Plot 1857 Kabundi Road, Chingola
43, 8th Street Nchanga South, Chingola
Plot # 6645 Kabundi Road Chingola Central, Chingola
Casanova Area, 250m behind Continental Service Station, Mpika
Zambia is a state in Southern Africa. Roughly the size of Texas or France, Zambia is a landlocked country, bordered by Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, a narrow strip of Namibia known as the Caprivi Strip to the southwest, Angola to the west, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northwest.
Zambia can be divided into five geographic regions:
Zambia offers travelers some of the world's best safari opportunities, a glimpse into "real Africa," and Victoria Falls, one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices, one party democracy and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with at least two parties filing legal petitions challenging the results. Opposition parties currently hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
Much of Zambia remains desperately poor, with GDP per capita on the order of US$600/year, and the bulk of Zambia's population lives on subsistence agriculture. The economy continues to revolve around copper, but after decades of mismanagement the industry is now doing better thanks to higher commodity prices and investments made after privatization. Another recent success story has been tourism, with the misfortunes of its neighbor Zimbabwe driving tourists to the northern side of the Victoria Falls and Zambia's safaris, but the fast growth has come from a low base.
As can be seen even from the bizarre squashed-peanut shape of the country, Zambia is one of the stranger legacies of colonialism, agglomerating a large number of different ethnic groups (73, according to the official count) and languages (20, plus dialects). Fortunately, with a long history of coexistence, significant migration around the country and similar Bantu-family languages, they all seem to get along pretty well and Zambia has been spared the violent interethnic strife that has decimated countries like Rwanda.
The Bemba are the largest ethnic group in Zambia, but they still form only about 20% of the population. The Bemba came from the Congo in the 16th century, and while their homelands are in the north and center of the country, many have immigrated to Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
The Chewa, Ngoni and Nsenga tribes, all found in the east of the country, share the Nyanja language and form Zambia's second largest grouping with about 15%.
The Tonga, Ila and Lenje, known together as the Bantu Botatwe (Three Peoples), are a close runner-up with 15% of the population, concentrated in the west of the country in the Zambezi Valley and the plateaus to the north.
The Lozi in the far west (6%) are known for their craftwork, particularly basketry, and for a low-key (non-violent) secessionist movement calling for an independent Barotseland.
Other tribes in Zambia's patchwork include the Lala and Bisa (5%), the Kaonde (3%), the Mambwe and Lungu (3%), the Lunda (3%), the Lamba (2.5%) and the Luvale (2%), and 57 more. Despair not: the differences are not crucial for travelers, and locals will be happy to explain their traditions when needed, notably at festivals.
White Africans of English or Afrikaner descent(1.2%) are also visible, particularly in the more upscale areas of the major cities.
A highlight of any trip to Zambia is a visit to any of the many traditional festivals held throughout the country. Planning ahead can be tough though, as schedules are variable and not all are held yearly. Also, if you do manage to attend, bring along tolerance for heat, dust and crowds (increasingly drunk as the evening wears on) and patience for endless speeches by local functionaries like the Assistant Vice-Secretary for Fertilizer Co-operatives in Rutungu Sub-Province. On the plus side, any foreigners attending can usually sneak into the VIP stands, although you may get hassled for photo permits.
This is a popular August festival(The Day of Mize). This ceremony takes place at Mize, the official palace of Senior Chief Ndungu, about seven kilometres west of Zambez Boma. People of the Luvale tribe gather to celebrate their cultural heritage, bringing displays of all types of handicrafts and spicing the event with traditional singing and dancing while the chief holds court. Mize is the official palace of Senior Chief Ndungu. The Makishi dancers recreate famous events from Luvale mythology, and local artists display their work.
If you look at a map, Zambia appears to be squarely in the tropics, but thanks to its landlocked and elevated position it does have distinct seasons that run as follows:
Temperatures do fluctuate based on the altitude, if you are in a valley (such as the Zambezi) it will be warmer and if you are higher up (Kasama) it will be cooler.
Zambian visa policy is best summarized as confusing: there is a bewildering thicket of rules on who needs visas, whether visas can be obtained on arrival, and how much they cost. Local border posts also apply their own interpretations. Due to recent political turbulence in Zimbabwe, Zambia has been cashing in on the unexpected boom in its tourism industry, with visa fees hiked and the previous visa waiver program canceled: you're now expected to pay in cash on arrival at the immigration kiosks.
The upside is that once customs has figured out what category you're in, actually obtaining the visa is rarely a problem and a rule of thumb is that most Western visitors can get visas on arrival. Visa-free entry is possible for some nationalities, including Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Zimbabwe and South Africa. See the immigration department's web-site for the full list of visa-exempt nationalities. Current visa prices are US$50 for a single-entry and US$80 for a multiple-entry visa for all nationalities and is valid for 3 months; US passport holders can only apply for a multiple-entry visa, but it is then valid for 3 years.
There is also the 30 day US$50 Univisa which is good for both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Univisa can only be obtained at Livingstone airport, Victoria falls land border, Kazangula Botswana border and Lusaka airport.
Do check with the nearest Zambian embassy for the latest information; the Zambian Embassy to the US has some information on their homepage, and getting the visa before arrival will reduce the uncertainty factor.
If you require a visa to enter Zambia, you might be able to apply for one at your embassy or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Zambian diplomatic post. For example, the British embassies in Al Khobar, Amman, Belgrade, Budapest, Damascus , Guatemala City, Helsinki, Jakarta, Jeddah, Kiev, Prague, Pristina, Rabat, Riga, Riyadh, Rome, Sofia, Tallinn, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb accept Zambian visa applications (this list is not exhaustive). British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Zambian visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Zambia require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Zambia can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.
