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Money & duty free for Zambia


The Zambian currency is the kwacha, K (international currency code ZMW), which is equivalent to 100 ngwee. Zambian banknotes are in denominations of K100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of K1 and 50, 10 and 5 ngwee.


Note: On 1 January 2013, the Zambia government re-based the Zambian currency. The old currency code was ZMK. One new kwacha (ZMW) is equivalent to 1000 old kwacha (ZMK). The old banknotes cannot used as currency after 1 July 2014, but can be exchanged for new kwacha at the Bank of Zambia until 31 December 2015.

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.

Credit cards: 

Most hotels, restaurants, travel agents and bigger shops accept credit cards. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.


ATMs are available within Lusaka and some of the major towns in Zambia. Standard Chartered and Barclays Bank have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.

Travellers cheques: 

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 sterling.

Banking hours: 

Vary from bank to bank. Most are open Mon-Fri 0830-1430 but some stay open until 1600. Some banks also open from 0815-1030 or 1200 on Saturdays.