Off to see Gorillas etc and wondering how much should we take and how much is too much?
Obviously we have been told to take dollars$ as they get easily changed and for visa's etc. But for other things and activities etc.
What was the general amount without being brassic do ex travellers recomend taking.
A lot of places you can use US$ and get change in local currency. You never want too much local currency as you are going through 3 countries in quite a short time. I went on this trip 4 years ago and from memory, there weren't that many opportunities to spend money since all food was provided on the truck and most stopping places offered little except a few beers and maybe an internet cafe. Also there will be opportunities to change cash, certainly in Kenya, so worth taking some £ so you can just bring it back if you don't need it.
This was one of, if not THE best hol I've ever been on, an amazing experience especially being with the gorillas. Virunga mountain lives clearly in my memory after 4 years. Some campsites very primitive - hot water for showers only if they've gathered wood and lit a fire under the water tank. The one thing I wish I'd taken is flip flops for the showers, came back with a bad case of athelete's foot but - hey - if that's the worst that happens.. and it was.
it depends how much beer you drink! you will need money for some optional activities which are listed in the trip notes, the rest will be for snacks, drinks and souvenirs. there are lots of wood carvings and such to buy, plus masai blankets, kikoys, t shirts, paintings etc.. carvings range in size and price from about $5 upwards. bargain hard and never pay the first price offered. remember, these guys who sell tourist curios are professionals and will quite happily take all your money. masai blankets should be around 500 kenyan shillings, at todays exchange rate that is just over $6.
soda's are around $1 and beer a little bit more in a campsite bar. East africa is not known for its wine, so if you are a wine drinker, anything from south africa is your best bet, but it will be expensive as it is all imported.
you will get a much better rate of exchange for larger USD notes, but it is useful to have a few smaller ones too. make sure that they are all 2003 date or above, if you can get 2006 even better. you will not be able to use older notes. this is a legal requirement due to the amount of forgeries in circulation. ATM's are up and coming, but not to be relied on, and MAESTRO cards will not work, no matter what your bank tells you.
you'll have a great time, its a fabulous trip to do
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