Lusaka Airport Customs and Immigration is unprepared to deal with tourists. There are four lanes, segmented by: Zambian passport holders; Residents; Tourists; and Diplomats. Tellingly, the lane for tourists is sometimes unstaffed. Although there are many immigration officers present, in the Tourist lane is often unstaffed. Be prepared for all other lanes to empty before being processed.
For those who would prefer to leave the hassle to someone else, specialist safari holiday companies can arrange immigration for you.
Zambia's main international gateway is Lusaka airport, which has flights to
Livingstone International Airport has direct flights to
Ndola International Airport has direct flights to
Note that all Zambian airlines are banned from operating in EU airspace due to poor safety standards.
TAZARA trains run between Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Tuesdays and fridays. According to the schedule, the trip takes 38 hours. a train ride between Dar es Salaam and Zambia is a beautiful way to see the countryside at a reasonable price ($30 for a first class sleeper and $25 for second).
Several important things to note about this trip, however:
The 2nd class sleeper train fare from Kapiri Mposhi to the Tanzanian Border at Tunduma is 135 Kwacha. The journey is 883 km (549 miles).
Via Zimbabwe/Victoria Falls: trains in Zimbabwe run from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. You can take a taxi or hike 13 km across the border at the Victoria Falls Bridge to Livingstone station in Zambia and catch a Zambia Railways train to Lusaka and the Copperbelt connecting with the Tazara railway in Kapiri Mposhi.
Vehicles drive on the left side of the road in Zambia.
There are many ways to get into Zambia by car, but the most popular include:
Crossing international borders by car will incur a tax, depending on the size of the vehicle. The process can also take awhile as you will have to pay at different booths or offices, often not conveniently located. For a standard sedan, you can expect to pay the following:
Border crossings are not without corruption and you are particularly vulnerable when travelling by car. Try to avoid arriving early in the day to avoid having to choose between paying a bribe or spending the night in the car at the border post.
there are many International bus routes from zambia. You can take a bus across the border into Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia. Immigration might be painstaking, considering the large number of people requiring simultaneous processing .
Zambia is landlocked but borders on Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika, and there are regular international ferry services across the lake a few times a week. The ship, M/S Liemba was built in Germany in 1914, cut in pieces, shipped to Tanzania, carried by train to Kigoma (Tanzania)and reassembled there again. It is a ship of Titanic era, sunk twice, charming ship with reasonable services. This trip should be taken if you are not short of time. Also, if you enter Zambia through Namibia's Caprivi Strip, you will have to cross the Zambezi River. You will have 2 options:
Zambia is large and distances long, so budget plenty of time for getting around.
Domestic flights on Proflight connect Zambia's major cities and tourist destinations. While undoubtedly the fastest and most comfortable way of getting around, they are quite expensive with an hour-long flight (say, Lusaka-Mfuwe) typically costing around US$150 one-way. Also note that planes are small and schedules sparse, but if you can rustle up enough people you can also charter planes for not much more.
Minibuses — meaning vans outfitted with seats — are popular, but they are often irregular, dangerous, and uncomfortable. To maximize profits, a "conductor" will squeeze as many paying customers — and their luggage, or katundu (ka-TOON-doo) — into the bus as possible; whether or not the customers are comfortable is irrelevant. In terms of meeting locals, however, this method is among the best, and it can provide a traveler with a truly "authentic" experience. Payment is made during the journey — banknotes are passed down the bus to the conductor at the front, and change comes back via the same route.
Larger, more sophisticated "luxury coaches" exist, too. These tend to be more reliable and safer; they depart on-time; they have dedicated space for guests and luggage; and tickets may be purchased in advance. Luxury coaches are much more comfortable and are virtually guaranteed to arrive, but they might seem "generic" to a seasoned traveler.
Vehicles drive on the left side of the road in Zambia — at least most of the time.
Car rental agencies exist in Zambia, but the costs are potentially great. Not only are rental rates high ($100/day), but some of the main roads in Zambia are in very poor condition. Potholes often take up the entire road, and during the rainy season, large sections of the roads wash away. As you move away from city centers (possibly only a kilometer or so away) you will encounter dirt roads. Although they might look solid, the dirt is often loose, and the chances of an accident are huge if you do not keep to a reasonable speed. Although you are not likely to get lost driving in Zambia (there are only a few roads), you are likely to underestimate the destructive power of these roads and damage a rental vehicle, or worse, yourself! 4WD vehicles are recommended at any time and necessary on dirt roads in the rainy season, although some roads will become completely impassable then.
Remember: there are no Roadside Assistance Packages, and very few ambulances, tow-trucks, or emergency vehicles of any kind in Zambia. Given the circumstances, bush mechanics can do an amazingly good job of patching up your vehicle, but patching up humans isn't so easy!
A nice 4x4 route in Zambia
For Adventurous Campers:
The South Luangwa tour:
Lusaka-Petauke-Malama-Mfuwe-Nsefu-Chipata-Lilongwe or Mpika
Very adventurous en scenic routes and campsites. Recommendable and for sure unforgettable.
Zambia is a big country (as big as France) and the public roads are pretty fair for a normal car. Sometimes there are deep potholes (holes in the road), but they are avoidable if you do not drive too fast. Most Zambians drive in a controlled way, sometimes a little too fast. Be especially aware for buses and trucks. They are wide and very long and drive far too fast. If you see a truck or bus approaching, then drive slower and keep left as left as you can. They tend to use your half of the road, pushing you off the road. If you want to see more of Zambia, you will need a good 4x4 four wheel drive car. Especially from December until early April at times rain falls and the roads are wet and muddy. Zambia is a wonderful country, lovely people, full of stunning nature and wildlife. The most well known parks in Zambia are Kafue (West of Lusaka) and South Luangwa (East of Lusaka). South Luangwa is known and acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful wildlife parks in all Africa. Most National Parks in Zambia, like South Luangwa National Parl (SLNP), can be visited with your private car. However, to enjoy this to the full, you will need a 4x4 car.
