Tipping/Paying in Euro or Sterling rather than USD?

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Jul 14th, 2005, 02:47 AM
  #1
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Tipping/Paying in Euro or Sterling rather than USD?

We're going to Botswana & Vic Falls (Zam) in a few weeks and we're just trying to work out the money situation. I've seen lots of topics here about tipping and paying for items in USD, but none about Euro or Sterling. Is this done at all or are we better to change our money into Dollars? Thanks.
cailin is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2005, 09:15 AM
  #2
 
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Haven't been to Botswana, but when we were in Africa, we found that paying in USD was actually cheaper at some places. In hotels and they would do the conversion, but in small shops they would ask for $5 Euro or $5 USD (for example). Since the exchange rate is still quite good for the Euro right now, you may want to change some of your money into dollars for spending cash. You'd get a little more for your money that way.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Pretty much everywhere and everyone in Zambia takes $. Some places denominate prices in $...others will do an exchange, typically at a "round number" rate. They are not trying to rip you off, it's just too complicated for say, a vendor in the marketplace to calculate 4650Kwatcha to the dollar, so they will use 4600. It's trivial difference. You can't do this with sterling.
Tips in $? Oh my yes, they love them, and can spend them as dollars. But pounds they would have to take to a bank, and while a major hotel might exchange pounds for you (at a rate that is probably not so good), a shop or vendor would not.

In Botswana, where you are leaving camp tips (one tip for all the staff) the camp could do the exchange from pounds and distribute. Or you could change pounds for pula at the airport...I know there is place at the Gaborone airport, and I think there must be in Maun, too. or you could just bring dollars. On my first visit to Bots, I took $ and never needed to exchange to pula. Most of the Brits I met in Bots obtained $ in London before the trip...
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Jul 14th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #4
bwanamitch
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In East and southern Africa USD is the best choice, in Central-West Africa (Gabon & other ex-French colonies) you should consider EUR.

Mitch
 
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