DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby becky.arnheim » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Hey there!

This is going to sound horribly unorganised of me... but can someone just confirm that we don't need visas for anywhere? The only ones I came across were Tanzania and Kenya, which I believe we just buy on the border?

Also, what are you all doing about money - just withdraw at ATMs when we get to new countries and bring some US dollars too?

I'm quite nervous too! So much to sort out before I leave in 10 days!!

:)
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby mossi » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Hi Becky

Where are you from? I am British so the following might not help you but I have the Zambian and Tanzanian visas and am considering getting the Kenya one as well but probably won't get around to it. Malawi should issue a free visa to British citizens on entry apparently and visas are not needed for the remaining countries.

The FCO recommends getting a Tanzanian visa here as it can be problematic to get one on entry although you can do so. Similar thing with the Zambian one. Hope that helps!

Are you guys staying in the start hotel for the time you are in SA prior to the trip? If so might bump into you on the 8th/9th.
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby becky.arnheim » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:59 pm

Ah brilliant, thanks Ian. I'm quite confused as I've been told Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya you just get on the border - really hope this is the case as probably don't have enough time now! Do you know what sort of problems they mean?

I arrive in Cape Town on the 2nd March (so soon!) and have booked the first two nights at the Backpacker hostel but not anything else yet, as wanted to see what it was like.

Thanks for your help!
:)
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby mistie » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:09 pm

I'm finnish so can't help with visas (SA, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia) :D I don't need visas except in Zambia and I get it from border. And I won't continue from Zambia. I fly back to SA from there and then back home.

Money issue...I have changed some US dollars and also South African rands. Then I'm gonna use ATMs. And I think I read that in Namibia it's also possible to pay with SA rands. :?:

I'm not gonna stay our joining hotel before 10th. I stay 3 nights before that in one guesthouse, Bo-Kaap area.

Neeeervous!
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby mossi » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:52 pm

Becky, I am not sure really but I think it is to deal with rogue officials using any excuse to charge more than the normal price. Pretty sure that won't be an issue for a big tour though.

Mistie - Have you ever had issues getting cash out of an ATM in Africa?
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby mistie » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:20 pm

I have had (or how is it in english :D ) no problems with ATMs in Kenya (2006) or Tanzania (2010). I have VISA and I have got money without any issues. Except when ATM has been closed for no reason but then we just had to find another one. I don't know about Mastercard and I think I have read that pin code should be 4 numbers, in some countries code can be 5 numbers I guess. So if 5 numbers..not very good. Hmm, I try to find info....

Found it!
From tour info:
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in Namibia.

The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.

In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha, denoted by ZMK.

It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zambia, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate, however, change will then be in Kwacha.

The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. $US notes that are older than year 2002 are not accepted everywhere and can be difficult to change. In addition, $US notes prior to 2000 are worthless in some areas of Africa, as they are rarely accepted and impossible to exchange.

Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept a 4-digit PIN). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards; it is harder to find machines Master Card/Cirrus cards.
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Re: DCF130310: Dunes, deltas & falls - March 10, 2013

Postby becky.arnheim » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:04 pm

Hey guys!

Thanks so much for your advice re. visas and money. Have decided to get the visas for Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya on the border, as seems to be a bit more cost effective! And went for a mixture of US dollars, some SA rand, and then the Travelex Passport cash card thing, which is Mastercard.

If anyone will be in Cape Town before the trip (I'll be there from this Saturday!) - send me an email (rebecca.arnheim@gmail.com) if you fancy joining forces to do anything. I'm more likely to check email than this once I'm there! I'm staying the first two nights in the Backpacker but haven't booked anywhere after that, as wanted to see what it was like first.

Can't wait to get started and meet you all!

Becky :)
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