The Kwacha, the Zambian currency, has been ‘re-based’. Government decided to remove three zeros from the currency to make it easier for people to understand and to avoid having to carry around large carrier bags full of money.
It is not a ‘devaluation’ and the currency and economy remain stable.
The Kwacha now sits at around 5 to the US dollar. It will fluctuate a few points each way over the months but you can use K5 : $1 as a rough rule of thumb.
You still need to obtain Kwacha as you enter Zambia to pay for various local taxes and any cash payments whilst you’re here in Zambia. However, you can still buy your entry visa in USD as it is not possible to get Kwacha outside Zambia.
It is easy to withdraw cash from ATMs at the airport – Visa and Mastercard both work and most larger retail outlets and lodges can accept major credit cards.
We advise guests to let your credit card company know if you are travelling to Zambia so that they don’t stop the card for suspicious use. You can also exchange USD, Sterling, Euros and most major currencies at the airports.
Take a look at Norman Carr and Chongwe's beautiful camps and lodges here: Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli, Mchenja, Kapani, Kasaka and Chongwe River Camp and Chongwe River House.
That'll surely get you in the mood to go over and use your Kwacha!