HELP. How much cash to bring

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Jun 13th, 2014, 09:15 PM
  #1
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HELP. How much cash to bring

We are down to 9 days before to fly to NBO for our first trip to Africa. we will be there 23 days(17 days on safari, 2 days at an orphanage, and 4 days at beaches in Zanzibar.
I m getting that nervous feeling. It is just my wife and myself going with SI. Si has been great helping with everything. We will be doing mostly safaris in Kenya and Tanzania doing mostly safaris along with a few hikes sprinkle in staying at tents/lodges. In Zanzibar we will be staying Stonetown 2 days doing some trips and exploring the town and 2 days at a beach resort.
I m trying to figure out how much cash to bring and what denominations for tipping, spending, visas, trips, etc. Also, where can I use my credit card to limit the cash and also whether to exchange some US currency. I know about the new cash. We will be doing a little shopping but not that much. While I m on shopping my daughter wants a pair of Tanzania earrings.
We will be in Arusha and Stonetown. Are either of them a good place to get them? Thanks such very much.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 02:37 AM
  #2
 
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I would bring lots of $1, $5, $10 and $20. Maybe just a few $50. There will be many needs for tipping - guides while on safari, in camps etc. Souvenirs to purchase. US dollars accepted for everything and often preferred over local currency. Your tour operator can suggest amounts for tipping - example for safari guides around $10 per person per day. Personally I do not like using my credit card in Africa as the risk for fraud is high. For 2 week trips myself I've brought around $800-1000 cash with me.

When you say Tanzania earrings do you mean Tanzanite? If so be prepared for a costly purchase. It is an expensive stone, and all the more so when sold to tourists in Tanzania.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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I agree with Cateyes555, $ is a common currency used although you need to have local currency for easy local transaction. The are bureau exchange in Arusha and Stone Town, and some hotel allows credit cards for personal bills. I carried $1000 in cash and I used like almost $860 on 12 Days for 2 people.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 05:02 PM
  #4
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I plan on bringing plenty of money but we are there for 23 days. That's a lot of cash to be carrying around especially when so many small bills for 23 days. I want to get money out at ATM but apparently there isn't any till about day 16 at Arusha and you can only get about $150.

World. that's means I should bring/withdraw about $2000.

Cate. Thanks for the info. I guess I wont be purchasing earrings. haha
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Jun 15th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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Of course you'll be purchasing earrings! Just perhaps not ones made of tanzanite where you really need to know about the gem to ensure a decent quality.

There are tons of beautiful fashion earrings for $5 and up everywhere and I usually come home with quite bit for myself & gifts.

You can find some lovely glass bead earrings & necklaces in Kenya in rich dark blue or emerald green for under $50. If visiting Karen Blixen House in Nairobi their gift shop carried some nice pieces a few years ago.

In old Stonetown you'll find most shops with a large selection of cool fun earrings for $5.

For 3 trips to Africa I paid with Visa at the camps & even some shops & didn't have a problem.

I also carry about $1k for 21 days used for tips. I like to work out the tips before leaving home and separate them in an envelope with a little card. That way I know for sure I have enough cash for tips plus some extra as I always tend to tip more once there. Part of dressing each morning involved folding a few $1 US bills and having them handy for the day so you don't have to pull your wallet out each time.

Have used atms without issue in both countries.
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Jun 16th, 2014, 07:24 AM
  #6
 
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How much time are you spending in Kenya vs Tanzania and where exactly? You can get Kenyan shillings (KES) on arrival at NBO but I wouldn't get so much that you then have to exchange it when you cross over to Tanzania. You can use your credit card at most hotels, restaurants and shops in Nairobi and for incidentals at most camps in Kenya. You'll need cash for visas (USD) and tipping/small purchases (USD or local currency, in Kenya KES is preferred).
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Jun 16th, 2014, 07:27 AM
  #7
 
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I meant from an ATM at NBO.
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Jun 17th, 2014, 08:03 AM
  #8
 
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crlover10 I would advice not to move with such amount of money, at least bring with you $1500 and for any extras you may use the ATM Machines located in Arusha/Nairobi
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Jun 20th, 2014, 05:35 PM
  #9
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thanks for all the advice. World, yes I planned on carrying around $1500 and withdrawing the rest with ATM
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