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Money Matters: ATM - CC - Cash

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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DinkyBird
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Re: credit card inside the kruger?

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:20 pm

vincenzomeroni wrote:Hi forumites, tomorrow I will fly from Switzerland to Krugerpark.
You lucky person! I do hope you will have a really wonderful trip to SA and to Kruger!

I don't know how much money to bring from here.
It is a good idea to have some cash reserve with you. If you are driving to Kruger from ORT International, there are toll fees etc that will be needed to pay.

1. Do restaurants and shops of the main camps accept creditcard?
Yes, they do.

2. Can I withdraw money from ATM's in Skukuza and Shingwedzi with a EC (maestro) card?
There are times these machines run out of cash, or the lines are down, and it might take a few days to get them operating again.

3. If I'm not wrong, petrol stations don't accept creditcard. Is that true?
The law has very recently changed, but rather come prepared to pay cash for petrol as not all petrol stations are compelled to accept credit cards, or might have begun to do this. Again, I have experienced that lines are down in the Park (it is in the middle of the bush after all :lol: ) when trying to pay for petrol with what South Africans use, a petrol (cash card) and not been able to, and needed to find the cash.
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Re: credit card inside the kruger?

Unread postby michel367 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:09 pm

Just take your money with you and change it at the airport. If you run out you must remember it can take you quite a while at the banks to change it. You must allow for about an hour or so.

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Re: credit card inside the kruger?

Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:43 pm

Yes, only Rands!!!

A credit card is a good option, but as mentioned above, do keep some cash as a backup. Credit cards are widely used in SA however, and you should not have any problems.

The most commonly accepted cards are Visa and Master card. Many do take American Express, but not all.
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Re: credit card inside the kruger?

Unread postby saraf » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:54 pm

The only "full" ATM's in Kruger are in Letaba and Skukuza.
The others have only mini-ATMs which restrict cash withdrawals to R300 and only then if there is cash in the tills in the shops.
And I think they are restricted to SA issued cards only but I may be wrong here.

When coming from abroad it is vital that you tell your bank/credit card issuer you will be in South Africa.
SO tried to get money out from Skukuza ATM and was refused.
Luckily I had no problem or we would have had no money and faced a very expensive call home to get the card authorised (banks will reimburse for calls but its still a nuisance).
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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP & using debit cards.

Unread postby pinchaskut » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:06 am

HI there,
Can one change US dollars to RAND in the main camps - Skukuza and Satara?
Also do the public phones have their phone number marked on it. I'll need it for my phone card,
Thanks everyone.

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby RUMURUTI » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:12 am

Good morning pinchaskut,
The main camps do have foreign exchange facilities but I'd advise you to change before entering the park but remember that exchange rate will probably have a higher commission charged.
On the other hand you can use a credit card and seems to work pretty well all over.

Sorry can't help with the phone numbers but sure there will be another formite with the info you're seeking.
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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:01 am

:hmz: What do you mean with the public phones?

What most international visitors do is buy a SIM card with a few hundred Rand airtime. Pop the number off to one or more friends / family, and they'll distribute it to the other interested people.
Sending sms's is way cheaper that way, and you can also use it for 3G connections.
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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby bert » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:04 am

Best to change money at the airport
Skukuza is the only camp with a bank
And public phones are not widely used anymore in SA
Believe every camp has one
Suspect you want to make a collect call or being callled back at the phone booth?

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:09 am

On the subject of changing money.... Don't.

Keep it easy, and leave the dollars (except pocket money) at home.
When arriving at the airport just pop 1 or two cards into the ATM, and get yourself enough money. You should be able to pay petrol by creditcard now, but don't count on it, so get enough for petrol & consumables.

If you need extra money you can always pop off to an ATM (ABSA and FNB work best with international cards), and you get the best exchange rate. And no extra banking costs!
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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby yoda » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:12 am

A quick note on buying sim cards.

I was in SA with my family in December. And tried to buy a SA sim for my cell phone. I wasn't allowed to do so because there is some new rule that all sims need to be registered to an address and I didn't have a utility bill or similar to prove my address.

Fortunately I was with a family member who was able to do so on my behalf.

But it is something foreigners should be aware of.

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby RUMURUTI » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:20 am

I got one in August simply giving proof of my hotel accommodation. Receptionist at hotels seem to know this so they provide with the document needed.
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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby pinchaskut » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:17 pm

Thanks for all the info everyone.
I'm convinced - I see that public phones is almost extinct.
So I need to bring a cell phone and buy a sims card.
Where is the best place to buy a sim's card?
And will a receipt saying that I have accommodation in KNP be enough proof of accommodation? We're not going to be at all in any other hotels.
Is there an option that I give a Johannesburg friend's address?

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby Stark » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:55 pm

Agreed about using an ATM for some folding money. The rates and fees are equal to, and usually better than, the exchange counters. I also agree with using your credit card. That was our main way of purchase, but beware of card cloning. Don't let the card out of your sight, and make sure your cc company knows you are going to be in SA.

I saw a bunch of places at JNB where you could get a SIM card. You shouldn't have any problems at the airport.

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP and public phone numbers

Unread postby billh » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:13 pm

I agree with DuQues - on the subject of changing money - don't. The rates are awful. My wife was in Joburg in December and the rates offered by the banks were 20% less than the spot and >20% less than I could get here from the bank! The best deal was from a bureau de change to indicate how bad it was.
Make sure your credit card is loaded and use it on ATM's. The rates are better, even taking commission into account.
I use cash wherever I can and especially at petrol stations. I've had an Amex card cloned in Jnb and that taught me to never let the card out of my sight if I have to use one.
Having said that it was once in more than 30 years of frequent visits so it's important to keep things in perspective. Just be smart...

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Re: Changing foreign currency in KNP & using debit cards.

Unread postby yoda » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:38 am

saraf wrote:Using credit cards to get cash is always a bad idea. You start paying interest immediately, the interest rate is always higher, the exchange rate isn't always that great plus most companies add on a foreign exchange transaction fee on top. Stick with a debit card..


Agree on this one. Use a debit card if you have the option.


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