Currency Question

Aug 2nd, 2010, 12:14 PM
  #1  
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Currency Question

Is there one currency which would be acceptable in S.A., Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Swaziland? Thanks for any input.
Louise is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 01:50 PM
  #2  
 
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Yes, generally their local currency, which can be obtained at ATMs at airports of entry or currency exchange windows.

- except Zimbabwe where USD are the only currency accepted as theirs ain't worth the paper it's printed on.
- Botswana will accept USD; believe also in Zambia

Can't comment on Mozambique or Swaziland

I'm sure others will have further info.
sandi is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 02:36 PM
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The only airport we will be in is JNB so it would be great to just have one currency if possible for the whole trip - hopefully maybe U.S. But, getting rand wouldn't be so bad either.
Louise is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:36 PM
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Not to be flippant, but the one currency that is acceptable in all those countries is the US $. Except for South Africa and maybe Botswana, I would be cautious about being dependent on a ATM for cash in local currency. (Moreover, American banks have increased the cost of using ATMs worldwide so much that this best method of handling the problem of getting local currency is no longer as attractive as it was.) Otherwise, I would carry in cash the amount of US dollars that I think I need and exchange them in the individual countries as I travel. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:10 AM
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... then how are you getting between SA and Botswana, or Zambia or Zimbabwe? Road? You must have some flights in there. So an airport will be somewhere in there... or Currency Exchange windows at points of entry.

Yes, while USD are often accepted, but some countries, SA specifically uses Rand and that's what they want for payment. We in the US sure don't accept currency of other countries as payment, why should SA.

As to bank fees for use of ATMs, it's not like you're hitting that "hole in the wall" on a daily basis, nor do I think you do so daily when at home. For whatever the fee, one (maybe two) withdrawal for ZAR, is all you need where these are accepted. In the scheme of your entire trip's cost, these small fees shouldn't upset your budget... it's simply the cost of travel.
sandi is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:34 AM
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We are doing the Shongololo Express and so will be in no other airport than JNB - oh, except for VF. I am not an untraveled person and have no problem at all with using ATM's but from previous travel experience including numerous trips to Africa, sometimes they are not working and I would rather use an ATM than a Currency Exchange. I just wanted to simplify everything and thought someone might know specifically about each country. I was hoping to limit the amount of rand I might need to get at the beginning the trip.
Louise is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Rands are usually accepted in Botswana, from what I remember.
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Aug 3rd, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Zambezi's response above notwithstanding, you can't buy a hamburger, or anything else, in Johannesburg with dollars. With the exception of some of the high end safari destinations in SA, US dollars are of no more use in SA than rands are here in the US. Rands are accepted in Swaziland, because the Swazi currency is tied to the SA rand. As Sandi said, Zim accepts only US dollars because their currency is worthless. Sandi is right that the fees for exchanging money are just part of the costs of travel. I don't know why people would expect to be able to use their own currency abroad.
Celia is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Why wouldn't I expect to use currency other than the countries' own? Because I was just in Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Croatia and Montenegro and used only U.S. and pounds. As I said before, I have no problem with part of the cost of travel exchanging money. I just don't like exchanging too much because you take a "beating" if you have to change it back. That is the reason I inquired about the other countries in Africa and was hoping just U.S. and rand would be good to go.
Louise is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:42 PM
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Has anyone here tried to use rands in Zimbabwe and been denied? I've read in numerous places that Zimbabwe readily accepts rands now (as well as USD) and that they rarely even use their local dollar at all.

I know you can use rands and USD for some transactions in Mozambique (at least at the border and in Maputo), and I thought ATMs were relatively easy to find in Maputo if you need local currency.
Gritty is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:54 PM
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Maybe USD were accepted in Europe, because the Euro is somewhat in decline (itty bitty bitty) , but it's quite unusual.

When departing SA, we had a few ZAR, enough that it was worth reconverting to USD and we didn't loose all that much. It's a matter of budgeting your local currency as close as possible.
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Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:56 PM
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Hello to Respondents: Apparently I failed to make myself clear about changing currency. I presumed that readers would infer that I expected travelers in most of the countries mentioned to use local currency and that, where it was feasible, such as in RSA and, perhaps, in Botswana, to use a ATM. My suggestion is to carry a lot of US dollars on the supposition that ATMs may not be available or working, that sometimes one has to get more local currency from a ATM than one wants so one wants to avoid a transaction, and that one can almost always exchange US $$$ somewhere with somebody, legally or illegally (now, I'll get in trouble, but wait until you get to Zimbabwe to understand my remark). Also, please note that I did not advise against using ATMs because of the increased cost involved. I said that "this best method of handling the problem of getting local currency is no longer as attractive as it was." ZZ
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Aug 4th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Louise, I'm very surprised to learn that you used dollars and pounds in Europe. May I ask what kinds of establishments you used them in?

Thanks,
Celia
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