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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 18 Jan 2011
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trans-africa: how much ca$h to carry

Dear Hubb-Community!

Me and a friend are going for a Trans-Africa trip with two bikes in June 2011 (Morocco-Mauritania-Senegal-Mali-Burkina Faso-Ghana-Togo-Benin-Nigeria-Cameroon-Gabon-Congo-D.R.Congo-Angola-Nambia-South Africa).

We want to try the way down without a carnet and to arrive in South Africa in December 2011. We don't know yet, how much money we should carry with us. Of course we are going to have a visa credit card with us. I've been already once in Morocco and it was quite easy to get money from the ATMs there. Of course we would like to carry as less as possible cash with us, but we need kind of a realistic advice for such a long trip.

Thank you already in advance for your help!
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Old 18 Jan 2011
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Should be easy to get money with your card. On my route in 2004, I had to rely on cash in Mauritania, Nigeria, Gabon, the Congo's and Angola.
I guess you can get money in Lagos, Liberville and Luanda.
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Old 18 Jan 2011
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I only used plastic. Get a visa card or better two and plan ahead. You can always change the local currencies at borders or US$ and Euro in the capitals. It's probably wise to keep emergency money stashed away somewhere, when you're out in the sticks and in a situation, cash is your friend.

As for the budget, 1000 Euro a month all incl. is a good average for orientation, but it will obviously depend on how you travel.
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Old 19 Jan 2011
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We're currently riding a similar route and have had no trouble getting money on Visa all the way through (currently in Cameroon). A companion with a Mastercard had troubles in Senegal and possibly Mali (can't remember).

If you have enough cash to get to your next big town/city you should be fine.
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Old 19 Jan 2011
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Going south of Nigeria without a carnet? I have to try that, too. So far it seems that I will need to skip Senegal and stop before Cameroon as they require the carnet... but who knows.

As for the cash, I rely on my Maestro and Mastercard and withdraw money when needed. Carrying 200 euros separate from that all the time just in case.
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Old 19 Jan 2011
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Without a Carnet - it can be done as we know someone who did it (same route as you) last year. Just takes a bit of smooth talking at some borders.

Cash - Visa works in all major cities. I think the only places we had problems were Angola, Congo, DRC. However you will need to carry some cash ($US best) & how much depends on exactly how long you intend to be on the road. I also recommend Visa Debit, rather than Visa Credit as you avoid all the huge costs of cash withdrawal. Barclays do a good Visa debit account.

Enjoy your trip.
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  #7  
Old 19 Jan 2011
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Credit vs Debit

Quote:
Originally Posted by taniyamorris View Post
I also recommend Visa Debit, rather than Visa Credit as you avoid all the huge costs of cash withdrawal.
Slightly off topic but worth mentioning as it has been brought up here's my 2bobs worth...

The difference (for those that aren't aware) with having a Visa debit card is that the money comes directly from your own (savings) account. So that if there is fraud or your cards is lost or stolen then if the cards is used for purchases you risk loosing your own money.

There is a real advantage in having a credit card in this case as the money isn't yours, it's the banks so in the case of fraud, lost or stolen card you have better recourse and your savings account won't be directly impacted. Its a safer option even if the fees are higher.

IMHO it's worth paying for this service especially since I have been victim to both credit and debit fraud, I know that it's much easier and less risky with Visa Credit.

Enjoy the trip and make sure you keep a stash of currency hidden just in case. But unlike me don't put it in your boot, when it gets wet your notes will be destroyed (oh well it was only US$100-)
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Old 21 Jan 2011
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Re: the carnet point for the west coast route - I can confirm from personal experience that it is possible to do the west coast route without a carnet. It does occasionally require some smooth talking at borders, but will save you the hassle of the bond.

As was pointed out earlier, the only places where it was difficult to get cash using visa was in DRC and Angola. Procredit in Kinshasa now have ATMs that work for both visa and mastercard, but you will struggle in the regions. Angola is also a bit tricky, but there is at least one bank in Luanda which gives cash on visa.
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  #9  
Old 6 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
Re: the carnet point for the west coast route - I can confirm from personal experience that it is possible to do the west coast route without a carnet. It does occasionally require some smooth talking at borders, but will save you the hassle of the bond.

As was pointed out earlier, the only places where it was difficult to get cash using visa was in DRC and Angola. Procredit in Kinshasa now have ATMs that work for both visa and mastercard, but you will struggle in the regions. Angola is also a bit tricky, but there is at least one bank in Luanda which gives cash on visa.
What is a "carnet"?

i am also planning to do the west route on july
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