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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 30 Jun 2007
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money matter in west-africa

Is exchanging cash (in euro's, Us dollars, etc.) in west-African countries the only possibility? I am going to drive Mauritainia, Mali, Senegal and Gambia. Will travellerscheques or creditcards be of any help?
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Old 30 Jun 2007
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I never had much luck with credit cards or sterling, you just need a fist full of dollars and euros, pref euros
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Old 30 Jun 2007
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TCs can be difficult to get changed and generally attract a poor rate of exchange. Visa credt cards are becoming much more easily used though in Mauritania and Mali cash is your best option.

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Old 30 Jun 2007
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cash talks best...

When my husband and I were in this part of the world we never bothered with TC....in many areas they are still an unknown quantity!

we used our visa card for getting emergency cash out, which we were able to use in Morocco, Senegal - mainly in Dakar itself, Mali, only in Bamako...and only after searching.

We took and used mainly cash; Euro and US $.

enjoy your trip
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Old 1 Jul 2007
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there are no cashpoints in one of these countries, and I can't remember wether it was senegal or mauritania, I think mauritania. I got caught out and had to scrounge some money off fellow travellers!!
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Old 1 Jul 2007
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There's one ATM in Mauritania, in Nouachkott

Senegal is easier as is Morocco & Gambia.

However I've always found that euros are the preferred currency, TC's are a pain to cash & taken the card for 'emergencies'

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Old 1 Jul 2007
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In senegal there are cash points everywhere. St Louis has approx' 10, Theis the same, dakar everywhere, Kolack a few & even Tamba' has few etc.

Tale only euro.
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Old 1 Jul 2007
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Euro's and VISA!

In most capitals you can get money at Bank counters with Visa credit card (Mastercard is not accepted anywhere) and Euro's are the best currency. Remember, all these countries are French orientated and they have the Euro. In some capitals there are Visa ATM cash machines but its always Visa!!!!!


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Old 11 Jul 2007
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Smile Euro is king

Euros cash, and VISA/Mastercard for the cities.

Do not bother with USD, nobody wants them so they are either useless or your exchange rate will be terrible.

Euros, euros, euros...

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Old 12 Jul 2007
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On a recent trip to Morocco, Mauritania and Mali, the only currency to use was the Euro. You can change it anywhere and at any time of day,there is always someone willing to change. The higher the denomination of the notes the better the exchange rate, you will always get a better rate for 200 euro notes compared to 20 euro notes.
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Old 12 Jul 2007
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It has changed over the years.

On my first trip around west africa in the mid 90's everybody wanted dollars. A few years ago when I was last there I took a mix of dollars, euros and pounds. I brought all the dollars back and could only really do much with the pounds in Gambia. Everywhere else it was euros.

Even the scamsters at Rosso didn't want to take dollars!
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Old 16 Jul 2007
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it would be possible..
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Old 16 Jul 2007
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In West Africa, the CFA is the common currency for Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, etc.
In all capital cities you should be able to find an ATM in a major bank or hotel.
Nouachott is another story...I got enough Ourguiya at the border to get to Nouabidibou and then picked up more there in cash...

Euro is the preferable currency in West Africa and its pegged to the CFA at 1 Euro=650CFA i believe...
Dollars are not easily changeable except at major banks but at bad rates...

Travellers checks are USELESS...

I was there in Dec 2006-Feb 2007
Hope that helps.
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