Zambia Travel Information
About Zambia, Africa
Vast lakes and wetlands, long and life-giving rivers, breathtaking African sunsets and a rich tradition of guiding all contribute to Zambia’s immense appeal as a safari destination.Its most famous landmark, Victoria Falls, which it shares with Zimbabwe, attracts nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. Visit in March or April, when the falls are in full spate, and you’ll be bowled over by the rainbows, the roar of the cascading water and the dense, drenching clouds of spray.
Livingstone, the closest urban hub to the falls and once Zambia’s colonial capital, has a number of accommodation options, colorful markets and a busy restaurant and nightlife scene. The mighty Zambezi River itself is glassy-smooth above the falls and wild below. It’s perfect for booze cruises, canoe safaris and adrenaline activities such as white-water rafting and river surfing. There are a plethora of beautiful riverside lodges dotted along its banks.
Beyond the falls, Zambia is not as high-profile a safari destination as Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa, but it’s a favorite with those in the know. Packed with untamed wilderness and fascinating wildlife, minus the crowds, Zambia is the African bush at its most raw and romantic.
The country’s excellent safari lodges and camps will put you fully in touch with your wild surroundings. You’ll fall asleep to the hooting of owls, the whooping of hyenas, the distant roar of lions, and the loud munching of hippos grazing nearby.
Almost a third of Zambia’s landmass is given over to national parks and game reserves, but South Luangwa National Park is the cream of the crop for sheer density of big game. It’s also the home of the legendary African walking safari.
Another of Zambia’s drawcards is the people. The country is home to a staggering 72 different ethnic groups, each of whom has their own distinctive cultural traits and traditions, but all of whom are unfailingly warm and welcoming.
Zambia weather, climate, and geography
Best Time To Visit
Although Zambia lies in the tropics, the height of the plateau ensures that the climate is seldom unpleasantly hot, except in the valleys. There are three seasons: the cool, dry winter season from May to September; the hot, dry season in October and November; and the rainy season, which is even hotter, from December to April.
Lightweights or tropical with rainwear.
Zambia is a vast, landlocked tropical plateau in southern Africa bordered by Angola to the west, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia to the southwest.
The Zambezi River, together with Lake Kariba, forms the frontier with Zimbabwe and lies at Zambia’s lowest point in altitude. Victoria Falls, formed by the Zambezi tumbling over a cliff into the Batoka Gorge, is one of the most spectacular sights in Africa (if not the world). Lake Kariba, which was created by the construction of the Kariba Dam in the 1950s, is the world’s largest reservoir by volume.
The Zambian capital, Lusaka, lies roughly in the center of the country, a region of thinly wooded bush. In the east and northeast, the country rises to a plateau 1,200m (3,937ft) high, covered by deciduous savannah, small trees, grassy plains or marshland.
In central Zambia, South Luangwa National Park, east of Lusaka, and Kafue National Park, west of Lusaka, are magnificent expanses of riverside grassland, woodland, and forest with some of the densest and most diverse populations of wild animals in Africa.
Zambia Passport And Visa Requirements
|Passport Required||Visa Required||Return Ticket Required|
To enter Zambia, a passport valid for six months beyond the end of your intended stay, with at least two blank pages, is required.
Visas for Zambia are required by nationals referred to in the chart above, except:
1. Nationals of Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, and Romania, who do not require a visa, unless traveling on business.
You can obtain single- or multiple-entry visas in advance from the embassy/high commission in your home country.
Alternatively, you can obtain a single- or double-entry visa on arrival at Zambian airports or land borders. You must pay for this in cash in US Dollars. If you arrive at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, you can pay by debit or credit card.
A joint visa on arrival, called the Kaza visa, allowing entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe, was trialed from late 2014. As of late 2015, both countries have stopped issuing this visa.
Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the nearest Zambian embassy/high commission to check visa requirements.
Types And Costs
Daytripper visa: US$20; transit or single-entry visa: US$50 (£35 in the UK); double- or multiple-entry visa: US$80 (£60 in the UK).
Zambian visas are valid for six months from the date of issue for UK passport holders, three years for US passport holders and three months for all other passport holders. Tourists can stay for up to 90 days within a year. Business visitors can stay for up to 30 days within a year.
On arrival (for nationals in the chart above) or at your nearest Zambian high commission/embassy in advance.
You should allow three to five working days for your visa to be prepared if you submit your application in person at the consulate/high commission. For postal applications, you should allow additional time for mailing.
Zambia Health Care & Vaccinations
|Vaccination identifier||Special precautions|
Healthcare in Zambia is not free. Adequate health care cannot be assured outside main towns. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies as they are limited in Zambia. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage if you are spending time in remote parts of the country.
Malaria is present throughout Zambia. The risk is highest in densely populated areas, especially near wetlands, in the rainy season. Not all mosquitoes carry malaria but it can take just one bite of an infected insect to transmit the disease, so it’s important to follow your GP’s advice about taking antimalarials. Avoid bites by wearing a strong mosquito repellent, covering up with full-length clothing from sunset to dawn, spraying your bedroom with insecticide and sleeping under a mosquito net.
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. The filtered drinking water supplied by hotels and safari lodges is safe to drink. Bottled water is also available. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are generally safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
The Zambian sun is extremely strong, so it’s wise to wear sunscreen and stay in the shade as much as possible, especially at midday, even if it’s cloudy. Daytime temperatures in Zambia can be very high, particularly at the end of the rainy season in October and November. There’s a danger of dehydration and heatstroke at this time, particularly when exposed to the full force of the sun on bush walks or when traveling in an open-topped vehicle. To guard against this, drink plenty of water – little and often is best. If you start to feel faint or nauseous, stay in the shade and take rehydration salts. The start of the rainy season in November and December brings high humidity which can cause fatigue. Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water; swimming pools that are well chlorinated and maintained are safe.