Uganda and Rwanda are both cash based societies. The Ugandan currency is called shillings, while in Rwanda they use Francs as well as the US dollar. There are a many ATMS available throughout the capitals which accept Visa and Master Card, although they become scarcer as you enter the rural areas.
Although some of the bigger hotels and shops accept credit cards, we highly ad-vice you not to use them during your time abroad, as there have been cases where information has been stolen. Exchanging traveler’s checks can be time consuming and frustrating, and taking out money on a credit card can run a surcharge of 6% or higher. We advise clients to bring with them cash, preferably US dollars as they are very easy to exchange, although Euros and UK pound are also fine. Make sure that dollar bills are no older than 2006, and have no tears or blemishes.
Higher increments get better exchange rates, so we recommend bringing 100 dollar bills. There are a number of places to exchange money which your guide can direct you to. Avoid exchanging money at the airport and at borders as they exchange rate is usually lower. You should also avoid using US dollars at craft markets and restaurants, as you will get more for your money by using local currency.
How much to Money to Bring?
Although almost everything on your safari is inclusive, there are some exceptions, which will be listed on your itinerary. The majority of clients tell us that the majority bulk of what they spend their money on is alcohol and souvenirs. Depending on the length of your safari and how much you like to drink/shop we usually recommend that clients bring around $20-$50 USD a day for personal expenditures.
Churchill guides get paid a fair salary while they are on safari, and tipping your guide is not mandatory. If you feel that the service has been exceptional you are more than welcome to tip, usually clients tip around $5-$10 USD per day It is absolutely not required for you to tip them once you complete your trip. If you feel that the service has been exceptional, you are more than welcome to tip, but it is by no means mandatory. It is expected that you tip the local guides who may be part of your safari or primate trek, $5-$10 is usually the expected amount.
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