Dollars or local currency? Money is always a major consideration when travelling overseas.
How Much Cash do I Need?
On a mid range to luxury safari you will need very little cash as most things will be included in your safari package. On a budget safari you will generally be required to contribute to a food kitty (the amount will be advised in your trip notes and supplies will be purchased locally), and drinks will be at your own expense.
Any extras that you purchase at your safari camps, or in hotels, restaurants and bars in cities, can be paid with a Visa or MasterCard, or US dollars. Please note American Express and Diners Card are not widely accepted in Africa.
You will need cash for tips, if this isn’t included in your tour price, and if you want to buy souvenirs off local street sellers.
What Currency Should I Bring?
US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Africa. Most Africans use an app on their mobile phones for money transactions so local ATMs are rare outside major towns or cities. If you need to figure out the local currency, we recommend this app for quick and easy conversions. You will need to purchase US dollars before you leave home, and request smaller notes for tips and any purchases from local street vendors, as you won’t be able to break larger notes while on safari.
South Africa and Namibia
In South Africa and Namibia you should use the South African Rand which you can easily get from ATMs throughout South Africa. The Namibian Dollar is pegged to the Rand so no conversion is needed.
While the South African Rand is legal tender in Namibia, please note that you cannot use Namibian Dollar in South Africa. If you are not visiting South Africa before going to Namibia, and therefore don’t have any South African Rand, you will use the Namibian Dollar instead. This is readily available from ATMs in Windhoek or Swakopmund.
How much should I budget?
Giving advice on personal budgets is always difficult as this will depend on your standard of accommodation (i.e. luxury lodges vs basic bush camps), what is included in your tour package, and how much you like to shop! Like anywhere else, the more luxurious properties, where all meals and drinks are included, charge higher prices for spa treatments and souvenirs than the more affordable properties do. But typically these types of extras are much more affordable than they would be back home.
If the idea of giving back to conservation and communities while experiencing the best of Africa on your dream safari appeals to you, visit our website for safari inspiration. Our 2021 safaris are available now, with a low, and fully refundable, deposit of NZ$ 500 and delayed final payment for your peace of mind.
African Encounters is your Africa specialist. We’re passionate about Africa and we’d love to share that passion with you! Talk to us now about your African safari!