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Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania #16930
07/04/2012 09:28 AM
07/04/2012 09:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline OP
Traveler
BarMer  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
I am about to leave for africa in 11 days and wonder about cash, and how to hide it. I hear credit cards are not accepted or debit cards or travelers cheques. With parks costing about $100 per day (12 days) and hotels on both ends of trip in Nairobi...etc,etc,etc.
Possibly this has been addressed previously, but most of my TTOL time has been spent on St.Maarten site.
Suggestions please....Barry
p.s. hope the bad guys don't read ttol!

Sponsors
Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: BarMer] #16931
07/04/2012 10:11 AM
07/04/2012 10:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
Hotels not accepting credit cards? I very much doubt that hotels won't accept credit cards. When we went to Africa, we did a package deal and prepaid for everything up front, basically. We were able to use credit cards in Johannesburg though. As far as your question, I would definitely get at least a money belt. Will you be somewhere that you can use an ATM?


Carol Hill
Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: Carol_Hill] #16932
07/04/2012 10:59 AM
07/04/2012 10:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline OP
Traveler
BarMer  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
Thanks Carol..I got the money belt, but there is way too many bills to fit in it. Besides not accepting anything but cash, the bills must be 20's (nothing over) and no bill accepted older than 2006!
I believe Kenya and Tanzania are much different than Johannesburg. I am hoping that someone will comment...at any rate I will let you know early August when I return.

Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: BarMer] #16933
07/06/2012 08:23 AM
07/06/2012 08:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 251
Burlington, ON Canada
PrimeSuspect Offline
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PrimeSuspect  Offline
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Posts: 251
Burlington, ON Canada
Barry and Marenda;

We experienced similar angst when we travelled to Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania for 7 weeks last summer. It is exclusively a cash society there; credit cards are not accepted at restaurants and guest houses, and with some difficulty (you pay the 4%-6% surcharge) at mid-tier hotels. I cannot comment on upper-tier hotels. I have no reason to suspect Kenya would be different.

It became necessary to determine the locations of ATM machines where we planned to travel, and compute the amount of cash needed between 'fill-ups'. I carried in excess of $1,000 USD (equivalent) on me at all times. Given that it is a cash society with few ATMs, it did not take long to figure out that everybody else carried lots of cash as well, a fact that was confirmed by numerous residents.

Some ATMs did not accept my PLUS-System bank card, but all accepted my VISA card (cash advance). Barclays was the most reliable. Power disruptions are common so avoid using them on weekends if you are on the move - you lose your card until Monday.

I needed to log onto my online bank account and cover the cash advance to avoid the massive interest charges associated with cash advances. Wireless hotspots were abundant surprisingly enough.

I obtained $1,000 USD in cash before I left at RBC (main branch downtown Toronto). I asked for and got brand new bills, mostly $100s and $50s, with a few $20s. You might need to give your bank a few days to get that. Go back and double check your sources that said you needed $20s - we did not find that in the countries we visited.

I carried a money pouch that hung from around my neck in front, so I was always conscious of it. Pickpockets were known concerns; armed robbers were not, except in Arusha. I believe that Nairobi is a security concern, so walking at night is probably not recommended.

I maintained a rather dishevelled look at all times - wrinkled t-shirt, unkept hair - so I pretty much looked like I was a poverty-stricken homeless person. Nobody would have suspected I was carrying a year's salary under my shirt.

Anyway, East Africa is an amazing place. It will be the trip of a lifetime for you, one you will never forget. You will probably catch the last of the Wildebeest migration northward.

Let us know how it worked out.

best regards,
Rob Charuk

Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: PrimeSuspect] #16934
07/15/2012 06:01 AM
07/15/2012 06:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline OP
Traveler
BarMer  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
Thanks Rob...I leave for airport in 2 hrs. I think I have the cash thing sorted out and will not rely on cards at all. I will be in Nairobi the first and last night, but for the most part will be at Ol Pejeta Conservancy with my son and people he knows. The rest of the time will be on the Serengeti in camps, again with people he knows.
I look forward to my adventure...

regards,

Barry

Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: BarMer] #16935
07/15/2012 08:03 AM
07/15/2012 08:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
Please do take lots of notes and report back when you get back!


Carol Hill
Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: Carol_Hill] #16936
07/28/2012 05:34 AM
07/28/2012 05:34 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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sailn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
hard to believe carrying $1000 is a good idea.

Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: sailn] #16937
07/28/2012 08:16 AM
07/28/2012 08:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 66,341
Central Florida!
It wouldn't seem so to me either. The OP should be back about this weekend, so maybe by the beginning of next week, we might see something from him.


Carol Hill
Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: Carol_Hill] #16938
12/27/2012 01:17 PM
12/27/2012 01:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline OP
Traveler
BarMer  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 379
Perth Ontario Canada
The way Rob described the c.c. situation is accurate. There are not many places that will take a c.c. and once you get out of cities like Nairobi or Arusha there is no power in most villages. I assume that is a large hotel complex like Serena Hotels they would accept a c.c.

Re: Credit cards in Kenya and Tanzania [Re: BarMer] #16939
06/22/2013 04:51 PM
06/22/2013 04:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
Traveler
sailn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
I maintained a rather dishevelled look at all times - wrinkled t-shirt, unkept hair - so I pretty much looked like I was a poverty-stricken homeless person. Nobody would have suspected I was carrying a year's salary under my shirt.
=======
people might think you were off a charter boat??


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