is a problem everywhere in Africa so be careful .
Heres a couple of photos from the market you are going to .
IMG_1109.jpg

Have fun .
namibia 2 - 012.jpg
IMG_1110.jpg
IMG_1119.jpg
 

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I always exchange for Rand when I go to SA..always tip in U.S. currency. I would bring both.
 

Rock375

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I've got 3 weeks to go! Time to order foreign currency from the bank. I'm wondering about cash and how much and of what type I should take. I've got a handle on the tips at camp and the VISA for Zimbabwe. I'll be hunting in Namibia and spending two extra days in Windhoek before leaving for Victoria Falls for two days before heading home. I plan on using credit cards for all the purchases that I can so I don't have to carry much cash. Which raises the question, How much do I need to take with me? I plan to visit the wood carver's market north of Windhoek - do they accept credit cards? I wouldn't think so, but I've been surprised before. Also, what kind of prices are they asking for carvings that fit inside checked luggage. Do they want USD or NAD or Rand? I want to get about an 18" cape buffalo carving and a few other things. What about meals, do most places take credit cards? What do lunches and dinner run? I see the menu for 3 monkey's resturant in Vic falls runs about $15 for a hamburger - I assume that is USD since I've heard the Zim govt wants USD for VISAs instead of their own money. Is that typical of meals in Windhoek & Vic falls?

I exchanged both in JoBerg and in Namibia at the airports. I tipped in US dollars. I found most Namibia vendors accepted the SA Ran. When I returned to the USA, no banks would exchange my Namibian dollars but all excepted the SA Ran. So heads up there! I also used my credit card in both countries with no issues.
 

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When you get cash from the ATMs do you use credit or debit cards? And I understand the PIN number can not have a "0". Is there a limit on the number of digits? Does it have to be 4, or can it have more digits? I'm assuming that what ever works here will work there, but then I heard about not using a "0".
 

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I have an American Airlines MasterCard and a delta American Express. I call them and tell them where and when I am going and I have a four digit pin as well. I normally get cash at an ATM in the airport. Everywhere else is a pain and high fees. the Namibian dollars are cool and I like to keep a few to take home to the kids. They have animals like Kudu on them!
Remember Zimbabwe does not have a currency and uses US$ just make sure to declare all cash when entering Zim.
There is more and more credit card use worldwide and that is convenient. Check credit card offers for one like my platinum AA MC because there are no foreign transaction fees.
Best of luck on your adventure.
Philip
 

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When you get cash from the ATMs do you use credit or debit cards? And I understand the PIN number can not have a "0". Is there a limit on the number of digits? Does it have to be 4, or can it have more digits? I'm assuming that what ever works here will work there, but then I heard about not using a "0".

NEVER get cash from an ATM on your Credit Cards unless its an emergency. That starts interest charges. Use a Debit Card for that.
 

Bert the Turtle

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I had two pockets sewn into the inside of my travel pants specifically for carrying cash, one for local and one for US$

I carry more local than I end up using, but at least a little comes in handy for when for whatever reason a credit card isn't working.

More important is a good amount of US$. You may never need it, but cash US$ can solve problems that no credit card can.
 

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When you get cash from the ATMs do you use credit or debit cards? And I understand the PIN number can not have a "0". Is there a limit on the number of digits? Does it have to be 4, or can it have more digits? I'm assuming that what ever works here will work there, but then I heard about not using a "0".
Country life I have found ATM's everywhere in every little hole in the wall in every country I have been to and that's a quite a few so I just tell my bank and credit cards the where and when I will be traveling. I use the ATM's to get local currency with my debit card and charge what I can with credit card. as regards pin my usa 4 digit pin has always worked. Having at least some of the local currency has always been really good. Giving a hundred rand bill to a tracker and/or skinner that has done good by you at the end of the day goes a long way with the goodwill, how they will work for you each and every day if you treat them right and then at the end of the trip I decide if and who I will tip more with the guidance of the PH and I always put the money in the persons hand! PH would rather have rands or whatever currency also in hand.
So one last piece of advice that goes for anywhere in the world be careful around ATM's for skimmers and people trying to get your pin, etc. Usually I prefer to let PH know I want an atm to get tip money etc and they will know and see that I am safe with use of it.
 

jeff

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After my 3rd trip I no longer bother with local currency, US dollars and credit cards have worked fine. All the outfitters I've hunted with will help staff exchange tip money.
 

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I would be wary about depending on an atm especially in Zim. Even the banks can only give out a small amount of hard currency each day. They just don't have any. By the way, if you have seen ATM's at every town you should get farther from town. Enjoy your hunt.
 

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I read somewhere that when Zimbabwe was in the billion percent inflation rate, the most you could withdraw per day from an ATM was .25 USD. Something to consider when visiting countries with suspect banking systems and inflation rates.
 

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