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Look who made it to the top of Kilimanjaro this week!
Wednesday 31st October 2007
Now that the ‘credit-
Instead, you’ll have to pay all your park fee money to your agency, who will then
pay your park fees for you by using these new cards. (Actually, though the authorities
would like this new card system to be the only way of paying for park fees, the tour
operators themselves are sure that cash will never be banned completely, simply because
the system is liable to break down now and again, and cash will always be the fail-
So how does it work? Well, although it has been billed as a credit card system, it is in fact actually a debit card one. The tour operators have an account with the CRDB bank, and from time to time they instruct the banks to credit the cards: eg, ‘please credit card number 1 with US$10,000, card 2 with $5000’ etc etc (there is no limit to the number of cards a tour operator can have, which is useful if they’ve got more than one expedition or safari going at any one time – which most will have.)
Once the cards have been ‘loaded’ with credit, they can then be ‘spent’ at the park gates. It’s as simple as that.
The card does not need to be presented at the bank when it’s being loaded with credit – so it can be credited even if it’s on the mountain. This is an important point, for occasionally expeditions may want to spend an extra day on the mountain, and the guide will need to pay for this extra day when he arrives at the gates at the end of the expedition. With his card loaded with credit by his boss back in Arusha, he can do this.
The cards themselves cost the tours operators Ts8000.
What’s more, with the CRDB promising to have a dedicated representative in the bank to deal with any problems, there is no reason why this method should fail. Let’s hope.