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New information on Kwacha and $US Dollars

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New information on Kwacha and $US Dollars for travel to Zambia.

Zambia is undergoing some economic policy changes at the moment and we’re enjoying the challenge trying to keep up with developments! As soon as everything is 100% clear we will of course update you – but you need to know a couple of things right now in order to be prepared for a trip to Zambia.

You can still pay for your safari in US dollars from abroad but US Dollars are no longer accepted within Zambia. You CAN still pay for Visas in US Dollars on entry to Zambia but once past Immigration you will need Zambian Kwacha to pay for airport departure taxes and any other cash incidentals.

The USD/Kwacha exchange rate is fluctuating a lot at the moment with a 14% swing in value just within the last 2 weeks so it is important to take this into account when calculating costs.

Departure taxes within Zambia are 58,000 Kwacha per person which used to equate to $11 per person but now – with the swing in value, K58,000 is worth $13.

To keep it simple –

  • Carry a little more $USD on you than you had previously calculated to allow for these
  • Bring new notes - ie “Big head” dollars
  • It is not possible to purchase Kwacha outside of Zambia so you will need to be prepared to change cash at a Bureau at the airport OR carry a bank card and withdraw cash at the airport ATM  - don’t forget your PIN!
  • You may need to alert your card provider that you’re traveling so that they don’t lock your card upon seeing unexpected transactions from Zambia – most well known cash cards are accepted.
  • Take advantage of our “meet and greet” service at Lusaka Airport. The extra cost is well worth it to ensure things go smoothly.

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