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Questions about money, ATMs, plug adaptors & SIMs in Namibia & South Africa

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Jan 16th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #1
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Questions about money, ATMs, plug adaptors & SIMs in Namibia & South Africa

1. Is there a Cirrus/Maestro compatible ATM at CPT airport? Can I buy a SIM at CPT?

2. Same questions but substitute WDH airport.

3. Are ATMs readily available in major towns in Namibia?

4. General credit card acceptance at shops and restaurants in Namibia - high, mid, low?

5. Am I correct that credit cards are not accepted at gas stations in either country?

6. Is this the plug adaptor that I need for SA? Is the same configuration used in Namibia? http://tinyurl.com/y96dov

Thanks!
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Jan 16th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Hi Patty,

Sorry I can only answer one of the questions -

3. I used my Cirrus ATM card at an ATM in Swakupmund in Namibia (sorry if spelled wrong, memory fades..). It worked like a charm, it was an outside ATM at the bank besides Nando's Chicken (it's a small, very small town) If you are there - do have the Nando's chicken - not sure if you have it where you are in the States, we have one here in Vancouver - it's fabulous chicken (small chain started in South Africa). It's not fired, it's grilled - and the peri peri sauce is to die for!

My card also worked in Capetown, I used it twice but not at the airport - I was down at V&A harbour.

This is all info from 2003 by the way, not really recent.
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Jan 16th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Thanks, Lynda. No, we don't have Nando's chicken, at least not near where I live. I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

I didn't know you were in Namibia (must not have been paying attention). Where did you go?
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Jan 16th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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No, you probably didn't miss it, I probably have never mentioned it because it was just for a day - literally for a day! (a good day though...)

We stopped there when we were on a 2 month cruise from India to Rome (the long way around Africa) in 2003; this is also when I was in South Africa. But at least I was 5 days in South Africa! (1 in Richards Bay, 1 in Durban, and 3 in Capetown) The next stop after Capetown was Walvis Bay, Namibia. We were quite 'toured' out by then so we gave up the 'standard tour' tickets and just walked around Walvis Bay for a bit, poking into stores - we had fun, but there is nothing much there. Then, we hired a guide and a driver (who were not the best, but they were OK), threw caution to the wind and said 'take us sightseeing'. They took us to Dune 7 where we watched in awe as a group of kids ran - literally ran - up that gigantic dune. And then slid down - looked like a lot of fun coming down, but we couldn't make it even 1/4 the way up! (old dudes...) Besides I was a little skittish as I had read that there were spiders in them thar' hills... Probaly not true though.

Then our guide took us to Swakopmund where we walked around and Jim bought the local beer 'Tafel' and 'Windhoek' (that's his job you know - to taste every beer in the world in the country where they are made). I think that's why we needed the ATM if I remember right! We then went to see a 'souvenir stall' at a lighthouse (memory really fades here, I'd have to check my notes & pictures for the name), and finally the Martin Luther - it's a train out in the middle of the desert there. Back in Walvis Bay they took us to see the flamingoes on the lagoon - tons of them, but we were being eaten alive there and didn't stay long.

Then, back on the ship for a late lunch and we set sail (well not literally, it was a 900 passenger ship) - next stop was the Cape Verde Islands - a full 7 1/2 days later!
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Jan 16th, 2007, 10:48 PM
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Hi Patty,

the adaptor looks the same as mine which works in both South Africa and Namibia.

I used ATMs in both Windhoek and Swakopmund and there seemed to be lots of them around - not sure about smaller centres. I was using a cash passport card that works at all Visa Plus ATMs (and I think these also take Maestro/Cirrus which I also carry but didn't use).

I seem to remember that most upmarket and traveller friendly places took credit card - hotels, restaurants and shops in Windhoek and Swakopmund.

I thought that Namibia was very similar to South Africa in the telecommunications and finance services offered.

Cheers,

Pol.
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Jan 17th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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Hi

You cannot use a credit card at any gas stations in SA, not sure about Namibia.

Anton

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Jan 17th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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>>>Is there a Cirrus/Maestro compatible ATM at CPT airport? Can I buy a SIM at CPT?
There are ATM's at the airport but I'm not sure that they're Cirrus/Maestro compatible. Carry some GBP/USD/EUR to change into local currency at the airport. The exchange rate isnt going to be great though. Yes you can buy a SIM card.

>>>Same questions but substitute WDH airport.
Same at CPT but no SIM cards to my recollection.

