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Africa > South Africa > Useful Info
Submitted on Mar 01, 2020 Useful Info

Where to exchange currency in South Africa

  • Exchanging currency in South Africa is pretty easy and straightforward.
  • The official currency in South Africa is the rand (ZAR) though many tour guides and national parks charge their fees in US dollars. (Have a few dollar notes at hand).

Best ways to exchange currency in South Africa

  • ATM withdrawals. This will probably work best for ABSA customers, they have branches all over South Africa and they won't be charged any extra fees. ATM withdrawals can turn out to be very expensive for people whose banks don't have branches in South Africa. Alternatively, if you have a trusted friend or relative in South Africa who can allow you to transfer money to their account and withdraw for you, that can save you a lot.
  • Don't carry large amounts of cash or traveler cheques to South Africa. Yes, you can cash traveler's cheques but you'll get a really bad rate.
  • Reasons you should not carry cash to South Africa.
  1. Carrying cash is unsafe.
  2. Bank rates are unfavorable compared to ATM withdrawals and you'll have to queue for foreign exchange services.
  • My advise: shop using your credit or debit card and always in rand, not your local currency. Agreeing to pay in your local currency is a scam since local banks can use whichever exchange rate they want. Withdraw cash when necessary.