LIZ: Park Fees

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Aug 5th, 2003, 06:44 PM
  #1
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LIZ: Park Fees

Liz

You can pay the ranger at Governor's Camp or at the ranger checkpoint when you arrive. It can be in USD or schillings. No checks, no credit cards.

Sharon
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Aug 5th, 2003, 07:27 PM
  #2
LizFrazier
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Sharon-
Thanks. Did this happen to you? Did you carry that much cash with you? No travellers checks? Liz
 
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Aug 5th, 2003, 09:28 PM
  #3
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Message: Liz
Like you, I'm an obsessive researcher- so I knew ahead of time that I would have to pay the park fees in cash. I used my bank card at the ATM at Sarit Shopping Center when I got to Nairobi. The exchange rate was very good - and I think there was a $3.00 service charge.
I'm thinking that you said you were going to fly right out to the Mara after arriving in Nairobi (was that you?). So - the only problem with that plan might be the daily limit of cash you can get from the machine. My limit is $300 a day. But I traveled to several parks and was back in Nairobi in the middle of my stay - so I could replenish my money. I did carry a couple hundred dollars worth of shillings with me during my entire stay- divided up between my wallet, money belt, etc.
Re: travellers checks. This was my first trip to Africa, but I had been to other non-western countries - and travellers checks were always a major hassle. So, I generally rely on cash, credit cards, and my ATM card.

I think I would have been more apprehensive about carrying cash - if I had been on a road trip (as you know, highway robbery is not just a phrase there)
- but I flew to each of the parks in Kenya.

I envy your trip during the migration! I thought once I had finally been to Africa I would get it out of my system - but I've definitely been bit - and now have chronic "African Fever!!"
Sharon
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Aug 6th, 2003, 05:41 AM
  #4
LizFrazier
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Sharon-
Thanks a lot for your sincere replies. I don't want to carry an ATM card and won't have a chance to use it anyways. We leave immediately for Wilson Airport and a day room, then catch the 3PM flight to the Mara. All of our time will be spent there.
Word received today from Governors Camp is yes, only hard US cash for park fees. We both have money belts so although we never carry that much cash, we will have to this time. We also tip in US cash. We will also get some Kenya Schillings at the airport. Liz
 
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Aug 6th, 2003, 08:50 AM
  #5
 
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Liz:

There are 2 or 3 ATMs just to the right of the baggage area at the Airport in Nairobi (not sure about Wilson though). Don't make my mistake though & forget a '0' when getting shillings from the ATM (its 'mentally straining' to convince the fingers to get 'thousands' from an ATM even if its another currency). Since we were driving we made several stops to get cash & you won't be able to do that. (BTW - made up for the ATM error in Budapest by adding one too many '0's so only had to make one ATM stop on that trip).

Enjoy the trip.

Z
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Aug 6th, 2003, 09:26 AM
  #6
LizFrazier
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Z-
Whatever did you buy to warrant so many trips to the ATM. I'm talking about Africa. Thanks. Liz
 
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Aug 6th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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Liz - 'bad planning' rather than excessive purchases ... Z
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Aug 6th, 2003, 01:11 PM
  #8
 
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Liz:

On the first floor of the international terminal in Nairobi there is also a Visa booth. I ran out of cash between flights and just charged $300.00 to my Visa card very quickly.

I have had problems every time trying to cash travelers checks in the banks (not at the Nairobi hotels). At one stop I was kept there for 45 - 50 minutes for them to do the paper work and then they wanted to know why I needed that much money ($300.00). Another bank wouldn't even cash the travelers checks stating I needed to have an account with them.

I didn't need to worry about park fees directly because Southern Cross Safaris had included them. Thus SXS gave me their Smartcard to use. I have suggested to KWS that they set up a secure website that would allow us tourists to charge our Smartcard fees and then printing the receipts, but I don't think they are quite ready for that yet.

I don't know how it will be in the Mara, but in Amboseli and Tsavo in February rangers did stop vehicles to check your park receipts, so be sure you carry them with you at all times.

Jan
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