Botswana and Capetown

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I am going to Botswana, Victoria Falls, and Cape Town the last two weeks in September and would like to hear tips from travelers that have been there. We are arriving early in Capetown and would appreciate suggestions, what should we not miss? Favorite sights, restaurants, shops, etc., as well as special precautions. Same for Johannesburg where we have a couple days to explore the area. This is my first safari and I will be grateful for any and all safari advice. I am going with Abrecromby-Kent. and they suggest bringing dollars for almost everything. Is this really necessary? I thank you in advance and look forward to your input and help. Thanks. Sonia

We have always taken US dollars with us to Africa. When we went to Botswana the tour company informed us that when making purchases, tipping guides, etc. US dollars were essential since local banks would not convert any other currency.

Thanks, Marian. I will take dollars. Since I am going by myself I am not excited about taking cash but since it is necessary I will rise to the challenge. Any other tips?

Having been in the same situation, I can offer this advice:
Several weeks before you leave on your trip, ask you bank for "packs" (these are 100 of the same currency, banded and sometimes sealed) of NEW money. Your bank might need to order it for you.

Locals often don't like to accept worn, torn or currency with writing on it as they keep it, rather than put it in the bank, as the USD holds its value. Think about taking at least 1 pack of $1's and a pack of $5's and a decent amount of other denominations. Bring $50s for your tip to the guide. African banks are sometimes are wary of $100 bills as they have been counterfeited.

I hope this is helpful to you and have a wonderful time on your trip!

I have traveled in Africa 9 times & Botswana is my favorite country. Last year in Cape Town we used credit cards for everything, & USD was accepted also. Be sure to go to the Cape, & the Winelands area is lovely to see also. The Victoria & Albert waterfront area is fun - plenty of eateries & shopping. In Joburg, go to the Apartheid Museum. In Botswana you'll be with the tour group on safari, & all meals are included. In Victoria Falls there are lots of shopping opportunities - buying from the local people who will want small newer USD. Trip of a lifetime - you'll love it!!

I am very excited about this trip and happy to hear from you. The Apartheid Museum is high priority, and I am glad you mentioned the wine lands because I was still considering it. I am interested in local arts and crafts and I hope

Thanks! I am excited about this trip and happy to get your suggestions. The Apartheid Museum is top priority. I was thinking about the wine lands, but had not decided, glad you told me, we will be in Cape Town for 4 days. I am interested in arts and crafts, I hope I can pick a few items but our luggage is restricted to a carry that the company provides, this is a big concern. Thanks for the tips. Sonia