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Currencies in Africa

African Money

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The 'Rand' is the basic monetary unit of South Africa, one Rand is equal to 100 cents.
Steve Allen/Photodisc/Getty Images
Most African countries have their own national currency. Find out below what money is used in individual African countries, along with links to currency converters and tips on the best currency to bring with you when you travel. Exchange rates for many African currencies are somewhat volatile, so it's usually best to wait until you arrive before you exchange your foreign cash into local money. In countries that are very unstable economically, the US Dollar can sometimes be used more effectively than local money. Every international airport in Africa has exchange rate facilities, but rates are often better in town, so don't exchange all your money in one go. It's very handy to download a currency converter app before you go too.

In general you are best off with US Dollars and a Visa/MC Card along with a debit card if it has a Visa or Mastercard symbol on it. In countries like Egypt, Morocco and South Africa you will find ATM machines in all major cities. In less visited countries, ATM machines are only found in the largest cities or tourist hubs like Arusha in Tanzania. Credit cards are not very useful outside major cities in most countries in Africa, other than in luxury hotels. Read more about: Money and Traveling in Africa.

African Currency by Country

Note: East African countries are expected to have a single currency by 2012 - the East African shilling.

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