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Namibian dollars or Rand

London
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Namibian dollars or Rand

I am travelling to Namibia at the end of the month for two weeks and was wondering what I should do with regards to money? I have read that I would be best taking South African Rand with me and ust wanted to check whether this was still the recomended approach?

Thanks.

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

The short answer is that you cannot get ND$ outside Namibia anyway so you either change £ when you get there ND$14.5/£ or buy and here and use them. They are interchangeable ZAR/ND$.

I would just change in Namibia. There is a Forex at the Airport and plenty in town.

Have a good trip.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

Whoops. "buy and here" to read "Buy Rand here".

Cary, North Carolina
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3. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

Hi

You can use N$ and SA Rand in Namibia. You will get change in N$, but banks outside Namibia won't take N$. Try and manage your mney so that you have as little N$ left at the end of your trip.

Werner

Eko Tracks

Pretoria, South...
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4. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

Yip! I agree with previous posters. Buy Rand in South Africa if you're passing through there (or buy it before you arrive)!

You can usually only buy N$ in Namibia, and you can't use it (or exchange it) anywhere else, so try keep your stocks low! If you ask a bank very nicely, they may give you Rand instead of N$. Try always to work with Rand!

Namibia also has a very extensive banking system, and credit cards and bank cards usually work well! Try not to "exchange" too much hard currency, rather draw local from an ATM, and only as much as you need! It's best to keep your forex as a reserve for emergency use!

When "exchanging" forex, you'll often lose up to 5% or more each way, plus you pay a commission on every transaction. Drawing local using a card will cost about 3% max and often less (in my experience).

You need to ensure that your card is authorised for use in Namibia, and that your bank has a "reciprocity" agreement (I think that's what it's called) with the local banks! Sometimes there's a glitch (but if you try different ATM's, you'll usually find which one works)! And bring the phone number of your bank contact person with you!

Simply put, use credit or bank cards wherever you can, and exchange the minumum amount of hard foreign currency that you can!

Good luck!

Pretoria, South...
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1,802 posts
18 reviews
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5. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

Yip! I agree with previous posters. Buy Rand in South Africa if you're passing through there (or buy it before you arrive)!

You can usually only buy N$ in Namibia, and you can't use it (or exchange it) anywhere else, so try keep your stocks low! If you ask a bank very nicely, they may give you Rand instead of N$. Try always to work with Rand!

Namibia also has a very extensive banking system, and credit cards and bank cards usually work well! Try not to "exchange" too much hard currency, rather draw local from an ATM, and only as much as you need! It's best to keep your forex as a reserve for emergency use!

When "exchanging" forex, you'll often lose up to 5% or more each way, plus you pay a commission on every transaction. Drawing local using a card will cost about 3% max and often less (in my experience).

You need to ensure that your card is authorised for use in Namibia, and that your bank has a "reciprocity" agreement (I think that's what it's called) with the local banks! Sometimes there's a glitch (but if you try different ATM's, you'll usually find which one works)! And bring the phone number of your bank contact person with you!

Simply put, use credit or bank cards wherever you can, and exchange the minumum amount of hard foreign currency that you can!

Good luck!

Pretoria, South...
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6. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

Sorry for the double post above - it looks like my runner with the forked stick made a duplicate ... LOL!

London, UK
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7. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

I have a follow on question as we will also be in Namibia in April for about two weeks: all of our accommodation/transfers etc have been prepaid and we will be staying in luxury lodges as part of our honeymoon so am guessing that they will accept bank/credit cards for any extra expenses.

For everything else, how much cash (in Rand) would you recommend the two of us take for any other costs/tipping etc.? All thoughts and suggestions welcome! Thanks!

Pretoria, South...
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8. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

WOW! In answer to the above question regarding tips ...

Firstly, my appreciation for you thinking about the issue. Many travelers forget that the waitrons, housekeeping staff, etc. earn pretty low wages, and I can assure, any gratuities are very welcome.

Secondly, it's a difficult question to answer, and very much a discretionary thing. I very rarely tip if I receive poor service, but I will tip easily and generously for good service.

I don't normally deal much in the luxury market, more in the nid-range market. My general guideline for a waitron is about R10.00 for a breakfast, R15.00 for a lunch and R20.00 for a dinner (per client, that is). That's a broad guideline (and I could be shot down in flames for that). It usually averages between 10% and 15% of the bill, depending on service levels. In up-market establishments you could be a bit more generous.

For housekeeping staff. I would suggest that anything from R20.00 to R50.00 per guest per night would be adequate, depending on service level.

Porterage at most establishments runs at about R7.00 per bag per "porterage". And the same at aiports.

Try an avoid porters at airports, particularly Johannesburg! The less I say the better, but the moment they lay hands on your luggage - beware! Many of them are OK, but many of them are bad news! Best to look after your own stuff at the airport!

For things like game drives and activities, an average of R100.00 per person per day or per activity would be OK I guess! That's a bit more difficult to assess! It depends on the personal value you get, as well as the levels of service you get! Tough to answer!

I know that I'm sticking my neck out a bit here, but ... I'd of course welcome any other ideas on the subject.

But thanks for thinking of the issue!

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

I think bushkid has it about right. I work on 10% of the bill. Up it a little for good and don't pay for bad.

Actually most places I stay at have a tip box (I ask for it) as this way the back room boys get a cut whereas they are rarely out front where you see them and yet they do their job too. Even the little chap cutting the grass is working for YOU!

So for Lodges, Large or Small use the tip box especially if restaurant meals are included in the Lodgings.

Pickering, United...
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10. Re: Namibian dollars or Rand

We used the ATM at the airport in Windhoek and it dispensed ZAR! We were a bit suprised. Thereafter, change came in a true mix of both showing that they are treated as the samething - until you leave the country of course!