Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In a place gone mad

Am currently in Lusaka, Zambia and oh boy has this place gone mad or what?

Since last time I was here the currency (Kwacha) has strengthened against the US and other major currencies so that from close to 5000 K to 1 USD we now have 3200 K to 1 USD.

But - prices have if anything gone up! This has made this place possibly one of the most expensive places to be for a foreigner right now. Some prices; I had a "burgerlunch" yesterday and drank a beer to it. Over 10 USD...

Today I had a pizza for lunch. Most likely my first ever "normal size" pizza to cost in the area of 14 USD!! In the shops it is the same, prices are easy twice what they were last time I was here.

Did I mention that a very "average" hotel room is around 120 USD a night...

Small wonder those I know here that are paid in foreign currency are complaining bitterly on a daily basis. Their cost of living must have at least doubled in the past 6 months!

And arriving tourist will get a very rude awakening if they are planning for a "cheap" holiday, to say the least.

My advice; travel somewhere else until this weird situation has normalised....
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