Travellers cheque are the safest way to carry money - if lost, you can
always get them refunded provided you have a clear log on the ones that have
been cashed, when and where. The best travellers cheques to take are Barclays
Bank, Thomas Cook and American Express.
There are some downfalls with
only taking travellers cheques:
You may not be in an area where these
can easily be exchanged. In some more remote places it can take hours if at
You do not have the same bargaining power as US Dollar (or Pounds
Sterling) cash will have.
You may have to pay high commission rates -
these can vary from bank to bank depending on the type of travellers
Take probably about 60% + of your funds in Travellers
Definitely ensure that you take some cash - the
currency depends on the region you are visiting
West Africa - US
Dollar/Euro's East Africa - US Dollar, Pounds Sterling North Africa -
US Dollar Southern Africa - US Dollar, Pounds Sterling
You will find
that some hotel bills and even some game park entrance fees must be paid for in
If taking US Dollar cash check your notes are not
older than 1991 - they're not accepted in some exchange bureaus
fair amount of small denomination US money for airport (departure) taxes and
when you only need to exchange a small amount of money-like when leaving a
You will also have much better bargaining power if you pay in
When you exchange money, exchange plenty - it is often
a time consuming task and banks are not always open. In remote areas you may
not be able to exchange money. Money can be exchanged in many hotels. Always
get a receipt when changing money through the official channels.
sure you have small bills (notes), as you will need to use these for tips and
misc - also some remote places may not have change
Unless you are travelling in cities and well developed countries, such
as Southern Africa you will find that very few places accept payment by credit
If you are going to make payment via credit card for a hotel room,
safari or activity, ensure that you know exactly what exchange rate they are
going to use and if there are any additional fees for paying by credit card.
When you have made a payment using credit card - always keep your credit card
receipt in a safe place - it is not unknown to be charged twice and without
your credit card receipt there is little you can do to dispute anything when
you get back home.
Prior to leaving advise your credit card company that
youo are going to be in Africa. That way if they get any new or strange charges
from there, they will not deny it. This could save you a lot of trouble trying
to pay for a meal or Hotel somewhere.
In cities and well developed
countries you can draw cash out from ATM machines using your credit card -
however, please be aware that money from ATM's is ONLY available in local
It goes without saying
that if you lose your money - your holiday will be ruined - there are many tips
on ensuring the safety of your money and valuables.
Always have a small bit of money available in a pocket or close to
hand - you do not want to dig into your bag or Money Belt or pull out a whole
wedge of money when paying for something.
If you use a money belt make
sure that it is small and inconspicious and well hidden under your clothing. Do
not walk round with a great bulge around your midrift - this just shows
everyones exactly where your valuables are and does not provide any
While travelling, you may require money for unexpected expenses
such as shopping, international calls, tipping, medical or
for various other reasons. So it is always advisable to carry extra cash than
you have actually planned to so that you dont hesitate in spending or
enjoying your trip
It is best to store your money in several places,
then, in the unfortunate incident of you being robbed or losing money you won't
Many hotels and safari companies provide safety deposit boxes
for you, but they may be managed differently - find out who has access before
storing anything in a afety deposit box and if you feel comfortable with the
security then leave the majority of your money and valuables here.
I am travelling and staying in one place for any length of time, I look for a
good spot to hide my money in the room I am staying in only provided there are
no staff coming in. There are many, many good places if you look hard enough -
(behind a picture or wall hanging is NOT one of them!) do not make it
obvious. ...Generally a thief will want to get and and out as quick as
possible - they don't have time to look around