USD's or Rands? And temps in July

May 2nd, 2004, 02:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 42
USD's or Rands? And temps in July

Another question regarding money. In many countries, people want to be tipped or paid in USD's. In other countries street vendors want to be paid in the currency of the country.

We will be in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls and in Kruger. What have people found to be the currency of choice for tips and/or for purchases from street vendors or merchants? Do they want USD's or not?

Thanks for your help.

Also it looks like it will be pretty chilly in these places in July and maybe rainy. (Pretty chilly for a So. California person that is.) Anyone been there in July and able to tell me what to expect. Looks like it may be as low at 30's F and may be as high as 60-70 F if we are lucky.

Thank you for firsthand experiences. Books say one thing but nothing like personal experience.

Trvlingal is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 03:04 PM
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The only thing we used USD was for tipping of our guides, rangers, trackers, camp staff. Otherwise, we paid in local currency - using credit cards for restaurant bills, major purchases.

As to the weather, July is winter, so expect the chill to set in. And the Cape area often wet. However, weather is weather, and what guarantees are there. You might hit a heat or dry spell. But you should be prepared for what the books indicate and hope for warmer and drier.
May 2nd, 2004, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

Agree with Sandi. In Cape Town, Johannesburg and Kruger everythng happens in Rand denominations. US$ actually are a problem as they need to be exchanged at banks etc.

Expect the same at all the places you are visiting and seeing that you are mainly travelling in SA you can tip your rangers, trackers (If you are going to employ these type of guides) etc in Rands or US$. I think that if you ask them they would be happier to have this paid in ZAR. As soon as you move out of South Africa eg Victoria Falls then US$ becomes the name of the game.

Weather wise expect a wettish Cape Town.
The 30's F that you mention will only be the case at night and then this would be a rareity. Expect on average 55-60F with lightish rains and no excess humidity.

Hope this all helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Cape Town could be wet, as already has been stated, and also windy.

Johannesburg, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls are likely to be dry.

Johanneburg experiences occasional frost at night. Days tend to be crisp, sunny and dry, around 60 deg F.

Chances are the nights in Kruger will be around 45 deg F, although even there one can encounter a rare frost. Daytime highs are likely to be 65 deg F - 70 deg F.

Nights at Vic Falls can be quite cool, down to 40 deg F or so, but you have a good chance of having warm, even hot, days, perhaps 75 deg F - 80 deg F.

In all of these areas you'll probably find yourself needing a warm sweater or fleece jacket in the mornings, but you'll probably have to peel it off as the day wears on and the temperature gets higher.

If you're driving yourselves in an enclosed car, you'll be okay. If you're accompanying guides on morning game drives in open 4x4 vehicles, you'll be pretty cold. I believe they'll provide you with blankets, but you'll still need a woollen cap, gloves and a warm jacket.

I got soaked to the skin when I went on an August hike with my brother in the hills behind Hermanus, not far from Cape Town. Next time I go there, I'll probably avoid the southern hemisphere winter, but if I can't avoid it I'll take Goretex rain pants and a hooded Goretex jacket to wear over my other clothes. A hooded, waterproof jacket also helps to protect one against the wind.

I also recommend taking something quite cosy in which to sleep. I can't speak for hotels and B&B establishments, but my South African family members' homes are not all that warm on winter nights. My family members keep expressing wonder that I can survive Canadian winters, and I keep trying to explain to them that Canadian homes are well heated.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 05:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 42
Thanks for the helpful responses. I wondered about the open game vehicles in Kruger so will advise everyone to plan for cold. Can't wait!
Trvlingal is offline  

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