Cash? Visa?

Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 15
Cash? Visa?

Reading all the journals and travel tips at this forum has been both exiting and helpful, and 5th of April my husband and I are leaving Norway for the trip of our dreams! We are going to Kenya and Tanzania and we are going to visit Sweetwaters/Ol Pejeta Consernvancy in Kenya and then Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater before we take the bus back to Nairobi and visit the Karen Blixen farm and the Daphne Sheldrick home for elephants before we go home. I am greateful for any advice/inputs before we go, and especially regarding what to bring of cash/visa? our travel agent here in Norway said that bringing US dollars was the best and that often it was difficult to take out money from the (I do not now the English word for it...) cash points? But I also do not like to carry with me to much money... any advise?
I have earlier on been in Botswana and Zambia and did not experince any problems with finding somewhere to withdraw money.

I do appolgize for spelling mistakes I have done - hopefully you understand my Norwegian/English - and hopefully someone have some advice/input for us?

Sembla is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36
Just got back from Tanzania. We brought cash with us. When I visit other countries, I usually just bring a little cash and my ATM card. Some of the larger gift shops take VISA, but I didn't see that many other places did. I brough US- everybody took US. Also, I'd bring a lot of 1's and 5's for tips- there wasn't lots of places to get change. There are probably places in Arusha to get cash out of an ATM/Cash Point, others on the board may be able to advise.
Yooper1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,969
No problems getting cash from ATMs/cash points in Kenya. There are two at NBO airport as well as many in the city. There are also at least two, if not more, banks with ATMs in Nanyuki (not far from Sweetaters). The only issue is of compatibility. Standard Charter bank ATMs only accepted Visa(Plus) cards whereas Barclays ATMs would accept either Visa or Mastercard(Cirrus/Maestro) cards.

I'm less familiar with Tanzania, but as I recall there were no ATMs at JRO airport. There will be some in Arusha but I don't know if there are any others along the northern circuit route.

The majority of lodges and camps accept credit cards (generally Visa or Mastercard but not Amex) for payment of incidentals.
Patty is online now  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
USD can be used for tipping in both countries. And, though you prefer not to carry much currency, it's surprising how little room a stack of bills takes up. Between you and your husband, it can be evenly distributed.

When in Kenya you will find ATMs at the airport and in/around Nairobi. But you won't need much, except maybe for purchases at local souvenir stands along the roadside.

In Tanzania, there are fewer ATMS, but there are currency exchange bureaus that your guide can take you. Again, USD can be used, but for small purchases along the roadside.

While credit cards are accepted at many lodges/camps for incidentals, check beforehand whether they charge an additional service fee. If the bill is small, it might be worth the extra fee.

Remember - use whatever remaining local currency, whether KSh or TSh, as final tips at camps or to guides/drivers as this currency is not reconvertible back to USD when leaving either country.
sandi is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 198
Sandi, do you know if Little Governors and Sayari would have safes?

emdee is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:13 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Thank you so much! This was very helpful and I will bring US dollars, in different sizes, from 50 to 1 dollars.

Sembla is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 196
Emdee, We just got back from Little Governors. There are no safes in the tents but the reception has one; we had no qualms about leaving items with the manager (this is a first-class camp.) However we did keep our passports and Visa cards with us at all times in those special travel pockets that attach to your belt loops (worn inside your trousers.)
carolines is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Repeat what carolines said, in Sept 2006 Lil Gov tents did not have safes. I left my tip cash in envelopes with the office. Seemed secure there to me.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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