Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

Zambia no longer accepting US dollars

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Zambia no longer accepting US dollars
2012-07-20 12:32

Due to economic policy changes, Zambia will no longer be accepting US Dollars as payment within the country, Wanderlust reports.

Instead, the local currency, Kwacha, which can only be purchased within the country, will be the only currency accepted.

“The Government are keen that the local currency should be used within the country – they want to avoid having an economy with a dual currency in place,” said Christina Carr of Norman Carr Safaris, which operates in Zambia.

“I hope it will not put people off travelling,” she continued. “It is unfortunate that it’s not possibly to purchase Kwacha outside of Zambia but there are ATMs which accept all major cards and Bureaux de Change which accept Dollars, Euro and Sterling at all the airports and in towns.”

She advised that people travelling to Zambia have a debit or credit card, bring new US dollars to exchange, and to check the exchange rate before travel, but to bring “a little more than you think you need as the exchange rate does fluctuate quite a bit”. There has been a 14% swing in value just within the last two weeks.

Visas can still be paid for in US dollars on entry to Zambia, but once past immigration Zambian Kwacha would be needed for any further payments. Departure taxes within Zambia are 58,000 Kwacha per person, which used to equate to $11 per person, but is currently worth $13 since the swing in value.

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