South Africa Currency Exchange

Old Apr 24th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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South Africa Currency Exchange

My fiance and I are planning a June 2006 2-week (plus) honeymoon in South Africa, which will hopefully include a safari. I am in the process of reading the recommendations off of this site to decide on the best safaris, accomodations, sites, perhaps scuba diving, etc.

Does anyone happen to know the current exchange rate with the dollar? Any other suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you!

Jay
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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1 dollar = 6 ZAR (rand)
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Hello,

This is a great foreign-exchange website, probably the most widely used one in the world:

http://www.xe.com

Note that the rates you find online are usually bank rates not tourist rates, so the rate you will get if you change money at the airport won't be quite as good.

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Thank you both!

Jay
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 11:49 PM
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If you want the more practical "buy" and "sell" rates and not the "Interbank" rate, then you need to go to a bank site. The one that I use is that of my own bank, at www.standardbank.co.za (Fees, rate and prices/Foreign exchange).

And if you have to stop and think for even a moment whether to use buy or sell rates, don't. It's always the one that gives you the worst result, whether you're arriving or returning!
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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The Wall Street Journal publishes the Rand exchange rate every day. Our experience has been that the best thing to do about money in SA is to use your bank card to get Rands from ATMs, rather than exchanging at banks. Credit cards are widely accepted in South Africa too.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Wow, great advice all! Thank you.

Jay
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Before leaving home, check with your local bank + ask what their foreign ATM fee is. For us, on our last int'l trip, it was $4-5 USD per withdrawal So be sure what your upfront costs are and take out sufficient funds each time to minimize the number of ATM transactions.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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Use your ATM card and credit cards. Check the fee that your home bank may charge for withdrawals and as mentioned above, withdraw sufficient amount each time. Note, however, that gas stations do not accept credit cards... you need Rand to pay.

Otherwise, you can tip at safari camps in USD (or Rand). Mentioned, as I don't recall seeing ATMs at the safari camps. Though it's more personal to give your tips direct to your range, tracker and staff, some guests to add tips on their credit card charges.

 
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Hello,

For security reasons (the amount of cash needed for all the tips on a three-week trip is enormous) I prefer to tip using a credit card. This also means that I'm not constrained by how much money I've brought with me if I encounter some truly exceptional service and want to show my appreciation.

However, I also give my guide/tracker/butler a personal handwritten thank-you note with a pin from Oxford.

Cheers,
Julian
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