Lion / Löwe

Königs-Protea / King Protea

African Buffalo / Kaffernbüffel

Cape Town / Kapstadt V&A Waterfront

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OVERVIEW / english

















Climate Zones and Travel Period


The Travel Routes


Selection of Vehicles






Travel and Health


Wild Card


Money and Banks


Left Hand Driving


Conservation and Tourism


Conservation and Hunting


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South 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!

Purchasing and payment in southern Africa:
You can pay with all major credit cards almost anywhere, so you don't have to carry large amounts of cash with you. 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 there.
A 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.


the previous series of South African coins and banknotes


Do not change cash at home before leaving!
Bank branches in Europe do not normally have cash from these countries "in stock" 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.

If you want to change cash, do it here in South Africa (Namibia, 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.

On 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 only a few banks have FOREX approval. And once you have found a bank, it can still take hours to change money.


Cash money at cross-border trips.
It is different if you bring cash from neighboring countries to South Africa: almost all banks change the money without high fees. Namibia, 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, Lilangeni... etc.

This 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 (...they just want to save themselves the trip to the bank...).


Namibia-Dollar / NAM$

South African Rand / ZAR


The 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:
You can pay almost everywhere with the usual credit cards. 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. Regardless 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.

The 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.

At 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.


Botswana Pula / BWP

the new ZIM$ / ZW...???