The South Luangwa National Park is surrounded by the so-called GMA’s (Game Management Areas). You will find only limited habitation and you will be able to see an abundance of wildlife, like, lions, leopards, elephants, girafs, etc. A recommendable tour is from Petauke to Malama, on to Mfuwe and to the Nsefu sector (or the other way around). This route can only be done with a well equipped 4x4 car. You will see and enjouy to the full, the true rural Africa, the local people and their villages and wildlife. From Lusaka you take the road to Chipata (Great Eastern Road) and from that road (well before Chipata) take the junction to Petauke. Once you drove through Petauke you will go off the tarred road on a very fair gravel road. After 60km on this road, you turn left followed by a 120km local rural road to Malama Chiefdom and Mfuwe. The road is really not too bad. On the way you will have to go over some steep hills, but you will manage. When you go under the electricity network cables (ZESCO Main Power Lines), you enter the Malama Chiefdom and will be only 15km away from the junction. This junction will lead (via the Malama Chief’s Palace) you either to the Lusangazi Gate of the National Park (left) or onwards direction Mfuwe (right). The junction is at a little village. If you are able and willing to do so: The people here and in the villages around the Chief’s Palace, are very friendly and helpful. Leave something for them. It will be highly appreciated because the local people are poor.
If you head for Mfuwe, you will find a campsite after 9km along the Luangwa River, called Malama Umoyo Camp. It is near (1,5km after) the scouts training center. This (basic) campsite is located at a stunning location overlooking the Luangwa River and a dry lagoon, most of the time filled with wildlife. Your hosts here are Menno en Virginie. From here it is also possible to make a daytrip to the National Park.
From Malama Umoyo Camp it is 42km (2,5 hours drive) to Mfuwe. Mfuwe is a local but bigger than normal village. In the Mfuwe area you will find a lot of lodges, but also a good campsite. Recommendable is Croc Valley Camp. If you arrive from Malama and hit the tarred road, you turn left after 3km and after a few hundred meters right off the tarred road on to a gravelled road. Signposts will lead you further to Croc Valley Camp. Your hosts at Croc Valley Camp are Shaun and Milly. From here it is only a 5 minute drive to the main gate of the South Luangwa National Park (SLNP). Entree fee for the SLNP is USD 25 per person per 24 hours and USD 35 for a private car entering the park. At 06:00 the park is open and for private cars it is open until 18:00 hours. From Mfuwe/Croc Valley Camp you can proceed to the Nsefu sector. Do not forget to fill your fuel tank in Mfuwe. You follow the tarred road to Chipata and the local airport and after about 12km from Mfuwe (the cropping it is called) you turn left (you will see a signpost and two palm trees). After about 12km you will reach the gate of the National Park. If you are going to camp, then tell at the gate that you are on your way to Zikomo camp. Zikomo Camp is just outside the borders of the park. Right after the gate you turn left and follow the road (about 4 to 5 km) to Zikomo Camp. Your host at the camp is Demian Wallace. The Nsefu sector is part of the SNLP and considered by many as the most beautiful part of the park. After visiting Mfuwe, you can then return to Chipata (about 2 hours drive). Chipata is the capital of the Eastern Province and a good place to buy supplies and refuel. There are two supermarkets and lots of shops. Opposite Total fuel station you can find Afroc. Here you can refill camping gaz. From Chipata it is a 20 minutes drive to the Malawi border. Crossing the border will take about half an hour. When entering Malawi, you have to fill in a TIP form for your car and pay Malawi Kwacha 5,000. This will allow your car in Malwai for 30 days. Do not forget to insure your car for Malawi, because they check on it frequently. Just after the border there is an insurance company. Try to get Malawi Kwachas before you enter the border post because they only accept Malawi Kwachas and not US dollars or any other currency. At the border there are many money changers. Tip: Take one US 100 note in your hand, put away your wallet, and change this for 100 x 180 Malawi kwacha. Be careful. These guys are quick and often give you less than they say. So you get MKW 18,000 for USD 100. You should a least get a 15% better rate than the official bank rate. If you passed the border it will be another 125km over a good tarred road to Lilongwe. Watch your speed, especially where it says you have to drive 50km.
From Mfuwe there is the possibility to go right through the park to the North. This is a really adventurous road. Do NOT drive this road when it is wet/raining! When you passed the northern gate, you will reach the escarpment and you have to drive up a very steep road. It can be done by good 4x4 drivers, but do it slowly. Once out of the Luangwa valley you will have a stunning view over the valley. You then can proceed to Mpika. In Mpika you can camp and get new supplies and fuel. From Mpika you can visit Kasanka NP (in November you will be able to see the daily migrations of millions of bats) or you can go up north. Recommended is to visit Shiwa Ngandu. A beautiful mansion built by an eccentric British gentleman (Stewart Gore Brown) a 100 years ago in the middle of nowhere. Camping you can near the hot water springs. The water is lovely and relaxing for at least a half hour dip. Mark Harvey and his wife are your hosts here. From here you can proceed for example to Tanzania (to Ruaha NP, also a place not to miss).
PS. When visiting Mfuwe, and you prefer a lodge for a good sleep, dinner and a warm shower: Thornicroft Lodge en Croc Valley are both recommendable (good value for money).
You can catch TAZARA trains between Kapiri Mposhi and Nakonde at the Tanzanian border. The high-end Zambezi train, operated by Zambia Railways runs between Livingstone and Kitwe via the capital Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi every Wednesday. All trains are relatively reliable and safe, but slow. You might still consider them for the views and sense of adventure they provide, though.
