In the heart of the African subcontinent lies a destination known as “real Africa”. This is Zambia, where you will find remote wilderness areas, breathtaking scenery, wildlife in abundance and kind-hearted people.
Zambia’s major attraction is the spectacular Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as a multitude of adrenaline pumping activities, like whitewater rafting, bungee jumping , canoeing, abseiling, micro-lighting over the falls and much more. Zambia also offers dozens of superb game parks stocked with a profusion of birds and wildlife.
Passports and visa
Zambia Passport & Visa Requirements
Contact your closest Zambian Consulate for updated information.
NOTE: A return ticket or proof of onward travel, all documents for next destination, and proof of sufficient funds is required for all travellers. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Zambia Tourism: www.zambiatourism.com
Typhoid, polio, rabies and hepatitis A vaccinations should be considered for travel to Zambia. Malaria prophylaxis is essential.
Avoid swimming or wading in lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers due to the presence of bilharzia.
Full travel insurance, including cover for medical evacuation by air, is recommended.Avoid food bought from local street vendors and ensure drinking water is filtered and boiled.
A yellow fever certificate is mandatory if you are traveling from an infected area.
New Year’s Day 1 Jan
Women’s Day 8 Mar
Youth Day 12 Mar
Good Friday 25 Mar
Easter Monday 28 Mar
Labour Day 1 May
Africa Freedom Day 25 May
Heroes’ Day 6 Jul
Unity Day 7 Jul
Farmers’ Day 1 Aug
Independence Day 24 Oct
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Money & duty free
The Zambian currency is the Kwacha (ZMK), divided into 100 ngwee, but coins are seldom used. It is best to bring US Dollars or Pounds Sterling which can be exchanged at the many bureaux de change found in the main towns.
Travellers to Zambia over 18 years do not have to pay duty on the following items: 400 cigarettes or 500g tobacco, 1 bottle of alcohol and 2.5 litres of beer, and 1 ounce of perfume. Visitors may export the same items for free.
Electrical current in Zambia is 220/230 volts, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs, as well as two-and three pin round plugs are in use.
Local time in Zambia is GMT +2.
The international dialling code for Zambia is +260. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g. 1 for Lusaka. Operator assisted calls can be booked by dialling 090 or 093.
There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. Most business is conducted in English .
Immigration & border crossing
The below is as a guide line, best to consult for more info.
Tip: Make sure you have Kwacha and US$ with you. You can exchange US$ at the border for Kwacha but you won’t get a favourable exchange rate.
Documents required if you own your vehicle:
1) Valid Passport
2) Driver’s license
3) A certified copy of your vehicle’s registration papers (and trailer if you are taking one)
4) Proof that your vehicle is insured
5) If your vehicle is financed by the bank get a letter of authority from the bank with your travel dates on it.
6) If you are not the owner of the vehicle bring a letter of authority from the owner, signed by both parties with their respective ID numbers, stating that you are able to take the vehicle across the border.
7) Police clearance is still a grey area. SA is wanting to stop the issuing of police clearance certificates. The Zambia Tourism team that travelled to Zambia recently was never asked for one, but had one with them.
8) A valid yellow fever certificate for when you leave Zambia
Vehicle requirements for border crossing:
1) ZA sticker if your vehicle is from South Africa
2) Red reflector tape on your rear bumper ( can be small squares on each side )
3) White reflector tape on the front bumper ( can be small squares on each side )
4) 2 x warning triangles
5) Fire extinguisher
6) White and red T-signs for trailers. White displayed on the front right corner (if you are facing forward) and red on the rear right hand side of the trailer. This is the side the traffic will pass you.
Standard tourist visas are USD50 single entry; USD80 double or multiple entry. It is virtually impossible to get a multiple entry at point of entry – they will only give single or double – so get in advance?. Visas are valid for 3 months but issued for 1 month – they can be extended at any immigration office, found in most major towns. There is talk about changing the visa system around Livingstone/Vic Falls so visitors can travel freely across the border to view the falls from both sides, this is called the UNI VISA. Please ask your travel agent for more information
The best time to visit Zambia is between June and September, when the nights are cold but the days are usually sunny and pleasant, and game viewing is at its best.
May to August it is cooler and dry as it is winter. The temperature range becomes far greater with temperatures measuring anywhere between 43°F and 75°F (6°C and 24°C).
For most days all you will want is light, loose-fitting cotton clothing. Pure cotton, or at least a cotton-rich mix, is cooler and more absorbent than synthetic materials, making it more comfortable in the heat.
If you plan to do much walking, either on safari or with a backpack, then lightweight walking boots (with ankle support if possible) are essential. This is mainly because the bush is not always smooth and even, and anything that minimises the chance of a twisted ankle is worthwhile.