>>>Are ATMs readily available in major towns in Namibia?
Yes

>>>General credit card acceptance at shops and restaurants in Namibia - high, mid, low?
High, but always carry some cash.

>>>Am I correct that credit cards are not accepted at gas stations in either country?
Thats correct. Cash only at petrl stations.

>>>Is this the plug adaptor that I need for SA? Is the same configuration used in Namibia? http://tinyurl.com/y96dov
Yes


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Jan 17th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Most people carry cell phones these days, but if you are going to be using public phones with calling cards, these cards can be purchased in Namibia only at post offices. Do not look for them in any other shops.
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Jan 17th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Thanks, everyone!
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Jun 11th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Topping this to see if anyone has used a Cirrus/Maestro ATM card in Namibia recently.

I ask because I just checked the Mastercard Global ATM locator and for Namibia, it says "This country is not supported"

http://tinyurl.com/rzbdy

What's strange is that it says the same thing for Kenya and I've used a Cirrus/Maestro ATM card on all my trips there and could've sworn it used to list the Kenyan ATM locations

So unless someone has recent experience and I know for sure that my ATM card will work there, I guess I should open an account with a bank that issues Visa/Plus ATM cards before I go just to be safe. Might not be a bad idea anyway to carry ATM cards with access to different networks.

Thanks again!
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Jun 11th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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You probably know that South African rands have the same value as Namibian dollars and are readily accepted all over Namibia. You also should know that Namibian dollars are only good in Namibia and cannot be exchanged for any other currency once you leave the country. Assuming that you will be in South Africa before going to Namibia, I would take a substantial amount of rands to spend in Namibia. You will generally get change in N$, but try not to accumulate too many of them or make sure you spend all your N$ before you leave the country.

There is a currency exchange in the Windhoek airport, but to the best of my knowledge there is no ATM unless one was installed very recently.

Credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere except at craft markets. And ATMs can be found in every town. I have used them in the past including my last visit in September 2006. In Etosha, credit cards are accepted, but there is no ATM machine (again unless one was installed in the last few months). Etosha (Okaukuejo, anyway) also now has internet and cell phone service.

Have a great trip, and I will be looking for your report when you get back.





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Jul 18th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Thanks, Leann! I'd forgotten you could use ZAR in Namibia. Good reminder. We'll be in Capetown prior to Namibia so I can take out extra ZAR there. I'm still debating between just doing that and bringing extra USD as emergency backup or opening another bank account. Some of the places where we'll be staying are small guest farm type places. Is it safe to assume these smaller places will be willing to exchange USD to NAD for us in a pinch, even if it's at a poor rate?

BTW, I think we may be in Swakopmund on the same day. We get there (from Erongo) on Sep 10th and leave on Sep 12th for a place near Solitaire.

Anyone else have recent experience with Cirrus in Namibia?
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Jul 18th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Patty,

In case you don't know, apple pie and toasted sandwiches at Solitaire are not to be missed, especially the pie. When you get back, look for the out-takes show from the Crocodile Hunter, the crew watches a rubgy at Solitaire. The show says it's as far from civilization as you can get. Seeing as I was staying another hour further from civilization, I still have figured out where that was.

George
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Jul 19th, 2007, 05:21 AM
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Patty

We arrive at Swakopmund from Etosha on 9 September and leave on 11 September to drive to Sossusvlei, so yes, we will be in Swakopmund on the same day. We're staying at the Hotel Schweizerhaus, a centrally located, moderately priced hotel.

Between credit cards, rands, Namibian $, and US$, we never had a problem paying for anything.

Leann
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Jul 19th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Thanks, George. We'll be in the area for a couple of days so will stop in for pie.

Leann,
We're staying at the Stiltz. Email me at pchang1972 at yahoo dot com if you want to get together on the 10th. No worries if you already have other plans or something. Hope you have a great trip too!
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:13 PM
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To answer my own question about Cirrus/Maestro compatibility in Namibia. The one ATM I found at WDH was Visa/Plus only, but there were other ATMs in towns which were Cirrus/Maestro compatible, so apparently the information in the Mastercard Global ATM locator is incorrect. What I ended up doing was taking out extra ZAR, so I didn't end up needing any extra cash in Namibia.
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Sep 24th, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Welcome back Patty, we leave Wed. I'll have to read your reports when I find a computer. Hope you had a wonderful time!
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