Hitchhiking in Zambia is popular, although it can be extremely hit-or-miss as traffic density is low. Also note that, if picked up by a local, you will be expected to pay for the ride. Nevertheless, hitchhiking does not carry with it the same stigma in Zambia as it does in the States; you are unlikely to be harmed, and you might make a great connection.
In Zambia, travelers do not "thumb" a ride. The proper method for flagging transportation is:
In the south the use of private taxi's or cabs is easy enough. Cabs are a distinctive light blue, though not all have a taxi sign on top. Most drivers will negotiate a rate and are quite happy to drive between cities and often cross in Zimbabwe from Livingstone.
Thanks to its former colonial status, English is Zambia's official language and the language most often spoken in schools, on the radio, in government offices, etc. However, there are over 70 different Bantu languages spoken throughout the country, the most important of which are Bemba, spoken in Lusaka(a little), the Copperbelt and the north; Nyanja (Chewa), spoken in the east as well as in Lusaka where it is the main language; Tonga, spoken in the south and Livingstone; Lozi, which predominates in Western province; Lunda and Kaonde are spoken in Northwestern Province.
Many urban Zambians will speak at least passable English. As you move into the rural areas, though, expect communication to become more difficult. Nevertheless, do not be surprised to find a rural Zambian who speaks flawless English.
The most important thing to remember when speaking to Zambians is to greet them. When you first approach a Zambian, always begin by asking, "How are you?" even if you do not care. They will consider you very respectful. Sport, especially football (soccer) is a very good conversation topic with men; church is a good topic with either gender.
Wherever you happen to be in the country it is a good idea to learn the local way of exchanging greetings, asking for something politely and thanking someone. These simple phrases will help make life easier.
Afrikaans usage is on a slow but steady rise, mainly because of immigration from South Africa and the ease of learning the language.
With National Parks all over the country, it's never hard to find a piece of postcard-perfect Africa in Zambia. The country offers excellent safari opportunities, and parks range from popular tourist destinations to seemingly unexplored wilderness. There's an amazing array of wildlife to spot, and elephants, giraffes, huge herds of grazers, lions and hundreds of kinds of birds are only the top of the iceberg when talking about Zambias fauna. South Luangwa National Park is surely the most famous one, and a travellers' favourite because of its dense and greatly varied population of wild animals. North Luangwa National Park is far less crowded and known mainly for the massive herds of buffalo and the large lion prides that roam its area. Even more off the beaten track - to the extend that even dirt roads are very limited - is Lower Zambezi National Park. The fact that it was the private hunting ground for the president ensured that development remained limited and the real, untouched African wilderness is all around. If you're around in October, head to Kasanka National Park to witness the enormous bat migration, with an estimated 8 million of the little creatures flying in the air above you. If you're fit enough, go canoeing down the Zambezi river as far as the gorgeous Mpata Gorge.
Apart from its great wildlife and African landscapes, the Victoria Falls, marking the border with Zimbabwe, are one of Zambia's major draws. No visit to the country is complete without a stop at one of the most stunning waterfalls in the world. An extra fascinating experience is a November dip in the Devil's Pool, a naturally formed basin, allowing for a few weeks of fairly safe swims right on the edge of the dramatically high drop.
For a more cultural experience, make sure to be part of one of the country's many colourful festivals and witness traditional ceremonies like the Ku'omboka of the Lozi people. Visit the Shiwa Ng'andu estate near Mpika for a remarkable insight of Zambia's colonial past. Or, for a more urban vibe of modern Africa, spend a day strolling the colourful outdoor markets of bustling Lusaka.
Originally, the Kwacha — meaning "sunrise," so-named to celebrate Zambia's independence — was tied to the US dollar, so conversion was simple. However, in the late-90's, the kwacha was floated and devalued rapidly. Since mid 2005 the Kwacha re-appreciated strongly, due to the international debt-relief and the boost of the copper prices. The currency was re-based (dropping the last three zeros) between January 2013 and June 2013, but you can occasionally receive change in both the new re-based currency and the old currency. ATMs and banks will only issue the new currency (there are helpful posters every where with the new and old notes).
U.S. dollars are still commonly used for larger purchases (although it's illegal) and will be accepted by anybody dealing with tourists. It is not unusual to see all printed prices at a hotel restaurant in local currency, and then receive a bill in U.S. dollars. If you bring US$, in Zambia only the "big heads" (new notes) are accepted in banks and bureaux de change, small heads are not accepted (if you are lucky you can change them in Livingstone). U.S. $50 and U.S. $100 notes are the best to bring, for smaller nominations you will get a poorer rate at the bureaux (5-10% less).
Changing Euros is a difficult thing to do especially up country, bureaux are giving a very poor rate (25% less than the market rate!). International banks will accept, but with commission charge. Finance Bank, Arcades shopping Centre Lusaka, is known to accept Euro's at a good rate and without commission charge. Bureaux and Banks will only change a maximum of 1000 US$ (or equivalent) per person per day! Watch the rates as they can change overnight, fluctuations of 3-5% per day are common.
South African Rand are exchanged relatively easily in major centers. Other second tier currencies like the Australian dollar are not worth bothering with. Expect blank looks from the locals, and a mocking laugh from those in the tourist trade.
If you want to sound like a local, refer to 1000 kwacha as a pin, so for example 10,000K is "ten pin". In the '90's, the kwacha devalued so rapidly that the government didn't have time to produce new, larger bank notes. To pay for things, Zambians often had to bundle — or "pin" together — large numbers of small bills. Notes are now available in denominations of up to 100 Kwacha (Till June 2013, as they are being re-based to 50K), but hang on to small change if you can because there are occasional shortages.
