West African CFA Francs
Get ready for your trip to West Africa. Order your CFA francs West Africa at Manor FX today. Our great exchange rates mean you'll have more XOF cash to spend. Have your West African CFA Franc banknotes delivered securely to your home or office, or pick them up from the Manor FX bureau near Heathrow.
Manor FX offers fast delivery times and a fuss-free online ordering process for your West African CFA franc travel money.
Travel advise: payments in West Africa
Jet off well-informed to West Africa. Here are some handy facts about cash and card payments in Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
In large cities centres you will be able to find large shopping malls and international hotels that accept debit and credit cards, mostly VISA and MasterCard. This is in larger urban areas such as in Abidjan, Bamako, Bissau, Cotonou, Dakar, Lomé, Niamey, Maradi, Ouagadougou, Sikasso, Thiès, Touba and Zinder.
However, most of the local vendors in West Africa won't accept international card payments and will instead ask for payment in cash or via mobile solutions such as Wari.
If you are going to pay by card in West Africa: Be aware of currency conversion fees for card payments: Your bank's XOF to GBP exchange rate may be dramatically bad. This is how banks make money. Before using your bank card for payments in Africa, it's certainly a good idea to contact your bank. This will avoid your card becoming blocked due to international transactions that your bank may find suspicious.
Cash is an essential means of payment in West Africa and travelers are recommended to have access to XOF banknotes. The West African CFA franc banknotes give access to convenient payments in eight Western African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
Locals pay mostly by cash and by using mobile payment solutions such as Wari. For tourists cash is the most convenient payment method that allows to freeze in the exchange rate, avoiding expensive currency conversion rates when paying by card.
The West African CFA monetary union consists of eight countries, and prices are different depending which country you visit. A coffee in a cafe in Senegal will cost around 1400fr XOF. For a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant in Dakar expect to pay around 10,000fr XOF.
Prices in West Africa are much lower than prices in the UK: The overall cost of living in the countries that make up the West African CFA franc currency union is around 30% lower than the cost of living in the UK.
Tipping is less common in West Africa. A service charge may sometimes be included in the bill.
Banknotes in West Africa
The CFA franc banknotes are in use in the eight countries of the CFA West African monetary union: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Denominations in use are 500fr, 1000fr, 2000fr, 5000fr and 10,000fr XOF.
You will notice that XOF banknotes show signs of heavy usage: often well-worn and dirty. Wash your hands often.
Coins in West Africa
CFA West African coins range from 5fr to 500fr. The 500fr coin also exists as a banknote. Both are in circulation simultaneously.
West Africa's currency import and export regulations
The currency restrictions in the CFA West African monetary union depend on the country you are visiting:
In Benin, there are no restrictions on the amount of CFA West African francs you can import. Any foreign currencies must be declared upon arrival. When exiting Benin, you can export up to XOF 100,000 worth of foreign currencies. Non-EU visitors must declare the amount of CFA West African Francs they are exporting out of Benin.
In Burkina Faso, there are no restrictions on the amount of currency you can take into the country but you need to make a declaration upon arrival. When leaving Burkina Faso, you are allowed to export up to the amount declared upon arrival.
In Guinea-Bissau, travelers are allowed to import up to 2 Million XOF worth of currency, foreign or domestic. The same restriction value applies for exporting currencies out of Guinea-Bissau.
In Ivory Coast, currency restrictions may apply. However it's unclear at the moment what the regulations are, and therefore travelers are advised to inform themselves prior to departure.
In Mali, travelers need to declare currency upon arrival if the value exceeds 25,000 XOF. When departing Mali, travelers are allowed to export currency for up to the value declared upon arrival.
In Niger there are no restrictions on the amount of currency travelers can bring into the country. When departing Niger, travelers are allowed to take up to 25,000 XOF in West African CFA francs. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currencies that can be exported, when agreed by Niger's Exchange Office.
In Senegal, travelers must declare currency upon arrival if the value exceeds 1 Million XOF. When departing Senegal, travelers are allowed to export currency for a value not greater than the value declared upon arrival.
In Togo, travelers are allowed to bring up to 3 Million XOF worth of currency into the country. A declaration must be made upon arrival. When leaving the country, travelers can take up to the amounts declared upon arrival.
Ordering CFA francs West Africa online
Order CFA francs West Africa online and have them delivered fast and securely to your home or office, with Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®. Or pick them up from our travel money shop near Heathrow. Click here to buy CFA francs West Africa online.
Selling back CFA francs West Africa
If you have CFA francs West Africa to sell, follow this link to exchange CFA francs West Africa to Pounds, click on 'sell currency' and select 'XOF West African CFA Franc'. We'll pay good rates for your leftover CFA francs West Africa.