Wiring money for Gorilla Trek

Jan 21st, 2007, 08:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13
Wiring money for Gorilla Trek

Sorry everyone -but we are new to this type of forum and posted this message as a reply to someone else. I have now figured out that we should have started a new post so here goes!!

We are trying to book a gorilla trek to Uganda and are leaning towards African Pearl Safaris. (which we have heard good things about)

Are major concern is that they want us to wire a cash deposit as they are not set up for credit cards.

Has anyone had any experiences with doing this and is it safe?? Western Union and the Uganda High Commission in Canada have both advised against it - but are there any other options.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Again sorry for the repeat posting!!
Pipflam is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:31 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 312
Hello Pipflam:

Here is a recent thread about wiring money.

Denbasking is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 836
Hi and welcome to Fodors!!
I can't advise you specifically on Uganda nor African Pearl but I can tell you tahat wiring money to Rwanda / Uganda is common practice when booking for Gorilla trecks. We booked last July in Rwanda and like you were very hesitant wiring money but we did and everything worked out perfectly. As long as the TO is a reliable one and is known there should be no problem. One thing to note, it can take a while for the money to actually transfer!

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Thank you for the thread link Denbasking. That was most helpful.

You mentioned something about a "moneygram" could you give me a bit more info on that?? We live in Canada - so hopefully we have the same thing here - sounds much cheaper!!

Pipflam is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 10:12 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 312
You are welcome Pipflam.

I had never heard of a MoneyGram either, it is like Western Union (which I have not thought about in years). In the USA one can find a MoneyGram facility in Wal-Martís at their customer service desks. This was a tip from KiliWarrior Carol for me in regards to sending money to Tanzania where they have MoneyGram places in all the banks and I suppose other venues. You would have to check if Uganda has them and if your TO will let you send money to them this way, no harm in asking!

Funny story about the fee, last month my son lost his wallet while out on his motorcycle in the town where he attends college and needed money since the banks were closed and he lost his ATM card. So I thought easy enough Iíll send him a MoneyGram too! I sent him the same amount of money that I usually send to Tanzania, he is only two hours away in the same state of Pennsylvania and it cost me $10.00 which was $1.00 MORE than the TZ fee!


PS - Can you give me a bit more information on your handle *Pipflam*? I love tring to figure these names out but with yours I have no clue! or

Denbasking is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Wiring funds to Africa is quite common and we haven't heard of any major concerns/problems, here on Fodor's, by those who have.

Not familiar with African Pearl Safaris, but check with them about moneygrams*, otherwise, go into your local bank and wire the funds to Uganda. The fee is about $30-$45, depending on your financial institution, and it's easy to do.

*there may actually be a maximum amount that can be wired this way; as with money orders, here in the States, believe the maximum is $1,000.

Just get all the details from the outfitter: their name, address and phone number, the name of their bank, bank address, account number, Swift Code - that's it. In most instances if you wire prior 3pm, the funds should be in Africa next day or the following. Ask African Pearl to confirm receipt of your funds.
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the input - we're going tomorrow to wire the funds - if African Pearl still have the permits!!! woohoo can't wait - we're doing an overlander, shark cage diving and gorilla trek - going to be there for 2 months - and we can't wait!!

PSenbasking: actually pipflam is short for pipflamsnobbergots!! - my now retired husband, his cousins (as teenagers you understand) - several pilfered beer from dad's fridge and that's all he can remember!! Except it's been his nickname by family eversince!! NICE EY??
Pipflam is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:23 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 312

Isnít it great to have one more decision made and off your list! That to me was worth the extra money...

When is your trip? 2 months, nice.

One more item I would add is the company I used, Great Lakes Safaris, had the client pay their bank fee for the wire transfer which brought my total to $70. ish. A few other folks on the forum that used different companies also mentioned they had to pay the TOís bank fee as well. Not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but like I said I would have rather donated it to the guide.


I would have NEVER come close to figuring that one out! Thanks for sharing!

Denbasking is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:24 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
I have had to wire money to Rwanda, Nairobi & India for various trips.

Many small overseas companies don't take credit cards. if the company seems reputable they should be fine.
waynehazle is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 150
I was nervous about wiring money but there was no problem at all. We used Travelust, a Ugandan owned company for our treks in Uganda and Rwanda, in case you want to check another company's itinerary out. The only way to secure a permit to trek is thru wire transfer.
annergizer is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13
Well sorry for the delay - but I've ben swamped with our boarding kennel - and came down with a nasty bug for a couple of days.....
Soo wired the money (eeekkkk) - did it through the bank for about a $35 fee and the fee in Uganda was $15US - so overall not toooo bad.

I have received confirmation that they received the money and all is well. Soo the only thing left to worry about is if they pick us up at the hotel on the arranged date!! !!

We are going in June (10th) - to Cape Town were we have 4 days before our safari starts. We are going to do the cage diving with sharks before we leave!!

Then we take a 41 day overland trip with Acacia Tours - ending in Kenya. Kenya - Uganda Gorilla Trek - then back to Kenya to Masi Mara/Lake Nakuru for 6 days - then home!!

We can't wait. This is our retirment trip and we are MOST excited!!!

Thank you to all who helped with the wiring money. I've also been reading lots of other "threads" (I'm even getting the terms down) on packing etc.... and getting lots of great info.

Thanks again everyone - talk to you soon!!
Pipflam is offline  
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