ATMs may be found in all major towns/cities. Most of the ATM's accept VISA and Master cards. Other international credit cards (like AMEX) can also be used at some ATMs. Maestro is definitely a problem in Zambia and very few ATM's accept Maestro. many shops and restaurants accept debit or credit cards, as do practically all high-end hotels and safari lodges, but surcharges of 5-10% are common. ATMs only dispense local currency. the three big banks ATMs which take Master card/visa card are Stanbic bank, Eco Bank, Standard Chartered bank.Traveler's cheques are impossible to process in Zambia.
Most shopkeepers advertise fixed prices and are unwilling to negotiate, but this is not a given. On the other hand, most "freelance" salesmen — vendors selling curios; taxi drivers; etc. — who do not post their prices are usually willing to negotiate. As a (very) general rule of thumb, assume the first price they mention is at least double the amount they will accept. You should not be afraid to barter — after all, Zambians bargain among themselves — but try not to get carried away with saving a few pennies.
Tipping is not required — indeed, it was at one point illegal — but often expected. Porters expect US$0.50 or so per bag, and better restaurants typically add in a 10% service charge or expect an equivalent tip.
Finally, keep in mind the Zambian custom of mbasela (em-buh-SAY-la) — giving a freebie when more than one item is purchased. If you buy a few small items, do not be shy about asking for your mbasela.
Zambia has about the same costs compared to its neighbors. A bare-bones budget traveler will be looking at a minimum of US$20 a day just for a Dorm bed in a Backpackers hostel and three meals and transport. At the other end of the spectrum, all-inclusive safari lodges or Lusaka/Livingstone's five-star hotels will take care of all your needs but charge US$200/day and up for the privilege. Finding a middle ground between these two extremes can be difficult but there are safari operators who will offer 'DIY' camping for around US$5 to $95 and above - it pays to look around (see below).
Zambian safaris are amongst the best available in Africa; they offer top quality viewing experiences with the continent's top guides. Zambia's national parks are not 'commercialised' as in other countries (e.g. Kenya and South Africa) and one will not see the ridiculous zebra striped game viewing buses, Land Cruisers etc.
Traditional Zambian food revolves around one staple, maize, served in one form, nsima (n'SHEE-ma). Nsima is basically a type of thick porridge, rolled into balls with your right hand and dipped into a variety of stews known as relishes (ndiwo, umunani). Those who can afford them eat relishes of beef, chicken or fish, but the many who can't make do with beans, tiny dried fish (kapenta), peanuts, pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa) and other vegetables such as okra (ndelele), cabbage and rape. At breakfast, nsima can be served watered down into a soup, maybe with a little sugar. Local restaurants will serve nsima and relish for less than 5K ($1).
Western food has also made major inroads, particularly in major cities, and in Lusaka or Livingstone you can find almost any food you like. Fast food — including Chips and burgers, pizza, and fried chicken — is very popular in Zambia. Bakeries making cheap fresh bread are a common sight in towns, and rice from Chama provides an alternative staple if all the maize starts to get to you.
For sit-down meals, ethnic eateries are popular. In Lusaka, especially noteworthy is the Sunday brunch at The Intercontinental; and if you like Indian food, be sure to hit The Dil. Of course, game parks often cater to wealthy — usually foreign — visitors; therefore, high-quality Western meals can be found easily. Along the major roadways, you will find "tuck shops" featuring packaged cookies or take-away meals — meat pies or sausage rolls, for instance — which may or may not satisfy you.
Finally, in terms of hygiene outside the major cities, you are unlikely to find a proper washroom with running water. You will probably be given a bowl of water, a piece of soap, and a (damp) towel. Therefore, some travelers bring small bottles of anti-bacterial hand soap with them.
Tap water in Zambia is generally not drinkable, at least unless boiled. Bottled water is widely available in cities, but not necessarily in rural areas. It is advisable to carry chlorine pills to purify water, in case of emergency.
A traditional local drink worth trying is maheu, a somewhat gritty and vaguely yogurty but refreshing beverage made from maize meal. Factory-produced maheu is sweet, comes in plastic bottles and is available in a variety of flavors including banana, chocolate and orange, while homemade versions are usually unflavored and less sweet.
Coke products are accessible and cheap at less than a quarter a bottle, but beware of the deposit system: in rural areas, you may have to return an empty bottle before they'll sell you a new one!
Zambia's best-known brew is Mosi, a clear 4% lager available everywhere. Eagle has more taste and more kick at 5.5%, while Zambezi Lager is a microbrew worth sampling if you run into it. The South African brand Castle is also bottled locally, and all of the above run around $1 in a store or $1-2 in a bar.
If you are near the borders, you are likely to find Carlsberg (good, from Malawi), Simba (excellent, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kilimanjaro (nice lager, from Tanzania), and Tusker (strong, from Kenya). Other imports can be found in larger markets but will also cost more.
The locals' drink of choice is masese (muh-SE-say) or ucwala (uch-WALA), also known as Chibuku after the biggest brand, made from maize, millet, or cassava and resembling sour porridge in texture and taste. If you want to try this, it's best to look out for the factory-made kind in milk-carton-like containers.
In rural areas, there are opportunities to drink local "homebrews." A wide variety of homebrews exist in Zambia, from beers made from honey (in the Southern province of the country), to wine made from tea leaves (in the Eastern portion of the country).
Finally, there is kachasu (cuh-CHA-suh) a spirit distilled from anything Zambians can get their hands on — including battery acid and fertilizer. For obvious reasons, therefore, it is better to avoid this moonshine.
On a final note, most men at bars are relaxing, while many women at bars are working. Therefore, if you are a single woman in a Zambian bar, be aware that you might be approached and offered the opportunity to do something you did not intend to do.
