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 Post subject: Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Hi pinchaskut,

On the subject of SIM cards, phone shops don't all know how to apply the rules to foreigners and you may get different answers in different stores. We were told in December that it was not possible without proof of address (utility bill, etc), and then that it was possible with a letter from a police station. It seems others have managed with hotel letters. I guess the answer is to take what documents you have, and if one phone store won't do it try another. I expect at the airport they will be used to this so maybe that is the best place to start.

Have a great trip!


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 Post subject: Re: ATM's at Rest Camps
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:36 pm 
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Dear All,

The only two official ATM's in the Park are in Skukuza and Letaba and being relatively remote in terms of communication infrastructure, they even have a risk of sometimes being down due to breaks in communication. Some other camps have ATM facilities in shops or restaurants but this is not reliable and as these are manually operated, there are a number of dependencies, including cash availability with disbursing agent and also connectivity.
Do not rely on these.
Guests must plan cash needs well in advance and draw suitable cash before entering Park.
Credit cards are also widely accepted at receptions, shops and restaurants.
Please note that credit cards (or debit cards) can not be used to purchase fuel at Kruger filling stations.

Kind regards.

JOEP

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 Post subject: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Location: Texas, USA
When we visit Kruger, I will be trying to use our foreign (USA) credit cards (Visa, Mastercard) for as many purchases as possible.
That said, we will need to budget for some cash needs as well.
After reading posts on the forum, it sounds like the biggest cash need is for petrol.
To be safe, I'm going to budget R200 per day for petrol as suggested on another thread by Bush Baptist. That should cover me there with perhaps a little margin for error.
Are there any other expenses that you can think of that we will likely not be able to use a Visa or Mastercard for?
Specifically, do you think all of the following purchases can be made by Visa or Mastercard:

- Groceries bought at Spar or Pick 'n Pay at Malelane
- Meals at the camp restaurants (Lower Sabie/Satara)
- shops at the camps (Lower Sabie/Satara)
- International Wild Card bought at the entrance gate

Anything else you can think of that I should budget cash for?

On a different topic, if we head back to the Nelspruit airport by exiting the park at the Malelane gate, is there a petrol station close to the airport along the route between the Malelane gate and the airport that we can fill up at for the final time on the way back to the airport? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Your can use your credit card for almost all purchases.
Shops & restaurants
In and outside Kruger
Wild card
Almost everything

Except petrol
And toll ( but you seem to drive only a short portion of toll)
And tipping

I always have a amount with for petrol, tipping and dont use the credit card for buying ice cream for eg.
And its custom to tip the cleaning people at Kruger
Normal tipping is R10-30 per day
So R300 would do fine

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Oh and yes, please remember you are in the bush and the telephone lines for the card machines occasionally don't work so some cash is essential. :D

Have a good trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:14 pm 
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saraf wrote:
I'd check your account Terms & Conditions, using a CC for every transaction may cost you a fortune in Foreign Exchange charges, not to mention uncompetitive exchange rates.
We tend to just use them for big purchases (gifts and souvenirs) or where getting a large wad of cash is inappropriate.
Another thing - does your CC have a 6-digit PIN?
If so you may not be able to use it in SA, where I think their machines are only set up for 4 digit ones.
And finally, don't forget to let your CC company know where you are going.
Unfortunately some companies automatically put a stop on transactions from Africa.
Always have at least 2 CCs, one each of Visa and Mastercard, just in case.


Thanks saraf,
The credit card we will be using doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
It is one of the benefits of this particular card.
So your advice is well noted, on point and would be applicable to most people but we are lucky in this respect.

On the PIN, we don't have a PIN on this credit card.
Isn't the PIN needed only for cash withdrawals rather than for purchases?
We would only be using it for purchases.
We have a 3 digit CCV code on the back that is sometimes requested for extra security but have never needed a PIN for purchases.
Am I missing something here and a PIN is needed for purchases (not withdrawals) in SA?
I wonder if I need to investigate this further?
In the USA I use the credit card for purchases daily and never have needed a PIN.

We will bring both a Visa and MasterCard...neither with a PIN though.

Yes, we will call the credit card companies before we leave...a good reminder, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Several UK credit cards don't charge commission for foreign transactions, but I don't know if you have that facility in the USA jhawktx, but if so, you could get one of those (if you haven't already got one!!)

As overseas visitors to SA on a very regular and extended basis, we put almost everything on our card, because it is just so much more convenient, and because we don't pay commision on the transactions it costs us nothing extra.

As previous peeps have said, most things can be bought with your card, except petrol and tolls, tips, camp launderettes, and the odd ice cream etc.

Again, our UK debit card allows us to draw cash at any ATM in South Africa, so we carry very little cash at one time. There are ATMs at Skukuza and Letaba, and most shopping malls and petrol stations outside the park,will have an ATM.

That of course is just my opinion!!!

Have a fab time!!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:38 pm 
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jhawktx wrote:
On the PIN, we don't have a PIN on this credit card. Isn't the PIN needed only for cash withdrawals rather than for purchases? We would only be using it for purchases.

