As one of the friendliest countries in Africa this Zambia travel information will ensure your safari in Africa is memorable.
CURRENCY AND MONEY
Zambia’s unit of currency is the Zambian Kwacha although US Dollars are widely accepted at lodges and hotels throughout the country. If you plan on paying by credit card, be advised that high commissions are sometimes charged, the more remote lodges may have difficulty in processing credit card payments. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are widely accepted for payment. Amex and Diners Club are sometimes not accepted due to high charges for retailers.
Generally speaking, safaris are fully inclusive which means that all of your game drives, guided walks, meals and drinks are included apart from premium brand alcohol and imported liquors.
Tipping in Zambia is entirely at your discretion but as a guideline we recommend US $10 per person per day for your ranger and tracker and US $25 per day to be divided amongst the rest of the lodge staff. When it comes to restaurants, some establishments will add service charge for your bill if not, 10% is standard.
Average summer temperatures: 17°C to 31°C
Average winter temperatures: 9°C to 23°C
Rainy season: November to April
WHAT TO PACK
For your Zambia safari, pack lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton or linen that will keep you cool, as well as a fleece or jacket for the evenings and early mornings. Zambia is known for its excellent walking safaris so be sure to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes, as well as a hat or cap to protect you from the sun. And if you are visiting during the rainy season, don’t forget to pack a rain coat – downpours in Zambia are generally short but very heavy.
On game drives, stick to light neutral clothing colors such as khaki, olive and brown but not white as it will quickly get dusty. Avoid black and dark blue as these colors attract tsetse flies.
When travelling in Zambia, bear in mind that the dress code is conservative so women should pack knee-length or longer skirts to wear in the towns.
FLIGHTS AND AIRPORTS
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (Lusaka): located 14km from Lusaka, Zambia’s major gateway is served by several direct flights but many travelers arrive via Johannesburg. Transfer to charter flights for South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue National Parks.
Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (Livingstone): half an hour’s drive from Victoria Falls and most main lodges or hotels in the area, visitors to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls arrive via Lusaka or Johannesburg.
The distances between Zambia’s parks are considerable and infrastructure is limited, especially in the rainy season, so the easiest way to get around the country is to fly. Transfers and game drives are conducted in open-sided 4X4s.
If you’re taking internal flights there is often a luggage restriction of 20kg per person packed in soft bags. Hand luggage is restricted to 5ks’s per person. Zambia is stricter about this than most countries and even bags with only one hard side might not be allowed.
VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
All visitors to Zambia need to be in possession of a passport valid for at least six months from their date of departure. Citizens of South Africa and Zimbabwe can obtain Zambian visas upon arrival for free; for all other nationalities, tourist visas are available at all major borders, airports and sea ports.
If you are planning on visiting Botswana and or Zimbabwe while in Victoria Falls we strongly advise you to purchase the new KAZA Visa on arrival, cost is $50. This KAZA visa allows you to visit Botswana or Zimbabwe for the day, you may not overnight.
For current information on visas and types visit the Zambia Immigration site.
As far as personal safety is concerned, Zambia is very safe. The typical precautions need to be adhered to when travelling around Zambia, just as you would any other country in the world. Crime levels are similar to a typical European country. Theft is possible in bigger towns and cities so don’t carry anything you don’t need and only bring minimum amounts of cash when day-tripping. For extra peace of mind keep your cash in a money belt.
Be sure you’re up to date on all vaccinations before you travel. You may not want to arrive in Zambia without having proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination, without it you may be held up at the border until you present one ONLY if you have travelled from a Yellow Fever risk area. Vaccines to consider include Cholera, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever.
Malaria risk in Zambia is high throughout the year and in all areas. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria, however, precautions can be taken. Mosquito bites can be avoided by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers, particularly after sunset. It is also advisable to use insect repellents on exposed skin and to sleep under a mosquito net. Check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets.
We highly recommend you take out medical insurance before you leave your own country, it should include emergency air evacuation coverage, especially if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country.
Please Note: Whilst we have made every effort to ensure the information provided in this document is accurate, African Safari Experts is in no way responsible for the information provided. We will endeavor to communicate any amendments to the information in a timely manner.
Have a look at our various options for safari accommodation in Zambia.