Other useful items:
- Sunblock and lipsalve – for vital protection from the sun
- Binoculars – totally essential for game-viewing
- A small pocket torch
- ‘Leatherman’ tool – never go into the bush without one, but always pack it in your check-in bag; never in your hand luggage
- A small water bottle, especially on flights (see Camping equipment)
- Electrical insulating tape – remarkably useful for general repairs
- Camera – long lenses are vital for good shots of animals
- Basic sewing kit – with at least some really strong thread for repairs
- Cheap waterproof watch (leave expensive ones, and jewellery, at home)
- Couple of paperback novels
- Large plastic ‘bin-liner’ (garbage) bags, for protecting luggage from dust
- Simple medical kit and insect repellent
And for those driving or backpacking, useful extras are:
- Concentrated, biodegradable washing powder
- Long-life candles – as Zambian candles are often soft, and burn quickly
- Nylon ‘paracord’ – bring at least 20m for emergencies and washing lines
- Hand-held GPS navigation system, for expeditions to remote areas
- Good compass and a whistle
- More comprehensive medical kit
Zambia National Tourist Board, Lusaka: www.zambiatourism.com
Zambian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 326 1854/47
ZAMBIA EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Emergencies: 999 or 991
AIRPORTS IN ZAMBIA
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN)
LOCATION:The airport is situated 16 miles (27km) east of Lusaka.
There is a minibus service that runs to the city centre via Great East Road, and taxis are available.
Tel: +260 (0)1 271 044, (0)1 271 313.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport (NLA)
LOCATION:The airport is located two miles (3km) south of the Ndola city centre.
Taxis and rental cars are available.
Please note that Univisa stickers are available at the border for international travelers at both Zimbabwean and Zambian borders as listed below.
Currently, tourists visiting Southern Africa must apply for separate visas for each country, each with its own visa regime. For some, this acts a deterrent for multi-country travel in the region. It is for this reason that the development of a common visa, deemed a UNIVISA, was endorsed by SADC Heads of State in 1998. While there have been some obstacles to implementation, significant momentum is now building towards the UNIVISA. Central to the UNIVISA strategy is taking a phased approach. The first step is the creation of a pilot initiative through which a common visa will be created for Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of the reasons they were selected as pilot countries relates to their role as cohosts of the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly.
This pilot initiative is being developed in close cooperation with the KAZA TFCA and RETOSA and is being supported by the World Bank and the German Development Bank KfW. Assuming that this pilot is successful, a common visa can then be established among all five KAZA TFCA countries. By eliminating the need for tourists to obtain multiple visas, cross-border travel will become easier and less costly. This should provide a major boost to tourism within the world’s largest TFCA. Next, a SADC UNIVISA pilot can be initiated. This will likely involve the additional incorporation of South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland. A successful result will encourage expansion to the full list of 15 SADC countries. By undertaking the UNIVISA initiative, the region will become a more competitive tourism destination. The added convenience and reduced costs will encourage more visitation and longer stays. This will undoubtedly broaden and enrich the tourism experience while providing important economic benefits to the region’s diverse host countries and communities.
WHERE IT IS AVAILABLE?
|Harry Mwaanga Airport (Livingstone)||Victoria Falls Airport|
|Victoria Falls Land Border||Victoria Falls Land Border|
|Kazungula Land Border (border with Botswana)||Kazungula Land Border (border with Botswana)|
|Kenneth Kaunda Airport (Lusaka)||Harare Airport|
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?
Tourists save time and money because they only have to obtain one visa to visit both countries.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Up to 30 days as long as you remain within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers those who visit Botswana for day trips for the Kazungula borders.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Citizen of 40 countries, which coincide with those who are eligible to receive Visas on arrival in both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
|Czech Republic||New Zealand||Uruguay|
In the future, it is anticipated that the KAZA Visa will be extended to other three KAZA countries of Angola, Botswana and Namibia
The largest artificial lake in the world, Lake Kariba is a very popular tourist destination in Zambia (and Zimbabwe). There are a number of game and safari parks that surround the lake on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides and it also offers a number of water activities such as boat and pontoon cruises as well as wonderful houseboat holidays to really experience the lake up close and personal.
Lake Kariba is an excellent place to see wildlife like crocodiles, hippos, zebra and buffalo. Foreigners should be wary of hippo and crocodiles when swimming in Kariba, and on the banks.
The sunsets over Lake Kariba are famously beautiful and to witness the full moon rising over the water, which is quite a magical experience.
Many people prefer to visit Lake Kariba in the cooler months (May to September) when the weather is still warm and sunny but the heat temperature is far more bearable during the day and the nights are cooler for easy sleep.
Livingstone, also known as Maramba, is a historic colonial city on the southern border of Zambia.
Livingstone is a popular gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls and has benefited from the hordes of tourists that flock there each year.
Due to its colonial past, there is a number of historical buildings and a few museums that are devoted to its archaeology, history, ethnography, geology, railways, and of course the town’s namesake: David Livingstone.
It is the perfect base for extreme activities like: whitewater rafting, bungee jumping from the mighty bridge that connect Zim and Zam and swimming in Devils Pool which is situated at the edge of the falls. For the faint one can visit the falls by guided walks, helicopter rides or one can go on Safari.
About 30 % of Zambia’s 752,614 square kilometers is reserved for wildlife. There are 20 national parks and 34 game management areas in the country. South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi rank among the finest game parks in the world.
Luambe, and Lukusuzi Liuwa Plain, West Lunga, Sioma Ngwezi, and Nyika Plateau have substantial wildlife but are still undeveloped. Mosi-oa-Tunya, near Victoria Falls, is regarded as a Zoological park as it has a well managed population of antelope, elephants, giraffe and rhino, but does not have any predators.
Isangano, Lavushi Manda, Lusenga Plain, and Mweru Wantipa have never had management or facilities and have little wildlife but are still worth a visit by intrepid explorers and birdlovers. The newest park to be proclaimed is Lusaka National Park, just outside the capital, which opened to the public in June 2015.