How many $1's is enough?

Aug 12th, 2005, 05:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 54
How many $1's is enough?

I am getting ready to leave for my Zimbabwe safari in a couple of weeks. Everyone here says to bring small bills, especially $1 and $5's. Besides some larger bills I was thing of bringing 50 $1's and 50 $5's, is this enough? Or is is too much? Thanks for your help.
beept is offline  
Aug 12th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Zimbabwe only - how many days, how many lodges/camps? You have to consider tipping for guide,drivers, camp staff and misc other.

With the Zim curency in such flux and citizens in dire need, any tip is of value, but if you're going for 2-weeks, I believe you'll be short money.

There are however, street kiosks, (as I remember a few years back) that convert USD to ZIm dollars at extremely good exchange rates - offering the option to hand out Zim currency (which really has no value) as tips in place of USD... but I don't personally like dealng with these street kiosks - seem shaddy to me and have heard not such pleasant stories. And I don't believe it's fair to those who have provided good service who deserve a currency that is worth something.

I'd at least double up on the $1s. Keep your money protected. Do not show any on the streets. Use hotel safe if one provided. Whatever you have remaining at the end of your trip just back into your bank at home.
Aug 12th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 54
Thanks Sandi, and yes, Zimbabwe only. 4 nights Makalolo Plains, 2 nights Matetsi Water Lodge, 2 nights Vic Falls Hotel. (also 1 night Johannesburg). A short trip, but all we could manage. I was thinking I would tip at the lodges with mostly $5 or $10's. Would I still need more ones?
beept is offline  
Aug 12th, 2005, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 37
I'm going to Kenya for 12 days and after hearing all the suggestions on money to take here is what I decided to take with me & ordered from the my bank yesterday.

Total $750.00

How does this sound to everyone? Most meals paid for so only need for Tips & what few souvenirs I might buy. Told the bank I want no bills older than 2002.
regg11 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501

You should be able to tip with a credit card at Matetsi since it's a CCAfrica lodge -- you might want to check with them if you'd feel more comfortably using a card than carrying a lot of cash. This may be true at some other lodges as well, including Makalolo as it's a Wilderness lodge. For curios you'll definitely need cash.

jasher is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 203
Gosh, if regg11 is taking $750 in small bills for a 12 day trip, I hate to think of how much I will need for a 32 day trip. Am I really looking at taking $2000 in small bills?? Any thoughts?
wanderlust123 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2005, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
Renee - You should probably be OK with the quantity of bills you are thinking of bringing. As fo changing money into Zim dollars - they pretty much won't let you do that any more. You have to do it at a bank and get a receipt before they will even accept the bills, so don't even try. Also, bring any old T-shirts, pants, etc that you have and give leave them with people. I met a wonderful young man in Vic Falls who helped me find a great place to get a sandwich in the market and all he really wanted were some t-shirts )I also gave him a couple of dollars because he had been so nice and patient). I loved Zimbabwe and regretted only being there for 2 days. The people are wonderful and so helpful. The only negative is that the processing of anything takes forever. They have no computers and everything has to be done by hand in triplicate using carbon paper. Getting through immigration at the airport took about 45 minutes and getting into the falls took about 25-30. Be patient and just realize that they are doing the best they can in a bad situation (all of the foreign investors have pretty much pulled out and so they have to make do with what they have). The hotels will all take credit cards. But if you book any excursions through a company in town, you will need cash. We decided at the last minute to do an elephant safari and fortunately had the $45 each (or whatever it was - I forget) to pay for it. Well worth whatever we spent, though. Enjoy! If you have any other questions - email me at [email protected]
jcasale is offline  
Aug 15th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 54
Thanks for the reply Jenni, I have decided to take the following money -
20 - $20 dollar bills
20 - $10
50 - $5
75 - $1

We plan to do quite a few activities in Vic Falls, so I know I will need alot of cash for that. I am not sure where all of those $1 dollar bills will be spent however, but everyone says bring them. I am so excited - just 2 1/2 weeks to go!
beept is offline  

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