Africa - Namibia - Botswana - Swaziland
(Eswatini) - Lesotho:
In these countries we find a cash
and currency system
that works in a similar way to that used in most
other countries. (We'll
come to the special cases later.)
You can easily withdraw cash with your EC /
cash card as usual.
There are ATMs at all major supermarkets, petrol stations, rest areas. The simplest and by far the cheapest method. However: BEFORE leaving for South Africa, make sure that your EC
/ cash card is activated for the countries of southern Africa!
and payment in southern Africa:
can pay with all major credit cards almost anywhere,
so you don't have to carry large amounts of cash
You only need smaller amounts of cash, for example,
at the toll
stations on the South African highways,
because only South African credit cards are taken
special case: Put cash in your pocket when you drive
into remote areas - such as the Kaokoveld in Namibia!
Because there it occasionally happens that the telephone
lines are interrupted and therefore neither card
readers nor ATMs work.
not change cash at home before leaving!
branches in Europe do not normally have cash from
these countries "in
and would have to order it from the main offices
of the respective bank.
It is also
expensive for you
to change money because storing cash is not worthwhile
for European banks.
you want to change cash, do it here in South Africa
Botswana ... etc.)
on site - but only in the large bank branches. Ideally
immediately after arriving at the airport or at
the important tourist hotspots - at banks or exchange
offices. Don't forget, you have to show your passport (...very
important, because nothing works without...).
But at least: In the larger tourist centres, this
usually works without frictions.
the countryside, or in smaller towns and villages,
there is usually no bank at all, or only one bank
in the whole place, which can - or may - exchange
foreign currencies at all. It is like that because
a few banks have FOREX approval.
And once you have found a bank, it can still take
hours to change money.
money at cross-border trips.
It is different
if you bring cash from neighboring countries to
almost all banks change the money without high fees.
Lesotho and Swaziland still
have a special
status because their currencies are valued 1: 1
equally to the South African rand, and the rand
is also considered as legal tender in those countries.
But if you are traveling from one of these countries
towards South Africa, it would be convenient if
you let yourself be given South African rand as
change with every payment, instead of NAM dollars,
saves you the way to the bank - because although
the South African rand in these neighboring countries
is used like their own currency: In
South Africa, just one meter behind the border control
point, no shop, no kiosk and no pub accepts the
currency of the neighboring countries
just want to save themselves the trip to the bank...).
Pula is an independent currency and has been traded
1: 1.3 with the rand in recent years. So you pay
R1.30 for one Botswana Pula / BTW.
The special case of Zimbabwe:
can pay almost everywhere with the usual credit
To be on the safe side, however, you should check
with your credit card institute again before de-
parture whether the card is accepted in Zimbabwe.
of which leaps in currency policy are currently
made in Zimbabwe: The calculation base for any goods
is solely the US Dollar and to your credit card
will also be charged in this currency.
old ZIM dollar has been history for years. Then
they tried it with US $ cash money. But Zimbabwe
is not able to issue neither notes nor coins of
this currency. As a result, there was no change
money available from the beginning, and the smallest
unit was the one-dollar note. So the government
came up with the brilliant idea of issuing government
bonds. And again - nobody wanted to accept this
- neither as a means of payment nor as foreign exchange.
So these bonds were renamed into RTG-Dollars and
then a short time later into RTGS-Dollars. But after
this new "currency"
launched an inflation career of over 300% within
the short period from February to November 2019,
we now and for the time beeing, face the latest
coup of the Zimbabwean currency policy: A brand-new
Zimbabwean Dollar is created and the sudden decease
of which is most probably, also and again only a
matter of time.
What you need in any case is: Cash in a convertible currency: US $, British £, €, SFr, Rand, Pula ... etc. - because you have to pay the visa in cash at the border. And don't forget the other "entrance fees" - which are payable if you are traveling with a rental car.
this point we end this topic because the applicable
regulations are constantly changing. If
you participate on a guided tour, we take care of
the paperwork. And if you are on the road as a self-driver,
you have a tour plan in your hand that explains
the currently valid procedure in detail.