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Currencies for South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola

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Aug 4th, 2005, 05:41 AM
  #1
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Currencies for South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola

Hi! I'm going to Capetown, Kruger Park, Livingston, Vic Falls, Jo'burg and Luanda for a total of 4 weeks. I plan on bringing my credit card to pay for large items. I also was going to bring my ATM card but how plentiful are ATMs in these places. Do I need to also bring some currencies for each country before I leave home? How are the exchange desks at airports? Are US dollars going to help? Thanks!
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Aug 4th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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Don't use credit cards at Vic Falls since they'll convert at the official, terrible rate. Buy Zim dollars from a currency trader and you'll do much beter.

Dollars should be fine everywhere (but I don't know about Luanda, haven't been there).

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Aug 4th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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For South Africa you don't need to get rands in advance; just use the airport ATM to get some rands. Throughout South Africa, you will need only rands. While travelers in some other African countries use US dollars for tips, in SA, that isn't done. You can use your credit card almost anywhere in SA.

Have a wonderful time!
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Aug 4th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Agree with all of the above if you are only in prepaid camps and lodges. But if you are on your own at all, or want to make some big souvenir purchases (from shops or vendors) prices will likely be cheaper if you exchange some of the dollars for local currency. In Vic Falls use a currency trader with a stall, NOT the guys on the street who accost you. The stalls line the approach to the market behind the post office. Check around-- the rates vary.
In Livingstone just use a bank for any exchange.
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Aug 4th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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You can use credit cards all over the place in S.A. And ATMs are also all over. Including many petrol/gas/service stations, because that's about the only place you won't be able to use a foreign card. That requires cash or special S.A. debit cards that are issued specifically for that. (It's a throwback to the sanctions days, one of the fuel-saving measures then. And still on the statute books.)
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Aug 4th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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Hi, I have just returned from Victoria Falls and found that there are very few places that accept credit cards and was best to pay in US$. It is best to keep small bills for tips and small purchases etc. Change is generally given in Zim$ unless you ask for change to be given in uS$ [no coins] and that is also if they have to give. Last week the average rate was Z$17 500.00 to US$1.00 and remember that you are unable to exchange Z$ once you leave the country into another currency. Hope this helps.
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