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Zambia - Money & Costs

Money & Costs in Zambia

Elephants at the water's edge Currency: Kwacha
  • Budget: US$1-5
  • Mid-range: US$5-10
  • High: US$10+

  • Lodging
  • Budget: US$3-10
  • Mid-range: US$20-75
  • High: US$100+

  • Zambia is a relatively inexpensive destination compared to most western countries, but for tourists it's slightly more expensive than other countries in East and Southern Africa. Travellers on a moderate budget should expect to spend around US$15-50 a day or more, depending on their taste for restaurant meals and safaris. If you do a lot of self-catering, take the train or bus and don't load up on artefacts, you can keep your costs below US$15 a day. Comfortable travel will cost about US$75 a day, though the use of luxury hotels and chartered planes will add significantly more to the cost.

    You can exchange cash or travellers cheques at banks or foreign exchange (forex) bureaus in most large towns. Travellers cheques get much poorer rates. Bureaus generally give better rates than the banks, especially for cash, and have a faster service. Cash advances on a credit or debit card can be had in Lusaka, but don't expect to get cash for plastic in other towns. There's no black market worth bothering with, and most street moneychangers will rip you off.

    Tipping is technically illegal, but of course still welcomed. You'll find a 10% service charge added to your bill in most restaurants. When shopping for crafts and souvenirs at curio stalls, or when buying some market goods, bargaining is common and expected. Bargaining is not common in shops.

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