Budget Update – Zambia

Our budget for Zambia was almost completely blown out of the water at the border crossing: US$200 lighter, we arrived in Livingstone.

The official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha.  The kwacha isn’t traded outside Zambia, so it isn’t possible to obtain any currency before arriving in the country.  It also means if you have any left when leaving, they are worthless once you have crossed the border.  During our visit, the exchange rate was about ZMW5.40 = $1 (about ZMW8.40 = £1).  It does fluctuate slightly.

Again, we preferred to camp our way through Zambia, not doing any wild camping.  Similar to Namibia, the camping facilities are good, and the locations generally very scenic.  Camping averaged ZKW50 – 60 per person per night (about £13 for the both of us).  Camping seemed to be more expensive the further north we travelled.

Fuel was readily available, and during our foray into Zambia we travelled almost 3,000km mainly along tar roads.  Fuel was slightly more expensive at ZKW9.20 per litre (about £1.10 per litre), so our daily fuel cost was £19.

Again, Shoprite has extended its presence into Zambia, and so we could easily stock up on provisions.  We also used the local markets for fresh fruit and vegetables, which had a great supply and variety.  Our daily food cost amounted to £10.

We only visited two National Parks – South Luangwa and North Luangwa.  The permit system has changed from 24 hour to a day permit, so we camped outside the parks and enjoyed 1 day in each park.  Self drive entry fees were ZKW160 per person (£19) and ZKW80 for the vehicle (£9).  A worthwhile day in South Luangwa.

In all, the higher fuel price and expensive border crossing gave us a daily spend of £58.

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