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Offline Sitvlak

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Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« on: October 06, 2011, 12:11:47 pm »
On our recent trip to Rwanda I took about $200 in $1 nomination. Before we left I was told that we must take a lot of $1 notes and stay away from the larger $50 and $100 notes. Apparently it is easier for them to trade and exchange than the larger notes.

In Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, we had no problem using the $1. But in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi they refused point blank to accept any $1 notes. Got no explanation for them refusing the $1 notes. Does anybody know why?

In Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania they checked all the Dollar notes and if they were made prior to 2005 they refused them.

Does anyone know what is the issue with the $ made before 2005?
 

Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 12:16:24 pm »
You will find in many countries they have certain denominations or number series they don't like, mainly due to forgeries. Just take a selection of notes and a credit card and you are generally OK.

Offline Sitvlak

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Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 12:23:30 pm »
You will find in many countries they have certain denominations or number series they don't like, mainly due to forgeries. Just take a selection of notes and a credit card and you are generally OK.

Much cheaper drawing money from the ATM and paying in the local currency. The $ exchange rate that they give you is a total rip off.

Only place we had difficulty drawing money was in Rwanda and Burundi. For some reason their atm's dont accept our credit cards.
 

Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 12:26:44 pm »
So there's your answer then.

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 12:31:19 pm »
Waar is jou f*kken ride report ??

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Offline lonerider

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Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 04:18:48 pm »
In Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania they checked all the Dollar notes and if they were made prior to 2005 they refused them.

Does anyone know what is the issue with the $ made before 2005?

This is actually quite common (in Africa and South America). I think 2005 was when the US government started releasing the new print which has more colour than the old "greenbacks". The greenbacks were well-forged, the new ones are purportedly a little more difficult to copy...

(You might find forgery is the main reason why some people refused to take the USD1 notes. Might also be that they now expect more than USD1 as a tip...)

Our foreign exchange banks used to carry a lot of the old notes and regularly tried palming them off to me. After my first encounter with somebody refusing the old notes I've learnt to ask for the new ones when I get forex. Also make sure you get clean, unmarked notes - a lot of merchants will refuse to accept your money if it has any kind of marking/writing on it.

Easiest solution is the one mentioned earlier - use your credit card to draw cash. But always, always have some cash as backup - USD and EUR work well in most places.
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Offline Crowley

Re: Refusal of $1 notes in Central Africa
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 07:09:19 pm »
When you change USD in some places you also get a different rate depending on the denomination and the amount that you change. 1$ notes in my experience is only good for when you are trying buy something small or if you need to tip someone.

General rule is don't accept any old notes from anyone. You will struggle to get rid of it and usually if you do the exchange rate will be lower.
If you try and argue this - there are better ways of wasting your time.

I like using euros because it seems like there is a bit more confidence in it. But then again USD is the general currency in Africa.