We will take US dollars as main currency, but local currencies are required for some border costs, fuel, small puchases, etc. Credit cards are almost exclusively accepted at luxury lodges and at the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater entrances. Grocery stores, fuel stations, campsites, etc all require cash.
There are currency exchange offices and ATM’s at the larger border posts, but not everywhere. It is also possible to change USD to local currencies at banks available in most larger towns or withdraw money with a credit card.
However, to exchange currencies during the frenzy of a border crossing is not fun as one needs the local money to pay road taxes or community levies at the border.
Inter-Africa Bureau de Change is located in the waiting area of international arrivals at Oliver Tambo Airport, and they keep the different African currencies in stock.
We have total estimated distances per country as well as diesel prices per country and could calculate how much of the local currencies we would need for fuel, specific border costs payable in local currency and some change to buy vegetables and cold drinks. Accommodation we can pay with USD and for all further needs we can get to a bank to exchange as we do not want to exchange on the black market.
We printed out images of the latest banknotes for these countries and will check any currencies received against it to avoid being scammed with redundant notes, counterfeit notes, etc.
Currencies from Inter-Africa Bureau de Change:
- Botswana Pula
- Zambian kwachas
- Tanzanian shillings
- Kenyan shillings
Malawian Kwacha is not available outside Malawi.
Namibia accepts ZAR.
USD and Mozambique Meticals we acquired from our local Bidvest bank in Nelspruit.