Money and Banks
Operational hours are 08:15 to 15:30 hours Mondays through to Fridays and 08:15 to 11:30 hours on Saturdays.
Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card. Most banks have ATM’s which accept Visa cards for cash. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.
It’s best to come into the country with either travellers cheques or Dollars or Pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureaux de Change in the main towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it. Travellers cheques attract a commission when changing to other currencies.
The Zambian currency is the Kwacha and it fluctuates quite regularly. As of Jan 2013, Zambia rebased the currency dividing by 1000.
- As of April 2015 K100 = $13.91 GBP 8.9, ZAR 158.45, EUR 12.87
- Kwacha note denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, and K2
- Coins are in denominations of K1 and 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee.
Payments within Zambia can be made in Kwachas only, by law, even if the price is quoted in USD. Foreign currency will not be accepted once you have cleared immigration at the airport.
There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided it is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form.
To find out more about the current exchange rate please visit www.xe.com
ATMs are available within Lusaka, Livingstone and other major towns in Zambia. The bigger banks have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted, though no longer commonly used. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US dollars, Euros or Pounds.
Exchange of foreign currency is carried out at authorised banks and bureaux de change. There are many bureaux at the central shopping areas in the main towns.