flag Zambia Zambia: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Zambia e-Visa
For Further Information
List of Zambian embassies abroad
 
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.
 

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Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Public transport options are limited and driving is the most common option throughout the country. There are several car hire companies in Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone, offering a wide range of vehicles on a flat weekly rate basis or with a daily rate plus mileage, insurance and petrol.
There are many taxis available in major towns. Drivers do not use the meters, so prices have to be bargained in advance. They can be booked on the phone or directly on the road.
Maps of Urban Networks
Lusaka Public Transport Map

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka 26 km/16 Miles NE of the City Average fare from the airport to the city is USD 20 - 20-30 mins 30 minutes n/a available
Livingstone International (LVI) 6 km/4 Miles NW of the city To the city USD 5, 10-15 mins Various tour companies run shuttle buses into the city and to other locations n/a available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
There are several options to travel around the country. Mini-buses are popular, but they are often irregular, dangerous, and uncomfortable. They only leave on a fill-up-and-go basis, and the driver will squeeze as many paying customers as possible to maximize profits.
Larger coaches tend to be more reliable and safer, usually depart on-time and tickets may be purchased in advance. They frequently leave from Lusaka to all the main towns. Furthermore, more comfortable Western-style express buses operate along the major routes (at a fare about 25% more expensive than the ordinary bus)
Zambia has three railway services, between Lusaka and Kitwe, via Kapiri Mposhi and Ndola, and the one between Lusaka and Livingstone. However, trains are not reliable and particularly slow, and most trains are in really poor conditions. Compartments have no lights or locks, so it is better to bring a torch if travelling at night.

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Proflight Zambia Charter Yes No
Corporate Air Charter Yes No

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Zambia has 38,763 kilometres of roads, of which about 10,000 km are tarred, another 8000 km are gravel roads and the rest are dirt roads (whose quality may vary considerably). Vehicles drive on the left side of the road. Visiting drivers must hold an International Drivers Licence, as licences from other countries are not valid (except those issued by SADC countries).
4WD vehicles are recommended at any time and necessary on dirt roads in the rainy season. In fact, moving away from city centres, roads tend to be unpaved, and during the rainy season large sections of the roads wash away. Fuel can be easily found in major towns, but shortages can happen in the very remote areas. Finally, it is recommendable to carry a range of tools and essential spare parts.
Road Maps
Detailed map of Zambia
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin Zambia Road Map
Ezilon Zambia Road Network Map

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Zambia offers a variety of historic sites, including: the Ayrshire Farm Rock Engravings, the Gwisho Hot Springs (where human skeletons from late Stone Age can be found), the Kalemba Rock and Kundabwika Rock paintings, the Niamkolo Church in Mpulungu (the oldest surviving church building in the country) and the Castle Hotel in Lundazi.
Cultural
Zambia has several museums. The main ones include: the Maramba Cultural Museum (displaying arts, crafts and culture of Zambia) and the Livingstone Museum (historical) in Livingstone, the Moto Moto Museum (culture and folklore) in Mbala, the Lusaka National Museum (historical and cultural) and the Victoria Falls Field Museum (natural).
Nature
Zambia has 20 national parks and around 30% of its territory are reserved for wildlife. Among the most important reserves there are the South Luangwa National Park, the Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park and the Nsumbu National Park. Visitors could see animals such as elephants, leopards, lions, giraffes and zebras.
Zambia's main attraction are the Victoria Falls, at the border with Zimbabwe. During the peak of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the basalt cliffs, over a width of almost two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. Columns of spray can be seen from kilometers away. Several activities can be experienced at the Victoria Falls park, including kayaking, bungee jumping, hydrospeeding and rafting.
Religious
The Niamkolo Church is the oldest surviving stone church in the country and has been declared a national monument in Zambia. Other religious sites include the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka and the Cathedral of St. Theresa in Livingstone.
Thermal
Zambia is not rich in mineral and thermal water, however the country has some hot springs, like those of Kapishya, a natural hot spring surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and tall raffia palms.
Beach
Although totally landlocked, Zambia has several lakes whose beaches became a tourist destination. The most important are Lake Kariba, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru.
Winter Sports
The climate of Zambia is not suitable for winter sports.
Outdoor Activities
Zambia has 34 game management areas. South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi rank among the finest game parks in the world. The country's national parks can offer a wide array of outdoor activities, such as safaris, fishing trips, kayaking, bungee jumping, hydrospeeding, abseiling and rafting.
Shopping
The Kabwata Cultural Village in Lusaka is a good place to buy local handicrafts, along with jewellery, paintings, drums and handbags (produced locally). Tribal Textiles, 20km away from Mfuwe, is a factory that produces bags, wall hangings, bed linens and sarongs through the collaboration with local artists.
Top Highlights in the Main Cities
Lusaka National Museum
Livingstone Museum
Top Highlights of the Country
Victoria Falls
Devil's Pool
South Luangwa National Park
Tourism Organisations
Zambia Tourism

