The Zambian Kwacha (K) is the only legal currency in Zambia. The Kwacha comes in notes of K2, K5, K10, K20, K50, K100. One Kwacha is made up of 100 ngwee. In addition to the notes you will find coins in the value of 5, 10 and 50 ngwee and K1.
Visa credit cards are widely accepted in larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Mastercard is less widely accepted. We do not recommend American Express and Diners for Zambia.
ATM/cash point machines are available in the main airports, most towns, and some of the smaller villages. Exchange facilities are available at all major airports as well as most large bank branches, although exchange rates from ATM/cash point machines are generally more favourable. Most ATMs will allow withdrawals with VISA cards, not Mastercards. We strongly advise that when using ATM machines that you do so inside banks, rather than street side ones.
At most of the safari lodges you will be able to settle your account with a credit card. Prices may be displayed in US$ but payment will be deducted in Kwacha.
In the more touristy areas, particularly around Livingstone you may be able to pay for items with US$ and even South African Rands. However, don’t rely on this.
Try and only draw the Kwacha that you will need as it will not be that easy to convert left over Kwacha back to your original currency. You will need your exchange or ATM withdrawal receipts to do so.