Currency to use in Zambia





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  1. #1
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    Default Currency to use in Zambia

    Would appreciate some advice on this. We're going to Liuwa in November, via Botswana and Katima. Can and do I buy Kwacha in RSA? Or do I exchange in Zambia somewhere - going via Mongu - I'm not sure what is there?

    I've been to Vic Falls and the US Dollar was happily accepted, but not too sure that I want to be doing this.

    Thanks in anticipation.
    Gavin

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    Gavin,

    I don't think you can get Kwacha anywhere outside Zambia. It is certainly impossible in Katima.

    US dollar rules in Zambia, and you can (must!) pay for all of your park fees and accomodation with it. You will need Kwacha for food and fuel, and some of the border fees. You will be able to change dollars or Rand for Kwacha at the border..........I got a better rate from the Customs officer at Sesheke than I was offered by the money-changers outside! Better to do an exchange with an official because the sleight-of-hand tricks are eliminated that way..........

    You won't actually need much in the way of Kwacha before you get to Mongu, and then you can go to a bank there and do a proper transaction.

    Mike
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    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  3. #3
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    Dear Gavin,

    Withdrawing Kwacha with Visa-card seems to me the easiest way to get Kwacha. We paid the park fees in US Dollar, all other expenses Kwacha.
    Even if the costs for accomodation, meals or actitities are quoted in US Dollars, are Kwacha accepted. In September 2009 they used an exchange rate of 5000 Kwacha for 1 US Dollar, if the prices were quoted in Dollars.

    Sybille

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    My view on US$ is that you are then seen as a target and tourist to the not so honest traders... So, as Mike Says, use the US$ for the park fees, but if anyone else asks you for money, just produce the mighty Kwacha.

    I had a "car guard" in Livingstone refusing to accept Kwacha as a tip, so you actually save money by not admitting that you have the $'s.

  5. #5
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    Hi Mike, not ignoring you, just really busy. Hi FF, my mates should be in Jhb tomorrow. Will keep you posted re the camera!

    If a car guard refused kwacha let him starve! Of all the nerve! Mike, have you ever?

    Just a note, there is a toll btwn Sitoti and Sesheki where they will charge your car kw60 000. Make sure you have at least that on you when on that road. Plenty plenty banks in Mongu. AND a Shoprite!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirstie View Post
    Just a note, there is a toll btwn Sitoti and Sesheki where they will charge your car kw60 000.
    How did we miss that? We paid no tolls at all! In fact, I'm pretty sure there weren't any roadblocks other than ZAWA checkpoints and at the entrance to Itezhi Tezhi on the whole of our trip.

    Glad to hear you are still so busy Linda!

    Mike
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    You will easily get Kwacha there. If you are lucky enough to find in SA rather don’t buy as the currency could weaken before you go. Like it was mentioned, the easiest way to get Kwacha is to draw it out the ATM with a VISA. If not there is a FOREX on the border from Bots. Hide your Dollars in Zambia untill you find a place where they don't except Kwacha. Enjoy your trip!

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    Oh, and here is another little money tip......

    If you are coming through Katima into Zambia it is likely you will have come from Kasane. All of which can mean that you have 4 different currencies to deal with (USD, Kwacha, Pula & Namibian Dollars), sometimes two or three at once (at Sesheke, for instance).

    To avoid the inevitable chaos and confusion that this will cause, have 4 different wallets! Get some of the cheap coloured nylon ones, in 4 different colours, and write on the outside. This will save you hours of rummaging through piles of mixed coins and notes.....you'll be very grateful!

    I know, because I didn't do this and it was coin-chaos!! There is a big note to myself in the back of my diary to remind me to do it next time.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirstie View Post
    Just a note, there is a toll btwn Sitoti and Sesheki where they will charge your car kw60 000.
    This can only be a scam!

  10. #10
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    And remember to get rid of it before you exit Zambia as you can't exchange it anywhere else!

    I'm still sitting with 400k, so by all means, Gavin
    ..shout if you decide to..
    Quote Originally Posted by gavpike View Post
    Can and do I buy Kwacha in RSA?
    Wouter
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  11. #11
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    I still have 200,000 kwacha on me, but oh, that's only R300...

    You can withdraw at astm machine in most towns there if you have a Visa credit card. Mastercard machines are scarce, I think the barkleys machines take them. Enjoy your trip!


    Currently enjoying my new platkar: Alfa MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde - she's a beauty!
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info everyone. ATM it is then - with a secret stash of USD! Only 3 weeks to go!!! So excited I can't focus at work. Um - but that is probably my standard status anyway - thanks to this forum
    Gavin

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    Gavin,

    personally, I wouldn't rely on ATM's.

    I treat them as a bonus, because they so often go wrong. There can be huge queues, they can run out of money, and worst of all, they can keep your card for no good reason at all. Always tell your card company that you are taking it abroad, so that their anti-fraud measures don't cut in and prevent you withdrawing money.......but even that won't guarantee that they work.

    No...take most of your money as USD cash, keep it in a locked "safe" buried away somewhere in your car, and just be grateful now and again that an occasional card machine works.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

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