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
There are no specific vaccination requirements to enter Zambia (except for vaccine against yellow fever which is required from travellers over one year of age arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and travellers having transited more than twelve hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission). Nevertheless, WHO and foreign ministries of various countries recommend the following vaccines before entering the country: Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis B and Rabies.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
CDC - Health Information for Travelers to Zambia
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
U.S. Department of State - Zambia Travel Information
Government of Canada - Zambia Travel Advice
OSAC - Zambia Crime and Safety Report
 

Emergency Numbers

Emergency 999
Police 991
Ambulance 991
Fire Brigade 993
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Lusaka (GMT+2)
Summer Time Period
There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes in Zambia.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Located  in southern Africa, Zambia has a tropical or sub-tropical climate. The country is almost entirely covered by a plateau, which tempers the climate, making the temperatures generally acceptable throughout the year. There are three seasons: cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry from September to November, and warm and wet from December to April. In the warm wet season, frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms occur, followed by sunshine (the wettest areas being the northern ones). During the cool dry season, night frosts may occur.
For Further Information
Zambia Meteorological Department
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Zambian cuisine is typically rich in starchy roots, cereals and foods such as beans, soups and stews. Nshima, a stiff porridge prepared from pounded white maize, is usually eaten with hands and served with a relish (such as ndiwo - made from fish or meat boiled with vegetables - or ifisashi - vegetarian stew with peanuts, vegetables, spinach and cabbage). Other typical plates include: biltong (spiced dried meat), sautéed insects (such as grasshoppers, flying ants and worms) and seafood from the lakes (like kapenta, a small sardine).
Drinks
Main drinks include traditional maize-made beers like mosi and chibuku. The most common non-alcoholic drink is the munkoyo, which is made from munkoyo tree roots and maize meal.
Dietary Restrictions
Some tribes still have their dietary taboos: for example, in the Bemba culture it is taboo for a bride to eat eggs because it believed it may affect her fertility; or in the Lozi group newlyweds are served porridge off of a stone to bless the couple.
Muslims (around 1% of the population) normally do not eat pork meat (unless it is “halal”, which means it is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) nor drink alcohol.

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Zambian Kwacha
ISO Code
ZMW
To Obtain Domestic Currency
Forex bureaus are available all over the country. Informal money changers are also common (especially at the southern African border posts), but be careful of fake bills.
ATMs are available within major towns. Visa cards are more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express cards.
Possible Means of Payment
According to the Zambian law, payments within the country can only be made in Kwachas, even when the price is quoted in USD. However some establishments will accept USD.
Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will accept credit card payments.

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Speaking

Official Language
English
Other Languages Spoken
In Zambia several languages are spoken, mostly from the Bantu family. These include Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Kaonde, Luvale and Lunda.
Business Language
English
Getting Some Knowledge
Please visit the website of Omniglot for an introduction to the Bemba language.
Free Translation Tools
Bemba phrasebook :
Kitwe online :

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Latest Update: June 2022