Currency, Banking and ATMs


Operational hours

Major Towns:

08:15h to 17:00h Mondays to Fridays

08:15h to 18:00h Saturdays

11:00h to 18:00h Sundays

Smaller Towns:

08:15h to 17:00h Mondays to Fridays

08:15h to 12:30h Saturdays

International banks operating in Zambia include Barclays, Standard Chartered, Stanbic, African Banking Corporation, Citibank and FNB.


The currency is the Zambian Kwacha with ISO international symbol, ZMW.

Currency is denominated as follows:

Bank Notes: K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2

Coins: K1, 50 Ngwee, 10 Ngwee and 5 Ngwee

All transactions within Zambia are payable in the local currency, Zambian Kwacha.


Currency Regulations

There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided that it is declared on arrival using a currency declaration form.

When changing cash in a bureau de change Photo ID is required as well as an address of where you are staying. There is a limit to the equivalent of up to US$ 1,000 in any freely convertible currency that may be changed at any one time by an individual per day.

US Dollars, British Pounds and South African Rand are the better currencies to bring. Euro can be difficult to change.

If you are changing USD be sure to bring notes of varying denominations since change is often a problem in Africa and all notes must have "large heads" - the old series notes with small heads are no longer accepted anywhere in Zambia.

It is advisable to only use major companies to change your money, not roadside moneychangers, you have a very good chance of being cheated.

Not many places accept traveller’s cheques and those that do generally offer very bad rates of exchange.

Credit Cards and ATMs

Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards, Visa is the most common, MasterCard is less popular and all other cards are virtually unheard off. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card.

ATMs are located at the airport, in the shopping centres and outside banks in all the major towns, Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe, Chingola, Ndola and some of the smaller towns. These all accept Visa.  At the moment FNB is one of the few banks with ATMs that accept MasterCard.

ATMs in Lusaka

Arcades Shopping Centre

Access Bank
Finance Bank Zambia
Indo-Zambia Bank
Standard Charted Bank

Manda Hill Mall

Barclays Bank
Standard Charted Bank

Manda Hill Mall - Banking Hall

Barclays Bank
Finance Bank Zambia
Indo-Zambia Bank
Intermarket Bank
Investrust Bank
Standard Charted Bank


When staying in a hotel, lodge or camp or when eating in a restaurant in Zambia, it is a statutory requirement for a 10% service charge to be added to your bill or incorporated within it. This is passed onto the staff so that all employees benefit.

Having said this, it is customary to tip staff a small amount if you feel that service has been up to scratch. In a restaurant this would usually not exceed 10%.

In camps and lodges the managers prefer guests not to tip staff during the course of their stay.  If the guest would like to leave a tip at the end of their stay there is usually a tip box at reception or at the bar.  This is divided amongst all the staff both front of house and behind the scenes.  As a guideline the equivalent of $5 to $10 per guest per day but this is discretionary.

Guides and scouts are not included in the tip box so they can be given a tip separately if you feel they have earned it.