Contributors to this thread:
How much do most of ypu wire ahead of time not to carry cash with you?
Are you taking about setting up an escrow acct.?
I like to cover my daily fees, tips (fixed cost) and then some money for trophy fees.
I normally carry travelers checks and a very limited amount of cash to cover tips along the way and incidental costs.
Also have a MC and a VISA card to cover me, if needed.
Im on the same thought as yoi buffalo1
I was able to pay everything up front sans tips and incidentals I carried a thousand on me and used my credit card for everything else.
Hey Buff, where are you getting travelers checks? I checked over a dozen banks here in Colorado before my trip last year to Africa and they all said no one uses them any more!
American Express is still in the business of travelers checks.-but they are getting harder to find. The bank I trade with will orders them for me.
Some banks in SA will not accept TCs. They are also a huge hassle for the safari company. Check with who you are hunting with regarding payment options. Best case he might have a US account and all payments can be made here. Worst case is cash only. Yes, many outfits want only cash as payment which is inconvenient and possibly dangerous for the client.
Ken is right on the mark here -- counterfeiters have all but ended universal acceptability of travelers checks. Also, many companies have U.S. partners that can accept payment.
Over the years I've become more comfortable with wiring at least 100% of the daily rates prior to departure -- if no U.S. partner is available. I don't like carrying large wads of cash when traveling abroad - seems like life gets cheaper by the day. Also, it isn't legal to take more than $10k total in cash or cash equivalents (cash, travelers checks, etc) out of the U.S. without registering with U.S. Customs.
Thanks everyone for info,
I just wrote a check for my payment before leaving
Being able to pay for your safari here in the states certainly has a lot of merits.
We typically have clients pay their daily rates up front before leaving on safari. And then have them wire trophy fee money when they return home.
I'm certainly no expert, but on my one safari, the outfitter allowed me to do exactly as PAstringking said. He just wanted $2,000 up front. I had pre-paid more than double that. But then he sent me a final invoice, and I wired him all trophy fees when I got home.
It was really nice, as I didn't have to carry a huge sum of cash outside of tips, and general travel money. I went a little nuts too, and shot way more than I planned, so there's no way I'd have wanted to carry the cash it took to pay all the trophy fees :)