Arriving at a new border is daunting enough without the uncertainty of not knowing what exchange rate to expect. You will almost always need some of the new country’s currency to buy insurance, or pay immigration or customs fees, and if you don’t at least have an idea of what you should get for your dollars or euros, you could easily be ripped off.
Again, we show a distinctly African bias – we suggest you take a complete sheet of African rates with you so you can cope with last minute route changes, and if you fill it in before you depart you should also update the rates a few days before you plan to cross into the country concerned, if this is possible. Asking for local advice will usually get you into an immediate business transaction – advice on its own isn’t easily available; this means that the internet may be the easiest impartial source for current rates.
African Rate Sheet
For a complete currency sheet for Africa visit Camelworld.
The table at the bottom of this page lists each African country with the currency used. Print this out or save it as it will allow you to note down the actual exchange rates as you travel.
The CFA comes in two forms – one for West and one for Central Africa. Both have the same fixed rate to the Euro, which is the preferred currency of exchange.
The Democratic Republic of Zaire uses the vastly inflated Franc, as well as US$ for transactions – change is often but not always in Francs. You can actually cash dollar travellers cheques at the Commercial Bank in Kinshasa, and get dollars in return, with a very small commission.
The Namibian Dollar is pegged to the South African Rand at 1:1, and in Namibia you can usually pay in Rand as well.
Visa fees are often charged in Dollars, Euros, or Pounds – it’s worth checking the price in each currency to see which works out as cheapest for you.
|Central African Republic||CFA||XAF|
|Republic of Congo||CFA||XAF|
|Democratic Rep of Congo||Francs||CDF|