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African Expedition

ACL

Level 2 Member
#1
Excited to head out on a bit of an expedition later on this month. I'll be starting in South Africa and making my way north through (probably...) Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania. Also, I have been living in Cape Town for about a year so if anyone needs travel advice for there let me know.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Nice! My honeymoon was South Africa>Mozambique>Tanzania>Zanzibar had a blast!

Couple of tips:

  • Watch out for scammers - I was duped into giving money to a guy for flights and he never booked them. That said, you can book a lot on the ground there, I think our Safari of NgoroNgoro and the area was only a couple of hundred bucks vs thousands when booked here.
  • Have some cash available for bribes on border crossings - speeds things up- but be careful if that is a new concept to you and don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Highly recommend Pemba if you dive, and Zanzibar even if you don't.

Watch out for crossing into YellowFever zones - or get all your innoculations first... Some African countries (SA for example) will let you in without having your shots, but if you cross into Moz/others and exit home via SA then they will bust your balls and might want to make you have all the shots at the airport there.

Oh, and don't bring money back with you - I found it impossible to change back some money out of country (Shillings I believe from Tanzania) likewise, you will be screwed over on exchange rates at border crossings - so try to find the right balance there.
 

ACL

Level 2 Member
#3
Thanks for the travel advice @Matt ! I'm not planning on going to Mozambique but I do know Portuguese and I'll be on the road a while (several months) so who knows haha. That sounds like an awesome honeymoon. I lived in the former Soviet Union for about a year so I'm pretty acquainted with bribing and corruption unfortunately. We would get pulled over by the cops there and just have a few bucks at the ready for the bribe. What did you find the situation like for paying for things in Tanzania? Living in Cape Town, I am able to pay for just about everything (with the exception of buses and whatnot) on a credit card but I'm guessing CC acceptance isn't quite so ubiquitous in other African countries outside of cities, yeah?
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Thanks for the travel advice @Matt ! I'm not planning on going to Mozambique but I do know Portuguese and I'll be on the road a while (several months) so who knows haha. That sounds like an awesome honeymoon. I lived in the former Soviet Union for about a year so I'm pretty acquainted with bribing and corruption unfortunately. We would get pulled over by the cops there and just have a few bucks at the ready for the bribe. What did you find the situation like for paying for things in Tanzania? Living in Cape Town, I am able to pay for just about everything (with the exception of buses and whatnot) on a credit card but I'm guessing CC acceptance isn't quite so ubiquitous in other African countries outside of cities, yeah?
Soviet Union too? That's really cool.

Weirdly.. and its good because its over... we actually ran out of money crossing into Tanzania and a really nice Kenyan guy loaned us $100 or so to pay for Visas (and bribes) he then went on to hook us up with a ride for about 45 minutes in a pickup truck (I still have dust in my teeth from standing up the whole way) and a hotel room for the night. Next day we went to an ATM and paid him back.

We used cash for almost everything - I'd recommend carrying a few currencies, some good ATM cards and some credit cards. It's not that the cards weren't accepted, but for us we went a bit off reservation and having more cash available opened up options.
 

ACL

Level 2 Member
#5
Yeah, Kyrgyzstan for a year teaching English. I was thinking of writing up a "Central Asia" travel guide type thing somewhere on here when I get the time. It's amazing some of the ways people will help you out on the road. I can only hope I have some adventures like you guys did! I find sometimes I'm a bit "too" planned out when I take trips which can hinder actually just experiencing the places you're in. And yeah, was planning on having a stash of USD, ZAR, etc plus debit cards and CCs of course.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Yeah, Kyrgyzstan for a year teaching English. I was thinking of writing up a "Central Asia" travel guide type thing somewhere on here when I get the time. It's amazing some of the ways people will help you out on the road. I can only hope I have some adventures like you guys did! I find sometimes I'm a bit "too" planned out when I take trips which can hinder actually just experiencing the places you're in. And yeah, was planning on having a stash of USD, ZAR, etc plus debit cards and CCs of course.
The US Dollar is still easy to use in a lot of places in Africa. I actually used the dollar more than any other currency in Kenya, but also in parts of West Africa as well. I never used a credit card at all in many parts of Africa and I agree with Matt about not bringing any currency back. I have spent time in South Africa and it is much more developed and credit card friendly than many of the other countries, IMHO.
 

Jay A

New Member
#7
Nice! My honeymoon was South Africa>Mozambique>Tanzania>Zanzibar had a blast!

Couple of tips:

  • Watch out for scammers - I was duped into giving money to a guy for flights and he never booked them. That said, you can book a lot on the ground there, I think our Safari of NgoroNgoro and the area was only a couple of hundred bucks vs thousands when booked here.
  • Have some cash available for bribes on border crossings - speeds things up- but be careful if that is a new concept to you and don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Highly recommend Pemba if you dive, and Zanzibar even if you don't.

Watch out for crossing into YellowFever zones - or get all your innoculations first... Some African countries (SA for example) will let you in without having your shots, but if you cross into Moz/others and exit home via SA then they will bust your balls and might want to make you have all the shots at the airport there.

Oh, and don't bring money back with you - I found it impossible to change back some money out of country (Shillings I believe from Tanzania) likewise, you will be screwed over on exchange rates at border crossings - so try to find the right balance there.
Matt, have you by chance ever posted a more detailed review of your honeymoon trip that you could possibly link to? I am looking at a possible South Africa honeymoon myself and would love more insight!

- Jay
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Matt, have you by chance ever posted a more detailed review of your honeymoon trip that you could possibly link to? I am looking at a possible South Africa honeymoon myself and would love more insight!

- Jay
Not sure if we wrote it up or not... possible though (my wife generally writes up the trips) however, we did just come back from a return visit that is here: http://saverocity.com/trips/christmas-capetown-wine-country-beaches-city/ feel free to ask any questions @Jay A
 
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