Apr 3 2010, 03:56 AM
I'm going to Tanzania from June-July to do a medical elective at the Kilimanjaro Christian medical centre. The nearest town is Moshi. i was wondering how I should take money. Would I be ok taking travellers cheques? Is it easy to exchange these in Moshi? Also does anyone have any advice about what to wear, I'm female and was wondering if I'd be okay wearing skirts as long as they were below the knee or cropped trousers?
Thanks for any replies.
Apr 3 2010, 11:08 PM
I didn't use travelers checks but I heard people complaining of big fees and bad exchange rates when cashing them. Credit cards are rarely accepted and if they are it is only Visa, and they will charge you a fee for that as well (usually 5%). If you want to use a debit card once again Visa is the most widely accepted. I think there were only 2 ATMs in Moshi that took Mastercard debit cards. Also on the weekends or holidays the ATMs run out of money. The best currency to have there is US dollars. For clothing, you will be fine in skirts below the knee and cropped trousers.
Wow, I think I just made it sound horrible, but it's really not. Moshi is a fantastic little town, the people are very friendly and that is a beautiful part of the country! Just getting money can be a hassle sometimes. Have fun!
Apr 4 2010, 03:13 AM
I'm going for 7 weeks so I can't really take just US dollars, it's a lot of money and I don't know if I'll have anywhere safe to keep it. What would you reccommend?
Apr 4 2010, 01:36 PM
Travelers checks will be cashed in town but at a very bad rate compared to cash. If you don't want to carry too much cash, you can take some travelers checks, but expect perhaps 20% less for the convenience. If you have a debit card, you can use that at cash machines. KCMC where you will be, has 2 cash machines on it's premises. If you are needing a large amount though, plan ahead because the maximum withdrawal is not that big for say a safari or mountain climb, but for daily use, it is fine. If need be you can come into town to go to a bank, it is only about a 15 minute daladala ride from the medical center. Make sue that you tell your bank that you are traveling to Tanzania so they do not freeze your debt and credit cards once they see charges from abroad. Regarding dress, it is refreshing to see someone concerned about that. So many visitors dress without regard to the culture. Moshi is more liberal than many cities in Tanzania. A knee length skirt or dress is OK. You will not see a local women wearing anything shorter than knee length. Most dresses are mid calf in length here. Best wishes, KCMC is a good place, with a great view of the mountain ,too! Enjoy.
Apr 5 2010, 06:15 AM
I know this probably sounds a bit stupid but I've never used my debit card abroad, when I withdraw money will it be withdrawn in pounds or Tanzanian shillings? Thank you for your answer, it was really, really helpful. I didn't know there were cash machines at KCMC, it doesn't say there is on the website but then the website might not have been updated for a while. Do you know anything about the accommodation at KCMC?
Thank you again,
Apr 5 2010, 06:28 AM
The amount will be withdrawn in Tsh. Your bank will deduct the amount according to their exchange rate. Banks get very nervous about unauthorized card usage if they are suddenly used from expected locations and often will freeze the account until they are sure that it is indeed you making the withdrawal. It helps greatly if you let them know when you are traveling, but sometimes this still does not keep them from freezing the account. Unlike the US cell phones, cell phones from the UK work in Tanzania so at least you can call them from a number that they have on record as yours. As far as accommodation, I will find out more for you, I have a a relative (through marriage) who is a department head there. I am sure that he can give me any answers that you may need. Feel free to contact me with specific questions. You will have a memorable experience, I am sure.
Apr 6 2010, 12:57 PM
Thank you so much for being so helpful. Any information you can give me would be great.
Apr 11 2010, 05:15 AM
The coastal regions are predominantly Islamic, but the further west you go, it is less so. Moshi is fairly evenly balanced between Christian and Muslim with a portion of indigenous religious beliefs mixed in as well, but a traveler is better off erring on the side of conservative dress if they do not wish to offend.
May 1 2010, 07:51 AM
I was wondering if you managed to find out anything about the accommodation at KCMC. For example what is supplied there and whether you share rooms and/or bathrooms and how far away it is from the actual hospital.
I was also wondering if you could recommend anywhere close that I could go to on safari, this may be the only chance that I get to go on safari so it's something that I would love to do.
Any information about Moshi would also be great, I've had a look at some guide books and found some maps of the town but they're not very detailed.
May 2 2010, 03:31 PM
I will send you a private message giving you details including safari tour operator advice. Have you been given reference to the KCMC website link? It is http://www.kcmc.ac.tz/visitor%20information.htm
. There are some parks such as Tarangire, Lake Manyara or Arusha Nat. Parks that can be done as a one day safari or combined with Ngorongoro Conservation Area or the Serengeti into a longer safari. KCMC is on the edge or off of most Moshi area maps but there is one easily available for sale in Moshi (at the Coffee Shop or Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge are the best places to buy this) that will include the area that you need. Moshi is a very friendly town that is used to many volunteers and tourists coming through. You will not need too much Swahili but the more you know the better your experience you will have. If you do not have time before you leave to study, inexpensive private lessons are available in town. I will need to find out the specifics of whether your lodging will be with a roommate or not. It is not far from the hospital at all. You must be getting excited since the date is getting close! You will have a great time. I will get back to you soon regarding the specifics of the accommodations. Best wishes.
May 3 2010, 02:37 AM
I am getting excited but slightly nervous too and I still have quite a bit to sort out! I'm sure it's going to be an amazing experience though and I should learn a lot.
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