Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Currency in Zambia

Thought it might be worth commenting on the currency in Zambia, as
paying for things has proven to often be a royal pain in the ass. Visa
is dicey at best. They dont even know of other credit/debit cards. The
cash economy is a multi-currency system in that they accept the
Zambian Kwatcha (of course), but they also accept South African Rand,
British Pound, & US Dollars. The Kwatcha is only good in Zambia. No
bank outside Zambia will change it, so you don't want to leave Zambia
with a lot of it. $1 is worth $5000K, so if you changed $100US you
would end up with a huge stack of Zambian bills much bigger than a
$100 stack of US singles (there are no coins). A hamburger might cost
$30,000K ($6US). I try not to hold more than $20 worth of Kwatcha at a
time. Paying for things often involves using a combination of
currencies and the use of a calculator to convert. No one ever has
very much change and using even a $20 bill is too much. I wish I had
brought smaller bills. They need to figure this out for their economy
to improve or evolve I think. Zimbabwe money is even more reduculous
(& worthless). Guys on the street will try to sell you actual 100
Trillion Dollar Zimbabwe notes as a souvenir. This is coming from a
place, though, where everything is useful and nothing is thrown away.

No comments:

Post a Comment