Harare Travel Guide

Shopping

Virtually all purchases in larger stores are made with US dollars, which is the national currency. Rands are accepted, but you should check the exchange rate at the place first. Many accept rands (or give them in change) at a R7 or R8 to $1 ratio less favourable than the official rate.

Anything made locally is inexpensive. Packets of Zimbabwe cigarettes cost $0.50 (as of April 2010). Everything that is imported is relatively expensive compared to South Africa. Cans of Coca-cola typically cost $1, for example.

If you wanted to experience shopping the way it is traditionally done in many African countries, you could stroll around at the open flea-market at Mbare.

Here tourists could feast their eyes on a colourful array of baskets, food, clothing and other items. However, in September 2005, the government bulldozed Mbare flea market along with every other informal market in the country. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless and without an income.

The government's policy to try to cut down on informal trading was disastrous in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. In time, markets began to spring up again.

ATMs give US dollars. The ATMs at Barclays will accept most international Visa cards; other banks generally take only local cards.


source: Wikivoyage

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