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bring cash or take from ATM

New York, New York
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288 posts
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bring cash or take from ATM

Hi Everyone,

Was wondering how much cash to bring on an 8 day safari? Our trip is paid for, but I was concerned about tipping and buying souveniers. We don't plan to spend much time in Nairobi but thought I might find some cool stuff while on safari. Do people usually bring cash and change it at the airport or just take money out of the ATM? Also, if we took money out at the airport to get local currency, is that safe or just a target for thieves?

Thanks.

nyc
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1. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

You can certainly use ATM or a Forex for Ksh while in NBO, but once out in the bush you won't find either of these. So you can use your USD or credit/debit card for beverages while on safari or souvenirs. Souvenirs you might find at roadside stands though are paid for in local currency or USD.

There are many threads re amount of spending funds you should have whether for tips or beverages; souvenirs on the otherhand are up to you.

New York, New York
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288 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

Hi 4sandi,

Thanks for the advice. I will keep it in mind and check the other threads

Dearborn, Michigan
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3. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

For 11 nights of actual safari I am figuring about 250 usd for tips... Which I plan to change into local currency at the airport... I plan on just using USD for my day in Nairobi. Not sure what to expect to spend on souvenirs.

Michigan
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4. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

I prefer to not use an ATM or credit card while traveling in/through Nairobi because of potential fees for the use and/or security issues. So my preference is to carry cash. Actually, within Nairobi, I make sure I've converted some USD to KSH at the airport Forex (my guide came with me to make sure it was handled well) because I get a better rate when paying for a meal, kazuri beads, Sheldrick's orphanage and the Nakumatt store (which if you use USD, makes you check out at a different counter). While out on safari, I will use either KSH or USD (I use up the KSH first). The only reason I even carry a credit card is in case of medical emergency where I would have to upfront costs and then be reimbursed. Of course I do let my bank know my dates of travel in case there is a need to use these cards, but I never have. Since the trip is paid for in advance, the costs while there for me include guide tips, lodging tips, just a couple of meals, minimal costs for souvenirs, laundry and lodging beverages,

Dearborn, Michigan
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1,339 posts
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5. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

Hi Laurena!

Am I to understand that you bring all your spending money with you in cash, and just exchange the cash, rather than using a debit card for the transaction?

Michigan
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6. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

Yes indeed. I don't exchange everything I carry, just an amount I think I'm likely to need. I could have used more KSH last trip, but would rather have leftover USD than KSH. If you have extra KSH leftover, you can always use it towards your guide's tip.

Laurena

New York, New York
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288 posts
11 reviews
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7. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

Thanks everyone for the tips! Can't wait for my trip tomorrow!

8. Re: bring cash or take from ATM

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