Norman Carr Safaris reported that Zambia is undergoing some economic policy changes that will cause some minor changes for American travelers in Zambia. The safari operator said that those changes are still in process and the results are not entirely clear, but it appears that U.S. dollars will no longer be accepted currency in Zambia.
Americans can still pay for their safaris in U.S. dollars from abroad, but U.S. dollars are no longer accepted for payment within Zambia. Visitors can still pay for their visas in U.S. dollars upon entry into Zambia, but once they have passed through immigration they will need Zambian Kwacha to pay for airport departure taxes and any other cash incidentals.
The U.S. dollar-Kwacha exchange rate is fluctuating at the moment with a 14 percent swing in value over just the last two weeks.
Departure taxes within Zambia are 58,000 Kwacha per person, which previously equated to $11 per person but now comes to $13.
Norman Carr Safaris is recommending that visitors carry little more U.S. currency than what may have previously seemed enough when traveling in Zambia. The company recommends bringing new dollar bills, the ones with the “big heads.”
It is not possible to purchase Kwacha outside of Zambia so travelers need to be prepared to change cash at a currency exchange bureau at the airport or carry a bankcard and withdraw cash at the airport ATM.
The safari operator also is suggesting that visitors alert theircredit card provider that they are travelling so that they invalidate credit cards upon seeing unexpected transactions from Zambia.
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