Accommodation in Zambia runs the gamut. In Zambia, you can sleep in an top-notch hotel for a few hundred dollars (such as The Intercontinental); or you can stay in an independent hotel (like the The Ndeke), for about $50; or you can opt for a budget experience, and spend about: $5/8(camping) or $10/15(dorm bed) $30(double room) at a one of about 12 Backpackers hostels around Zambia. These are only a few of the options. there are now many Budget Lodges in many towns from K 70 a night. you need to ask around when you get to a town.
Outside the big cities or tourist areas, however, you might be hard-pressed to find quality accommodation. If your tastes run to the elegant — or even if you demand constant electricity — you might want to reconsider venturing too deep into the bush. However, if you seek an enjoyable, memorable, and authentic night at a local hotel, you might be pleasantly surprised.
The University of Zambia is the official university. However, it is not affordable for most Zambians. There are also Technical Schools throughout Zambia, and Teacher's Training Colleges are found in each Provincial Capital, providing two year's coursework for about $300.
Northrise University is in Ndola. As a private university, it focuses on business, information technology and theological study.
For tourists, the biggest educational experiences would likely be:
Unemployment in Zambia was 16% in 2005 according to the Zambian Central Statistical Office. The agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries employ over 70% of Zambian workers. The legal minimum wage for nonunionized workers equates to around $16.50 (83,200 kwacha) per month. Most minimum wage earners supplement this through subsistence farming. In practice, almost all unionized workers received salaries considerably higher than the nonunionized minimum wage.
As for tourists, temporary work is likely to be difficult to secure. Although there is a substantial expat community in Zambia, most of these individuals are contracted by international agencies; by and large, they did not come to Zambia and then find work. Persistence and connections might pay off, but outside of the few hostels or Western-oriented bars, a tourist should not expect to find ready employment.
Women should avoid going to bars alone. Furthermore, men should avoid purchasing drinks for Zambian women they meet casually in bars; this is an invitation to spend the night.
There is a 10PM curfew throughout most of the country. Avoid being found on the street after 10PM or risk being arrested.
As the Kwacha has been declining, it often takes fistfuls of cash to purchase items. Be careful about flashing money.
While it's possible to get a good exchange rate from an individual money-changer on the street (although you really should use banks if you can), you should avoid changing money with groups of men. They are likely running a scam.
Generally, Zambians are friendly people. However — as with any location — be careful about walking at night, especially if you've been drinking. There are few streetlights, and many of the locals are very poor.
Carjacking is also a potential risk while driving after dark.
Many places of accommodation have electric fences, gates and guards for added security. You can check before booking.
Corruption has become endemic in Zambia under president Rupiah Banda. Don't expect the police to be of any substantial assistance to you. If you need to log a report for insurance purposes, you can expect to have to pay to do so. If you make an accusation or indicate a suspicion with a local, the person you lodge the complaint against may be interrogated and beaten by the police. It is yet to be seen whether this situation improves under new president Michael Sata.
Drinking tap water in the cities is potentially risky, unless either (a) you have a strong stomach, or (b) you are at a restaurant or hotel that caters to foreigners. If neither of these conditions apply to you, you should probably stick with the bottled stuff (avoid local bottled water as this could simply be bottled tap water), boiled water or chlorine tablets
The HIV infection rate among adults was estimated to be 12.4% in 2012. Do not have unprotected sex.
Zambia is a highly malarial country. Especially at dusk, you should make every effort to cover exposed skin with clothing or insect repellent. In addition, using malarial prophylaxis is highly recommended.
In practice, yellow fever is not a problem in Zambia anymore, except perhaps in the extreme west along the Congolese borders. However, many countries will insist on a yellow fever vaccination certificate if they find out you've been to Zambia, so it's best to get a jab at least 10- 14 days before arriving.
Typhoid and Hepatitis B vaccines are advised for all travelers entering Zambia.
Zambians follow a strict patriarchal society — men are afforded more respect than women, and older men are respected more than younger men. However, you might find that a white person, of any gender or age, is granted the most respect of all. A holdover from colonial times, this might make a traveler uncomfortable, but this is largely a Zambian's way of being courteous. Accept their hospitality.
Zambians are a curious people. To a Western mindset, this might be interpreted as unnecessarily staring at you or talking about you in front of you. Be prepared to be greeted by kids yelling mzungu, mzungu! (literally, white man) and answer lots of questions about yourself.
Zambians love to shake hands, and you should oblige them. However, Zambians often like to hold hands for the duration of a conversation. This should not be interpreted as anything sexual; they are merely trying to "connect" with you. If you feel uncomfortable, simply pull your hand away. If you wish to be courteous or show respect then holding your right wrist or elbow with your left hand as you shake is acceptable. Do not expect a firm handshake as this is considered aggressive, likewise do not be too firm in yours.
Eye contact is also considered aggressive and disrespectful, you can make eye contact but do not hold it, slide your eyes away, but do not face away.
Women should not wear shorts or mini-skirts, especially as they travel away from Lusaka. (Thighs, to Zambian men, are huge turn-ons.) Low-cut tops, however, while discouraged, are not nearly as provocative.
Pointing with the index finger should not be done, it is considered vulgar.
Finally, when meeting a Zambian — even to ask a question — you should always say hello and ask how they are. Properly greeting a Zambian is very important. They are uncomfortable with the Western notion of simply "getting to the point." Enquiries about children are generally welcome and are a good way to break the ice.
The Zambian mail service is slow and a little flaky (especially outside Lusaka), but not completely hopeless. Using a private courier service is still recommended if sending something important.
The country code for Zambia is "260." The city code for Lusaka is "211". For the city code for other towns check the directory. However, phone service both within Zambia and into Zambia is very hit-or-miss. In large cities, you are more likely to get regular, dependable phone service, but it is by no means a guarantee. The farther you travel from Lusaka, the less likely you are to maintain a good connection. International calling rates can be as high as $3 per minute.
