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I will need to bring around US$7000 worth of currency into Namibia for a short stay.

(Note that the Namibian dollar is pegged to the South African Rand, and Rand are accepted in place of Namibian dollars everywhere in Namibia.)

Would it be better to:

  • carry euros or sterling and exchange it at a local bank or bureau
  • exchange euros or sterling into South African rand in Europe before travelling
  • use a MasterCard in Namibia at a bank to obtain the local currency needed?

Another option is to convert euros/sterling into US dollars before travelling and to carry those.

In the past, I have bought rand in Europe before travelling, and that has been fine. On this occasion the sums are larger and any losses in exchange will be magnified.

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    Just to be clear, when you say you need to carry $7000, is that Namibian dollars or US dollars? You mention both in the question. – Chris H Feb 8 at 15:49
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    Beware exchange rates and permitted cash thresholds. For instance the US and Canada both have a $10,000 limit, and $7000USD is just the kind of amount that Americans confidently try to bring across the border, only to get it confiscated because the day's exchange rate puts it over $10,000CDN. Don't get bit by a thing like that. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 8 at 17:04
  • @ChrisH Sorry, clarified. US$. – Daniele Procida Feb 8 at 20:02
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Our usual advice is to take plastic to the country and use ATMs (or a bank) when there. Make sure that your debit card does not charge excessive fees for foreign withdrawals. We have several threads on finding a bank for which this is true.

In your case, however, you may hit maximum withdrawal limits. You certainly can't get $7000 US (or its local equivalent) from an ATM in one day. Maybe in three days. I don't know if these limits would apply to a face-to-face withdrawal at a bank.

I discourage carrying large sums of cash. A legitimate safari will accept payment by card. I can't think of any way to spend that much money in "a few days" in Namibia that doesn't involve something dodgy.

  • I can assure you that there are plenty of ways that aren't in the least bit "dodgy". – Daniele Procida Feb 8 at 19:59

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