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Getting money in Namibia

London
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Getting money in Namibia

Hi, can we get cash at an ATM on arrival at Windhoek airport? Does anywhere use local Namibian money? We will be travelling from Windhoek to Zambia with a short stop in the Chobe NP in Botswana so will the same currency be ok? If it is going to be difficult to use ATM at airport which cash should we get in the UK to tide us over?

Slovenia
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1. Re: Getting money in Namibia

Yes, there is a Windhoek Bank ATM at the arrival/departure lobby, next to the counter of the same bank. It bears logos of Visa, Mastercard and Maestro. Using the ATM is as easy as back home (go to "savings" option) as long as you have a proper debit or credit card. As Namibian dollar is an official currency of Namibia, yes, everyone is using it. It is accepted everywhere in Namibia, alongside the South African Rand (they are 1:1 ratio). If any foreign currency to buy in UK than South African Rand will be the best option.

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Getting money in Namibia

I don't know about Zambia, but South African Rand is usable both in Botswana and Namibia.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Getting money in Namibia

You can ask on the relevant countries' forums, but I suspect you will end up with a mix of largely worthless paper at the end.

The Namibian dollar is not accepted outside the country, and I doubt the Kwachwa is either. The pula is very strong and the Botswana currency. The rand is accepted most places.

I would buy some rand before you go...

Leigh-on Sea...
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4. Re: Getting money in Namibia

take South African Rand from the UK. . Change may be given in Namibian but during the last few days of your trip ask for change to be in Rand as the local currency has no value outside Namibia.

Namibia is an underpopulated country, you won't find ATMs on every street corner.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Getting money in Namibia

As others have suggested take rand. Are you travelling through jo'burg or direct to windhoek? You could then get rand out at ATM at jo'burg. Depends where you're staying in zambia/botswana in terms of currency I think. Both will take USD. we did use rand in botswana this year but only at big hotel - chobe safari lodge.

Slovenia
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6. Re: Getting money in Namibia

Just a short comment on ATM in J0'burg. If you will be only in international transit through the airport, there was no ATM machine available this past May 2014. However there were a couple of money exchange boots.

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Getting money in Namibia

True xelas - you need to be able to access the main terminal at joburg for the ATMs. No ATM in international departure area.

Gaborone, Botswana
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8. Re: Getting money in Namibia

" but South African Rand is usable both in Botswana" - maybe in tourist areas like Kasane (and Maun) but you will get a really bad rate. Better to get some Pula at an ATM in Kasane when you are there

Hermanus, South...
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9. Re: Getting money in Namibia

As above, try to swap your Namibian Dollars for rand before you leave Namibia, otherwise you will end up getting stuck with them.

If you are travelling across the Caprivi and crossing into Botswana very briefly, ie just visiting Chobe NP en route to Victoria Falls, then you can use Rand in Kasane. As mentioned the rate won't be great, but if you are just getting a few bits and bobs then it is ok. If you are staying for a length of time then you can easily visit on of the ATM's in Kasane and draw local currency.

You can now use US Dollars again to pay for activities, food etc in Zambia.....so you don't have to much about with Kwacha anymore.

US are also used pretty widely in Botswana, especially Kasane and your more touristy areas.

London, United...
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10. Re: Getting money in Namibia

Most mid to upmarket tourist establishments will accept cards for payment, so you may not need that much cash in any case. The only exception is fuel, you CANNOT purchase fuel with cards at most petrol stations.

In Windhoek (including Airport) and Swakopmund ATMs work fine, but I had problems drawing cash in smaller places, where there is usually just one or two ATM. They can be drawn empty over the week-ends, or simply not work. In other places the ATM is inside stores, and only accessible during store opening hours.

Changing foreign currency into NAD can be a pain, because of all the form filling involved. At one place it took over an hour (!) to change two $100 bills into NAD.