paying for cocktails

May 14th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
paying for cocktails

Hi, once again I need the fodorites expertise regarding paying at lodges and camps for extras. We have booked a safari with food, lodging, etc. included, but know we must pay for cocktails. At the end of our stay, we, I assume, will get a bill for any extras. Can we pay this by credit card or is it strictly cash? We just want to know how much cash to bring. We already know we need cash for the visas and tips. I know I have read a post about this before, but can't seem to locate it, so forgive me if I'm repeating a question posted before.
Cronen is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Credit cards will likely incur a 5% service charge.

I find it an annoyance to deal with lodges that charge for drinks. It makes it like a bad wedding, where instead of just letting loose and having a great time, you find yourself budgeting the amount of fun that you are willing to have.

Take advantage of the (hopefully) free sundowners and drink all you can at this time!

Pay cash to save the 5% service charge and be prepared to pay American or European prices for the drinks.

Next time book with a lodge that includes drinks. While I may sound like a raging alcoholic, one of the few times that I enjoy a few drinks is when I am on safari and don't have a care in the world.
Roccco is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 04:27 AM
Posts: n/a
Cronen - the prices for drinks in Kenya/Tanzania are not in line with American and European prices.

There is a possibility that there might be a service fee if using credit cards, and some places will only take credit cards for larger amounts.

We used local currency or USD to pay our bar bills, which were never all that big. But again, I suggest you verify with your tour operator about use of credit cards, and any fees associated with same.

I know we used credit cards for souvenir purchases and never paid a service fee - so ask the tour operator.

And when taking cash - remember, small denominations $1s, $5s, $10s, $20s - you can split whatever total amount you choose to take between the two of you and when arriving at a lodge or camp, ask to use their safe and store your valuables (cash, credit cards, airline tickets, etc.) You'll only have to pay when ready to leave.

An idea - when they bring coffee and tea in morning, ask for juice for your child and juices for yourselves - there are no charges for these. Save yours for mixers for later in the day (lunch or sundowners) - again, drinks are not expensive. However, some lodges/camps might not have special brands, so be flexible.
May 15th, 2004, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 57
We stayed at the Stanley & Livingstone Lodge in Zimbabwe in Feb. Beers were $3.00,BUT we were charged US$14.00 for a gin & Tonic!!! That's some special Gin & Tonic!! The problem is, who asks for the price upfront, until you get your bill!!. We of course paid in US Dollars.
mfleming is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 05:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Thanks all. I never even thought to ask if drinks were included at the lodges and camps, I just assumed they were not. I'll for sure ask my tour operator. I might suggest to my husband he bring his favorite vodka with him. We just got back from St. Johns and drinks are always quite expensive, so we bring our own and usually mix a pre dinner cocktail in the room. If they have cranberry juice, my husband will be a happy man. I'm glad we can charge souvenirs, I really don't like to bring a lot of cash anywhere.
Cronen is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
The safari camps I've stayed in have always included " local" drinks and South African wine... I think the issue with mflemings G&T was whether it was local gin or not.

In my experience "local" gin, which is fine, is very cheap but anything imported is prohibative (hence the cheaper beer.

Cronen...I certainly wouldn't expect to find Cranberry juice at most safari lodges or camps.
welltraveledbrit is offline  

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