In South Africa it's a mixed bit as far as I know.
I do have a PIN, and absolutely need it here (in Holland) to pay for anything.
No PIN, no transaction.
It is more or less your digital signature.
I think you will need your PIN, so just be safe, and request it from your bank(s).

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 Post subject: Re: Maximum Rand withdrawal at Nelspruit airport?
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:39 pm 
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With regards to withdrawing in Kruger....the machines are not always online.....power can be lost easily in the bush, so it's best to NOT rely on ATMs in the KNP.
At the larger bank's ATMs, we were always able to withdraw at least R2000.
You will need to have a FOUR digit pin....so if you have more than that you will have to change that before you go.
My ATM card worked fine...hubby's not at all...no idea why..we both notified the bank about our debit & credit cards at the same time :roll:
ALSO.....you cannot pay with credit cards at some gas stations in SA.....so you must be sure to have enough R at all times.

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 Post subject: Re: Maximum Rand withdrawal at Nelspruit airport?
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Another thing you might want to consider...we always take some traveler's checks as backup. There is a bank at Skukuza and we have never had any trouble cashing the checks there.

You will LOVE Kruger. Have a great trip!


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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:23 pm 
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I would get a pin for your card, just to be on the safe side. It won't cost anything and can not hurt. Call your bank. We have used our card (with 4 digit pin number) many times at the ATMs in the park. It has never been a problem and it is really nice to know that you can get some more cash if you need it.

One less thing to worry about. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:14 pm 
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In Canada ALL credit cards have to be CHIP enabled by Dec 31.....that means you insert your card differently and you need a PIN code...

I assumed we were following US standards.....

btw...when do/does your CC expire? You may be getting one with a chip......

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 Post subject: Re: Budgeting for cash needs while in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:30 am 
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DuQues wrote:
jhawktx wrote:
On the PIN, we don't have a PIN on this credit card. Isn't the PIN needed only for cash withdrawals rather than for purchases? We would only be using it for purchases.

In South Africa it's a mixed bit as far as I know. I do have a PIN, and absolutely need it here (in Holland) to pay for anything. No PIN, no transaction. It is more or less your digital signature.
And then you pay in SA, with PIN, and they want you to sign the slip. :slap:
I think you will need your PIN, so just be safe, and request it from your bank(s).

Just to clarify, in Europe and SA, the CCs are the "chip and pin" type, where generally you enter your pin and don't have to sign a slip.

Unfortunately, chip and pin cards do not exist in the USA (with the rare exceptions that iLoveMeerkats points out), probably because the vast majority of USA customers will never travel overseas and apparently the CC companies don't want to go to the extra expense of changing to the chip and pin cards.

I have only had a problem with using a non-chip card at one shop in the UK (The Body Shop), and have never (yet?) had a problem with using a non-chip CC in SA.

Getting a pin for a US CC won't do you any good for purchases as the US cards don't have the chip technology, the pin in USA cards is only if you plan to use it for cash withdrawals.

Hope this makes some sense, it is a bit confusing — and frustrating that US technology is so behind the times. Most people seem to assume that the USA is always at the forefront of technology :roll: — a myth!

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 Post subject: Re: Maximum Rand withdrawal at Nelspruit airport?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:40 am 
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We find we get a better rate with Foreign Exchange Bureaus than with banks. If you order in advance it can work out cheaper to pick up currency at your departure airport. Have a search around on the internet to get the best rate a couple of days before you fly.

Whatever form you use to get your money you will be landed with large denominations. We tend to use the larger notes to pay the tolls - just check the change they give you is correct before driving on. Takes a few seconds longer but then you have smaller notes and coins for use in the Kruger shops, where change is not always easy to come by.

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 Post subject: Re: Maximum Rand withdrawal at Nelspruit airport?
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:13 pm 
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ockiev wrote:
Hi Jhawktx,

All Absa Bank and FNB Atm's have preloaded withdrawl amounts, Max on the preloaded value is R1000.00 but select the "Own Amount" option and the max for this option is R3,000.00 per withdrawl.

I also recommend that you check the ATM as it would indicate the denomination available if it indicate that no R200, R100 and or R50 is available the ATM will pay you R3000.00 in R20.

Once again the daily withdrawl limit is linked to your card limit and not to a ATM limit.

Hope this help.


Yes, this was what I was getting at earlier. I think each machine normally has a maximum amount you can withdraw either with the pre-selected amounts that show up on the screen or by selecting "Own amount". I was fishing for that maximum amount. Based on the responses it appears that maximum amount is either 1000, 2000, or 3000 Rand. This could actually vary by machine which could explain the various amounts noted.

My daily limit on my card will not be the limiting factor as it is roughly 3500 Rand...more than I need.

I'll be on the lookout for an ABSA bank ATM once we land.

On the issue of getting the money in advance at the airport, I checked that too and it was actually just slightly more expensive to use the airport exchange than to use my bank just down the street from where I work. I just need to order it 2 days in advance.


Many thanks to everyone!

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