Cell phones have been booming in recent years, and Zambia has a highly competitive market with three main operators: airtel (0976,0977,0979), Cell Z (0955) and MTN (0966,0967). Generally speaking, Airtel has the largest network, while Cell Z is the cheapest. You can pick up a local SIM card for as little as 5,000K ($1). Prepaid time is sold in "units" corresponding to dollars: figure on 0.4 units for an SMS or up to 1 unit/minute for calls, although as always the precise tariffs are bewilderingly complex. If you plan on roaming with your non-Zambian SIM, check first to see if your home operator has made any roaming agreements; Zambia is usually not on the top of their list. Also note that the roaming prices are very high and coverage in rural areas can be spotty.
Booths labeled "public telephone" these days consist, more often than not, of a guy renting out his cellphone. Typical rates are 5K/min ($1) for domestic and 15K/min ($3) for international calls.Airtel
Internet cafes are springing up in Zambia, but again, connections can be sporadic and very slow. Moreover, because constant electricity is not a guarantee, some Internet cafes operate backup generators, which can be extremely costly. Be prepared to see Internet cafe charges as high as 25 cents per minute. Most hotels and backpackers will offer internet connections to their guests for a fee, normally around 5K for 15 minutes.
For some 20 years, Bradt's Zambia has been widely acknowledged asthe best guidebook on the market, with superior coverage in almost every field.In this new sixth edition, background information - history, culture andnatural history - remains as comprehensive as ever, while practical guidance,including in-depth reviews of lodges, hotels and campsites, is now strongerthan ever for Victoria Falls and Zambia's top national parks and wildlife areas.This new edition, whilst still providing full coverage of the country,concentrates on the places that people really want to visit in Zambia: Zambia'sgame-rich safari regions and wildlife areas, along with the Victoria Falls. Alsoincluded are GPS coordinates for the small but growing number of self-drivevisitors to Zambia, plus information on walking safaris and activities atVictoria Falls and on the Zambezi.
A brief yet detailed report on the country of Zambia with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher
Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Let Victoria Falls carry you to the ultimate bird's-eye view, wander along the cobbled streets of Mozambique Island, or canoe past swimming elephants; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi and begin your journey now!Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Chingola, Kitwe, Ndola, the Copperbelt, Livingstone, Maputo, Beira, Vilankulo, Bazaruto Archipelago, Inhambane, Nampula, Blantyre, Limbe, Mzuzu, Karonga, Zomba, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, and more
The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi, our most comprehensive guide to Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi, is perfect for those planning to both explore the top sights and take the road less travelled.Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Southern Africa guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.
Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Mary Fitzpatrick, Michael Grosberg, Trent Holden, Kate Morgan, Nick Ray, and Richard Waters.
About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.
TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category
'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times
'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
Zambia is one of the best destinations in Africa for walking and river safaris, hot springs, and waterfalls. This fifth, fully updated edition leads visitors through all the prime attractions—set in their historical and environmental context—from the newly declared Ngonye Falls National Park, through the Sioma Ngwezi National Park to the famous Luangwa Park, host to several unique species and an ideal place for leopard-spotting. It includes advice for the independent traveller: how to bush camp in comfort, survival techniques for canoe encounters with hippos or crocodiles as well as guidance on all-terrain driving. With detailed reviews of lodges, hotels and campsites, plus 51 maps and GPS coordinates, Bradt's Zambia is the essential travel companion for anyone going to this under-explored safari destination.
Folded road and travel map. Scale 1:1,500,000. Distinguishes roads ranging from major paved roads to tracks. Legend includes railroads, international/national airports, aerodromes, ports, gas stations, post office, border crossings, hospitals/medical facilities, points of interest, vistas, ruins/archaeological sites, mines, museums, campsites or huts, rest houses/hostels/bungalows, missions, ferries. Includes inset map of Lusaka (including legend). Indexed.
Let’s go to Zambia, and learn from what their history would tell us. The good news is, you don’t need a time machine to make that happen. Instead, you can simply open this book and learn. The use of pictures and select texts make this learning tool highly suitable for young learners. The easy layout will also ensure attentiveness from cover to cover. Grab a copy today!
"I don't always design travel journals, but when I do they are the kind of travel journals that people throw parades for." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
THE ZAMBIA TRAVEL JOURNAL has been carefully crafted by the legendary nomad Cormac Younghusband to help make your trip unforgettable, fun and organized—with plenty of room to help spur spontaneity and document new discoveries.
This journal can help you plan, live out and record every stage of your journey to Zambia—from pre-trip, to getting there, to being there, to getting home, and afterwards.
"Zambia food is among the world's finest. They do this thing with the thing!" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
The first part of the journal is for PRE-TRIP PLANNING and contains sections for important information, a page to write about what inspired you to make the trip, a page to write about the who, where, what, when, how of the journey, a page to make note of your travel companions, a number of pages to organize your travel research.* Plus, you will find sections for drafting an itinerary and keeping a journey to-do checklist.
The second part of the journal deals with GETTING THERE, containing sections to describe getting there and arriving.
The third part of the journal is all about BEING THERE. There are sections for: tracking the stuff you buy and for your daily adventures there are 50 two-page daily records to keep notes on: day #, date, weather, places visited, what happened today + thoughts on what happened, the highlight of the day and extensive notes (with a handy reminder list of things to write about). Because there are about 13,817,479 people in Zambia, there's also a section to record the names and contact info of the people you meet along the way.
The fourth part of the journal is for GETTING HOME, that fateful day you depart and the days that follow. There are sections for describing your departure, for making your own top 10 highlights lists, a country radar to help you create a signature review of the country, and an afterwards where you can sum up the meaning of your trip.
