US Dollars, GB Sterling, Euro and select international currencies are used within Africa, with US Dollar being the most popular. You will find food, taxi, accommodation and optional activity prices are all quoted in US Dollars.
US Dollars cash notes must be issued POST 2009. No notes pre-dated are accepted due to fraudulent notes rife in East Africa. You can pre-order US Cash notes from your local bank or foreign exchange office prior to arriving in Africa.
It is also best to bring a combination of larger denominations (USD100 and USD50) to pay for your Local Payment and smaller denominations (USD50, UDS20, USD 10 and USD5) for spending money, visas and optional activities.
ATMs are found throughout East Africa and other major towns and cities through East Africa. Please note that when drawing money from a local ATM, you will receive local currency.
There are full banking facilities in the major towns based on weekly business hours 8:30am – 4:00pm. Here you can change money and withdraw cash from a credit card. Visa and Master Card are preferential, as other cards may not be widely accepted. There are several forex bureaus that exchange money and offer better rates than the bank.
Local Payment & Gorilla Permits
Local Payments must be paid in US Dollars cash or Shillings specific to the east African country you might be in as required by your chosen East African tour.
Gorilla Permits can be pre-paid (on select tours) and mostly paid in US Dollars cash on tour departure. We will advise you based on your chosen tour.
These are mostly paid in cash or traveler’s cheques in the currency quoted on the optional activities list.
Depending on your nationality, visas are paid in US Dollars upon arrival at an international airport or border post. Please contact the relevant country Embassy / Consulate for confirmation on your particular requirements and the visa application process. There is also an East African visa which applies to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Tipping is entirely at your own discretion or, based on the following guideline:
• Driver/ tour leader: USD 5 to USD 10 per person per day
• Camp assistant / cook: USD 3 to USD 5 per person per day
• National Parks guides/optional activities: USD 2 to USD 3 per person per day
• Restaurant or Bar staff/waitrons: 10% of total bill
Sometimes political or civil unrest and other circumstances beyond our control will mean the group has to make alternative travel plans, therefore keep some extra cash on you for these occasions.
Keep in mind that with most Travel Insurance policies – you need to cover the expense and then claim from your insurance.