Foreign exchange guide to Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean dollar
What's in this Zimbabwe currency guide?
The official currency of Zimbabwe (country code: ZW) is the Zimbabwean dollar, with symbol Z$ and currency code ZWL.
Here are some things you might want to know about the Zimbabwean dollar:
As mentioned above, the Zimbabwean dollar is a closed currency. Which means that you may find it difficult (or be permitted) to purchase the currency (ZWL) before departure and will need to buy it upon arrival in .
For these types of destinations, using a pre-paid travel card is a good solution. As no travel cards support loading closed currencies like the ZWL you will incur currency conversion or foreign transaction fees if you use a travel money card in .
However, using a pre-paid travel card is still a good idea as you can avoid ATM fees and also you can avoid using (and losing!) your main bank or debit/credit card.
Throughout its past two decades of governmental mismanagement, political violence and economic disaster, Zimbabwe continued to welcome visitors with the same grace and politeness that they were famed for. And as a result those who did travel here usually left insisting that that the country was hands down one of the safest, friendliest and most spectacular countries on the continent.
Around 70% of Zimbabwe's 12 million people are Shona-speaking while some 20% are Ndebele speakers. English, the country's official language, is widely spoken and visitors to Zimbabwe are often struck by the friendliness and optimism of its people, despite recent hardships. The country is a profoundly religious one - nearly two thirds of the population attends church regularly - and some 85% consider themselves Christian.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency for governmental transactions in Zimbabwe. Also legal tender and widely accepted for non-governmental transactions are the Euro, the British Pound Sterling, the Pula, the South African Rand, plus several other currencies.You should check in advance if a restaurant or hotel will accept cards, especially outside Harare.
Most people rely on electronic bank transfers or mobile money to pay their bills, usually at a hefty premium.
Zimbabwe has introduced a local issue of Bond Coins to supplement the current money supply. The coins come the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents - they are on par with American coins. In supermarkets, you may be given change in chewing gum or sweets if there is no coinage available. Haggling for a better price is common, but keep in mind that most people are very poor.
It’s illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than $2,000 (or equivalent) in cash. It’s illegal to exchange foreign currency anywhere other than at officially licensed dealers (eg banks). Carry small denomination notes as change is rarely available in smaller businesses.
The use of credit cards is still very limited, with only a few service providers accepting VISA or MasterCards in Zimbabwe.
ATM use is very limited for non-citizens, so please do yourself a favour and come with plenty of cash on hand. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a severe shortage of cash so it’s mostly not currently possible to make cash withdrawals with an international bank card.
Banks allow customers to withdraw just $20 a day, not in real dollars but in local bond notes. Long queues form each morning.
Air Zimbabwe has flights from Harare to Bulawayo (45 minutes) and Victoria Falls. New to Zimbabwe is FastJet, a popular budget airline offering cheap flights to Victoria Falls from Harare. There’s a domestic departure tax of US$15. The only way by air from Harare or Vic Falls to Kariba is to charter, which is very expensive. The charter companies can arrange charter flights, which will seat four to six people to Kariba, Mana Pools and Matusadona National Park from Harare or Vic Falls.
The express or ‘luxury’ buses operate according to published timetables. Check carefully, however, as most bus companies have both local (‘chicken buses’ for locals) and luxury coaches. For example, Pioneer and Zupco have both luxury and chicken buses.
Taxis are safe and reliable and can be booked through your hotel front desk. Most are metered, charging around US$2.50 for 1km at the time of writing. Taxis in cities travel within a 40km radius of the city. Always take a taxi at night.
Connecting Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls, all major train services travel at night. The most popular route is from Vic Falls to Bulawayo. Definitely opt for first class, which is good value, comfortable and gets you a sleeping compartment.
The domestic currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean dollar.
The three letter currency code for the Zimbabwean dollar is ZWL — symbol is Z$.
It is the domestic currency in   Zimbabwe.
Yes the Zimbabwean dollar is a closed currency. Which means that you may find it difficult to purchase the currency (ZWL) before departure and will probably need to buy it upon arrival. If you do manage to buy some of the currency or have some left over from a previous trip, make sure you are aware if you are allowed to bring this closed currency into the country.
For more information and a full list of closed currencies please refer to our guide: What is a closed currency?
|€ 1||$ 1.0806|
|€ 5||$ 5.4030|
|€ 10||$ 10.81|
|€ 20||$ 21.61|
|€ 50||$ 54.03|
|€ 100||$ 108.06|
|€ 250||$ 270.15|
|€ 500||$ 540.30|
|€ 1,000||$ 1,081|
|€ 2,000||$ 2,161|
|€ 5,000||$ 5,403|
|€ 10,000||$ 10,806|
|€ 20,000||$ 21,612|
|€ 50,000||$ 54,030|
|€ 100,000||$ 108,060|
|€ 0.9254||$ 1|
|€ 4.6270||$ 5|
|€ 9.2540||$ 10|
|€ 18.51||$ 20|
|€ 46.27||$ 50|
|€ 92.54||$ 100|
|€ 231.35||$ 250|
|€ 462.70||$ 500|
|€ 925.40||$ 1,000|
|€ 1,851||$ 2,000|
|€ 4,627||$ 5,000|
|€ 9,254||$ 10,000|
|€ 18,508||$ 20,000|
|€ 46,270||$ 50,000|
|€ 92,540||$ 100,000|
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Zimbabwe you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
When sending money to Zimbabwe it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Zimbabwean dollar deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Zimbabwe.
The cost of living in Zimbabwe is high. The country has a high inflation rate and many basic goods and services are expensive.
The expat life in Zimbabwe is generally positive. People are friendly and welcoming, and there are plenty of activities and amenities available. The cost of living is relatively low, and the climate is pleasant. However, the political situation is unstable, and the country has a high crime rate.
All foreigners should be aware of the visa requirements for Zimbabwe. A visa is required for all foreign nationals wishing to enter Zimbabwe, with the exception of nationals of Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months. Nationals of Barbados, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia may obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days.
The business environment in Zimbabwe is generally considered to be challenging. High levels of corruption, limited access to financing, and erratic power supply are some of the main constraints faced by businesses operating in the country.
The economy in Zimbabwe is struggling. The country has high unemployment and inflation rates, and the government is struggling to pay for basic services.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Zimbabwe:
Understand Zimbabwean dollar currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the ZWL exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Zimbabwean dollar bank account: A local ZWL bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Zimbabwe. It may also be more convenient to use a local ZWL bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Zimbabwe. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Zimbabwe. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Zimbabwe, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.