When a trip is over, Cormac Younghusband recommends you start planning your NEXT TRIP. To help, there is a section where you can make a travel wish list.
Also included is a COUNTRY BRIEF to give you important info on the destination and a MAP to give you an idea of the lay of the land. Plus, at the back of the book there are sections for: generic packing ideas, measures and conversions, and pages for notes, sketches, maps and such
"Find a place in the world you haven't been, and go there. Keep on trucking, my friends" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Research Such As: places to go / explore, places to stay, places to shop / must have souvenirs, cultural / sporting events to attend, historical / religious sites of interest, pubs-bars-places-to-party, beaches / forests / natural wonders to see, parks & gardens to wander through, things to eat and drink / dining experiences, festivals & events to attend, stuff for kids - seniors - and such, experiences to experience, important local customs, etiquette, laws, and such.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Why visit Zambia? Because, it's there." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, YOUNGHUSBAND WORLD TRAVEL JOURNALS HAS THE PERFECT JOURNAL FOR YOU.
Lightweight and perfect for traveling, this soft cover notebook Zambia travel journal is ideal for tucking into a full bag or suitcase. The cover is a glossy finish so that you can easily wipe it off (if it ends up covered in something delicious-tasting, or lands in a mud puddle ;) Keep your memories for longer by journalling them in your Zambia travel journal. A nice affordable travel notebook designed with the traveler in mind. This would make a great gift for the traveler in your life. Bon voyage!
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.
The possibility of border conflicts and/or the presence of refugees and armed combatants make these areas potentially dangerous and unstable. Carjacking and armed assaults also pose a risk.
The risk of landmines is high in Zambia's border areas with Angola and Mozambique, and you should exercise caution when venturing off the main roads in these areas. If you are contemplating overland and cross-border travel, seek advice from local authorities and the High Commission of Canada in Lusaka.
Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatchings, and vehicle break-ins are common, particularly in and around bus and railway stations, nightclubs, some shopping areas in Lusaka, the Copperbelt towns, other main cities and tourist centres. Ensure personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times.
Serious crimes occur, such as armed muggings, home invasions and sexual assault. The use of date rape drugs at bars and restaurants has been reported in Lusaka. Carjackings are a concern, particularly in urban areas, on the roads to and from Lusaka and on the roads in the Copperbelt. Remain alert to your surroundings and maintain a high level of personal security awareness. If you suspect you are being followed, travel directly to the closest police station or public area. Avoid walking alone after dark.
Car doors should be locked and car windows closed at all times. Police roadblocks are common throughout the country and identity documents may be requested.
Demonstrations and strikes are common. You should monitor local developments and avoid crowds and demonstrations as they can turn violent without notice. Follow the advice of local authorities.
In May 2013, the government announced that it was removing the subsidy on maize. This announcement follows a recent decision to remove the subsidy on fuel. While the reaction to the fuel price increase has been fairly calm, substantial increases in cost of living in such a short period have the potential to lead to civil unrest.
Many roads are severely potholed. Traffic accidents occur frequently throughout the country, especially on the Great East Road in Lusaka. Pedestrians, poorly lit and maintained vehicles, driving habits and stray animals pose risks. Avoid overland travel to rural areas after dark.
Vehicles must be equipped with two metallic emergency triangles, white reflector stickers in front and red reflector stickers in back. Failure to comply may result in heavy fines.
As there is no emergency service for stranded drivers, you should carry a cellular phone when travelling outside of main cities. However, the use of a cell telephone while driving is prohibited.
Exercise caution when using public transportation, especially buses, which are often overloaded. Taxi fares are expensive and should be paid in local currency. Do not share taxis with strangers.
Rail service is limited.
An airport tax is charged upon departure from Zambia. The National Airports Corporation Limited has added a new security charge to all departing passengers, payable at all NACL airports. The cost is US$3 per person for domestic flights and US$5 for international flights. Some major airlines incorporate the tax into the ticket price.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Illegal drug trafficking occurs on a limited scale. Do not accept packages from strangers or carry parcels if you are unsure of their contents.
Wild animals can pose risks. Observe all park or nature reserve regulations and instructions given by your tour guides. Avoid swimming in lakes and rivers due to the presence of crocodiles.
Tourist facilities are limited outside well-known game parks. You should ensure that valuables, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times and avoid showing signs of affluence.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.
Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.
Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.
Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse fly bites are painful and if the disease is left untreated it is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas during the day. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.
Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.
The possession or use of narcotics, including “soft” drugs such as marijuana, is strictly prohibited. Convicted offenders could face stiff penalties, including long jail sentences and/or deportation.
Do not carry non-prescription medication containing diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, as this ingredient is on the Zambian list of controlled substances. Some travellers have been charged with drug trafficking and have been incarcerated.
Prescription medicine should always be carried in the original container along with a copy of the prescription; ensure that both the generic and trade names of the drug are included. A doctor's note describing why you are taking the medication is also recommended. Failure to do so could result in arrest and imprisonment.
Homosexual activity is illegal.
The possession of pornographic material is illegal in Zambia, and offenders may be jailed and/or deported.
Avoid military zones. Photography of military installations is prohibited. Ask permission before photographing individuals.
Traffic drives on the left. Turning left at a red light is prohibited. Penalties for drunk driving are severe.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
The currency is the Zambian kwacha (ZMK). Canadian currency and traveller's cheques are not accepted anywhere in Zambia. You should carry cash in U.S. dollars, U.K. pounds, or South African rand. Major credit cards are accepted in larger supermarkets, restaurants, stores and hotels in large urban centres only.
The rainy season extends from December to April. Rural roads may become impassable during this period. You should follow regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.