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Tipping in Victoria falls

What is the amount of tips we need to give to the tour guide and driver

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Nov 09, 2018
Tipping in Zimbabwe is discretionary
by: Tony

Tipping in Zimbabwe is totally discretionary, it is not a law and should only be for service that you are happy with.
How Much?... well that depends on how many there are of you and how long you are with the driver or guide and what they do for you. If it just an airport transfer then really no tip is necessary unless you particularly feel inclined to and then $2 to $5 USD would be gratefully received, I am sure.
If it's a guided tour of the Falls and you think he/she has done a great job then again $5 to $10 would be generous. If you are with a driver or guide for a day or longer then maybe $10 to $20 would be sufficient again depending on how helpful he/she has been. Hope that gives a little more insight and you can work from there.
Tipping at restaurants again follows the same rules for good service and is normally about 10% of the bill. I personally gladly tip 10% when the service has been great, which it normally is, but if the service is slow and bad, I am sorry but I do not tip them.
Just to put it in proportion a driver will earn in the region of USD $400 to $600 per month.

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by Kerstin Schneider

How is the current situation? I read the official rate is 2,50 rtgs per can I still pay in US Dollars for fuel and food? What happens if paying per Creditcard?

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Feb 28, 2019
Zimbabwe money matters
by: Tony

Hi Kerstin

I think if you read this page, it should answer all your questions. The information is still accurate as of today Zimbabwe currency

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How much cash is needed?

by Tracie
(Ohio USA)

We are doing a 3 night safari in Hwange with Vintage Camp and then spending 3 nights at Victoria Safari Lodge. We have been told Zimzbabwe is pretty much a cash only country. We have prepaid for the safari, VF lodging, VF tour/lunch, and VF sunset cruise. How much cash should we plan to bring per adult and what is acceptable tipping? Thank you.

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Jun 25, 2018
Your booking agency should be able to answer
by: Tony

Hi Tracie

I am sure if you contact the company who you did all your bookings with they will be able to advise you on all your queries. That's certainly the service we provide all our clients that book with us, we are able to advise them totally on all local information.

Have a great trip

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Money exchange

by Kelly

Is there a way to exchange money at the Vic Falls gate? I will visit for the day from Zambia. I will pay my entrance by card but if I want to buy a souvinier I only have Kwacha.

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Apr 02, 2018
Be Vigilant
by: Tony

Hi There

There are plenty of street money exchangers that hang around the Zambian and Zimbabwe borders. Just be careful that you know the correct exchange rate and count your money carfeully otherwise you will get ripped off. Be very vigilant, it would be best to source some US$ from a bank in Livingstone.
There is a curio shop inside the Vic Falls Gate that will accept your card but buying from the street curio vendors will require cash, but you also might be able to negotiate with them in Kwacha but expect bad rates.

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Money matters

Do they accept US dollars to purchase visas

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Feb 16, 2016
US$ are Zimbabwe's primary currency
by: Tony

US dollars are the primary currency in Zimbabwe so yes they do accept US$ for visa's - it is the best way to pay for every thing while you are here.

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Paying by Mastercard credit card

Can I pay for the sunset and dinner cruise and other such activities using my Mastercard Credit card?

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Feb 05, 2018
by: Tony

Yes you will be able to pay by Mastercard

Feb 04, 2018
Can i use MasterCard at Victoria falls flight of angels
by: Anonymous

Can i pay for flight of Angel helicopter Vic falls by mastercard Zimbabwe

Sep 22, 2014
Paying by Credit cards
by: Tony

The big operators like shearwater and wild horizons will accept credit cards. Many of the smaller operators don't. If you are going during a busy season don't leave your booking until you get here.

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Credit cards in Victoria Falls

Visiting in September/October for 3 nights, what is the latest regarding credit cards?

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Aug 01, 2014
Credit cards are mostly accepted
by: Tony

Credit cards are accepted in all the big hotels and by the bigger activity operators. But for instance if you wanted to go fishing or do a horseback safari these are owned by smaller operators and they don't accept cards. Most restaurants will also accept credit cards. So on the whole you can use credit cards but you still need an amount of cash for incedentals. Visa is the most widely used card here, but aa few more of the operators will use mastercard. Amex is not widely accepted. You can ofcourse draw US$ cash from any of the ATM's.

