Zim currency changes

On the 24th of June The Zimbabwe government changed the local monetary policy:  Zimbabwe is no longer a multi-currency monetary system and has re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar. 

Here’s what you should know

  • The Zimbabwe Dollar is not yet recognised worldwide as an official currency. Therefore, when paying for goods priced in ZWL (the Zim dollar) with a foreign card the amount it will have to be converted to USD first and it is this converted amount that will be transacted on your card.
  • The new laws don’t mean that it is illegal to possess foreign currency.
  • The exchange rate is approximately 1 USD = 9 ZWL at the time of writing but is subject to fluctuations. Go to Zimbabwe Market Watch for the latest rates.


How to pay for what: 

National Park Fees and Visas to enter Zimbabwe are still priced in US$. Pay for these using a foreign Credit/Debit card or US$ cash or equivalent in another foreign currency.

Shopping
. Goods in the supermarkets, curio stores and other trading shores have to have their goods prices in Zim dollars (ZWL) Goods can be paid for in Zim dollars cash or Zim credit/ debit card or a foreign credit card. No foreign exchange cash is accepted. Tell the cashier if you are paying with a foreign card and they will tell you the amount your card will be charged with.

Shopping. Goods in the supermarkets, curio stores and other trading shores have to have their goods prices in Zim dollars (ZWL) Goods can be paid for in Zim dollars cash or Zim credit/ debit card or a foreign credit card. No foreign exchange cash is accepted. Tell the cashier if you are paying with a foreign card and they will tell you the amount your card will be charged with.

Fuel. This is a tricky one and won’t affect most tourists other than self-drive guests. If you are just doing a quick visit from Chobe then fill up in Botswana and avoid the queues in Vic Falls. Fuel is priced in Zim dollars and no foreign cash is accepted. 

Eating out in Vic Falls. Most restaurants prices are presented in USD. Use your card or forex cash. Note this is not the same for other cities and is aimed at keeping life simple for tourists to Vic Falls. 

Accommodation and activities – Same as above. These are still all currently priced in US$ and can be paid for using foreign cards or US$ cash.

Taxis. Priced in USD; pay in cash USD  or Zim Dollar equivalent.

Gratuities: Its fine to pay for great service in USD cash.

In short

  • Bring your credit card. It’s the easiest way to pay for most things
  • Bring a few small USD notes for tips or small purchases You cannot get these from a bank so you will have to bring them along.
  • Pre purchase accommodation and your activities before arrival.
  • Do not change money on the streets. It’s illegal.

 

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