Location: Places >> Africa >> Sub-Saharan Africa >> East Africa >> Ethiopia
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Less money, mo' problems!
Posted January 9th, 2013 - 8:03 pm by from Calgary, Canada (Permalink)
Hey! I was just wondering, any travelers who have been to Ethiopia...how did you carry your funds?

I've read that Maestro-Cirrus bank cards wont work in the ATM machines there, and it needs to be a visa card (which i dont have). So im bringing old fashioned travelers cheques!!

Any budget advice is also appreciated, also any knowledge of how the ATM situation differs in neighbouring countries (Kenya, Uganda etc) is helpful!


Posted January 13th, 2013 - 6:53 am by from Maychew, Ethiopia (Permalink)
I can't give any info on the neighboring countries, but it's best to carry cash in Ethiopia. It's just a matter of keeping it safe, especially from the pick pocketers in Addis. If you have a hotel room with a safe, use it to store the money you don't need that day and keep the money you do need in your bra. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia will exchange your currency to birr for you. Also, if you ever run into foreigners that are living in Ethiopia, they sometimes are willing to trade you their birr for American currency.

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 12:18 pm by from Calgary, Canada (Permalink)
i have brought some cash, but i was in Lebanon before and for some reason my card didnt work my last night in Beirut, so i have less than i wanted...do you a good place to cash travellers cheques?

thanks for your help

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 5:50 pm from Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted February 6th, 2013 - 9:23 pm by from Calgary, Canada (Permalink)
your bank card worked here? or credit card? i do not have a visa card, only mastercard.

how was your ethiopia experience!? any tips, places not to miss?

Posted February 6th, 2013 - 11:13 pm from Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted February 7th, 2013 - 4:57 pm by from Calgary, Canada (Permalink)
i found the Sheraton hotel in Addis, is the only place that cashs travellers cheques anymore! Lonely planet lied!

Posted February 11th, 2013 - 7:42 am by from Seattle, United States (Permalink)
I used both a visa and master card at Sheraton addis last July 2012. I forgot where I cashed though.
Also Hilton hotel take cards just call them and ask.
Good luck

Posted February 10th, 2013 - 6:24 pm by from Auckland, New Zealand (Permalink)
for other travellers who might see this... my maestro card worked fine in the dashen bank in gondor today. havent really seen visa/mastercard accepted as payment anywhere though. cash is king but you should be able to get it. ask in your hotel for the nearest working atm.

Posted February 10th, 2013 - 9:04 pm by from Gainesville, United States (Permalink)
Having lived in Addis as expat & traveled around Ethiopia; can tell you Visa/Mastercard credit or debit absolutely work just fine. As long as the ATM machine is running/servers are not down along with internet!
As for traveler's checks - don't bother. Those are going away worldwide, actually.
There are many ATMs around city (in shopping malls, etc); Hilton & Sheraton are always well stocked and typically functioning (and safe).
Kenya = ATMs work fine. Cannot personally speak to Uganda, but as a rule of thumb: get your cash, phone chip and phone credits in the big city before heading out.

Posted February 27th, 2013 - 2:57 pm by from Kassel, Germany (Permalink)
Traveler Cheques only in Sheraton Hotel (500$ per week). No other hotel or bank is doing it, cause Ethiopien International Bank canceled contracts with AE.