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bartering etiquette?

Is it still acceptable/encouraged to barter and/or trade items at the shops? If so, what are popular items to trade? (I live in California). Thank you.


The shops don't really barter, they have set prices and it wouldn't be correct to try to negotiate prices with them, but at the markets and with the street vendors bargaining and bartering is the norm. Their prices will normally start quite high, because they expect you to negotiate. Popular items to trade are firstly shoes followed by any other form of clothing.

Hope that helps


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Change in Vic falls

by Andrea

I'm currently writing an essay on the change of Victoria falls since 1998, and i would like to know where I can get statistics of tourism change, infrastructure change etc... thanks

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Jul 25, 2012
Vic Falls
by: Lucy

i need to know the same thing for my geography assignment :)

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Currency and small change

by Glenda
(Jhb, South Africa)

I've heard that if you pay for something in rands or US dollars, you get Zim dollars in change. Is this true?

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Feb 20, 2012
No more Zim Dollars
by: Tony

Hi Glenda

No that is just not true. The Zimbabwe dollar just does not exist anymore except as souveniers.

If you pay for something in US$ you will be given the equivalent change in Rand if the change value is less than US$1, as they do not have any US$ coins. This is maybe where the confusion comes in.

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VAT (Value Added Tax)

I've read conflicting information regarding the VAT (Value Added Tax) for both Victoria Falls and Livingstone on the Zambia side, can you help?

One sight I looked at says that no VAT taxes are added on the Zimbabwe side, if pre-paid before arrival, but is included if payment is made inside the country, and that VAT is paid in Zambia, irrespective. Another site says that in Zambia a 16% VAT is due
on accommodation and food, unless clients have a pre-booked package that includes activities to the value of 25% of the booking.

I wanted to book as few activities ahead of time as possible in order to leave myself more flexibility, but I'm not going to do that if I'm going to get taxed that much. Looking for clarity and advice. Thanks.

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Aug 20, 2011
by: Tony


Wow.. am not sure which sites have confused you, but they have certainly mis-informed you. If you are looking at accommodation and activities in Zimbabwe or Zambia the price you see will be inclusive of VAT.
All prices you see on this site are inclusive of VAT and they are the exact same prices that you will be charged whether you pre-book or whether you pay once you are in the country. Have a look at this page for Zimbabwe activity prices. Zambia prices are about 10% higher than the Zimbabwe prices.

The only thing that I can see maybe where someone is confused, is that Zimbabwe works on a two tier system whereby local Zimbabweans pay a lower price than international guests. These prices quoted to Zimbabweans are excluding VAT.

I hope that clears up the confusion

Pre-booking does have certain advantages like ensuring that you the activity is not fully booked, saves you having to carry cash as some operators don't accept credit cards, but it has no effect on the price.

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Cost of meals at victoria falls

Just wondering how many american dollars to take with us for meals for two people for two days?

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Aug 09, 2011
Money for eating out
by: Tony

Most Hotels include breakfast in the accommodation so I am not including breakfast.

Casual Lunch (burger style) +/- US$8 to $12 per person
Dinner Between US$20 and $40 per person at one of the hotels

There are other dinner options like the boma restaurant at US$60 per person, but lots of entertainment comes with that, or you can do things like a night drive and bush dinner or a dinner cruise on the Zambezi.

So there are a few options have you seen our page on eating out.

Victoria Falls restaurants it's not 100% complete as I am still waiting on full details from many of the restaurants but it will give you an idea of what is available.

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Cheapest option to see the falls and go on a safari

I want to visit Victoria Falls and also see a safari over a couple of days time. What is the cheapest way to do this? Also, any suggestions for fairly priced accomodation?

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Travellers Cheques

Will I be able to get US$ Cash in exchange for US$ Travellers Cheques. For example I will need US$ 20 to enter the rain forest but the smallest T/C I have is US$ 50.
Other items cost US$ 10 I am told (such as entry to the park aboard the river cruise boat.

Richard Horn
Fish Hoek

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Cost of meals in Zim

Thank you for this web site. Most informative. We have booked on a special to THe Kingdom Hotel and see that they have a Panorottis and Spur.

Please could you advise what the average cost of a meal would be from these types of establishments.

Do they charge in Zim dollars or are the menus charged at US Dollars?

Many thanks
Gill Plant
South Africa

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