Zambia Country Information

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Zambia is one of the last pristine wildlife paradises of the world and is the home of dozens different ethnic communities. Ntanda Ventures is proud to organize their safaris and holiday tours in Zambia responsible and sustainable. 

 

Read what you can do to protect these important natural habitats and cultural heritages on our sustainable travel page.  

Documentation to bring to enter Zambia

 

You will need a passport valid for six months and an appropriate visa to enter Zambia (preferably with a minimum of 3 blank pages).

Please obtain a single entry visa (USD25), multiple entry visa (USD150) or KAZA visa. The KAZA UNIVISA costs USD 50 and allows tourists to obtain one visa to visit both Zambia and Zimbabwe multiple times. The visa is valid up to 30 days as long as the holder remains within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers those who visit Botswana for a day-trip through Kazungula Border. (You will need a multiple entry visa for Zambia if you are overnighting in Botswana.)

Botswana: Minors travelling through the country’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. Temporary guardianship must be given if both parents are not travelling with the minor. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate. (Please confirm updated information at the time of travel)

Ntanda Ventures Limited cannot accept responsibility if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct visa documentation.

Entry Requirements Zambia

Please check the website of the Zambia Immigration Department to see which VISA is applicable to your passport.

You can apply for an e-visa on the e-services page of the Zambian Immigration Department.

 

Please note visitors to Zambia need to fill in a health questionnaire on arrival.

 

Money in Zambia: Banking and Currency  

Currency: Zambia's unit of currency is the Kwacha (ZMW). The denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2.  It is subdivided into 100 ngwee. Coins available are K1, 50 ngwee, 10 ngwee and 5 ngwee.
However, some prices are quoted in US$. It is therefore possible to use dollars and pounds as well in some places or change currency at a bank or Bureau.

Banks: In the cities and larger towns, you can change cash and travellers cheques at branches of ABSA Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. Larger branches have ATMs that accept Visa. Foreign exchange offices are easy to find in cities and larger towns.


Banks are generally open on weekdays from 08h150 to 15h30 and 08h15 to 12h00 on last Saturdays of the month. Banks are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

ATM: The major towns and even some smaller centres across the country have ATM machines now which will allow you to withdraw cash in the local Kwacha currency. Visa is the most widely accepted card at these machines.
Banks: There are banks in most centres across the country. The opening hours are 08:30 to about 14:30 or 15:30hrs Monday to Friday. It can be difficult to find a bank open on a Saturday. However, there are many Bureau de Changes and these will be open on Saturdays and week day afternoons.

 


Credit Cards: Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Zambia, however not in remote areas and should not be relied on except in major towns. A commission varying from between 3-5% is generally charged on both credit cards at lodges/hotels in order to cover the bank charge commission. Most hotels and lodges accept Visa and MasterCard. American Express and Diners are accepted in only a few establishments. Zambia is a free market economy and foreign exchange can be readily converted. It's best to come into the country with either US dollars or pound sterling cash, which can be exchanged at any of the banks or Bureau de Change in the main towns.
 
Changing Money: USD (United States dollars) is easier to change than Pounds sterling and Euro. It is essential that your USD notes are fairly recently printed with ‘large heads’. Old notes with ‘smaller heads’ (are not accepted ANYWHERE in Zambia. Some banks will also charge a different rate for small denominations. We recommend that you do have some smaller denominations of USD bills for tips and so on.

 

Theft: Talking of money, there is much poverty in Zambia and displaying your money openly is not advisable or fair to the local people. Please be sensible about securing your valuables. Do not leave them lying around where you will just tempt fate.
 

Travel, Transport & Getting Around


Flights – where possible we like to choose more sustainable options of transport but we understand this maynot always be possible due to distance and time.
Local airlines fly from Lusaka to Mfuwe (South Luangwa), to Livingstone, Ndola, Solwezi, Mansa, Royal and Jeki or we use charter flights. Various air charter companies will fly to any of the many airstrips around the country and most of the areas worth visiting are accessible by air.


Public Transport
There are many taxis available. Prices are negotiable. There is a good bus service to Chipata, Livingstone, the Copperbelt and Harare, but they don’t always follow strict schedules. The main bus terminus is in Dedan Kimathi Road in Lusaka where one can inquire about timetables. Other private bus companies offer more reliable services to Livingstone, Harare and Johannesburg.


Travel by Bus
Long range buses frequently leave from Lusaka to all the main towns. The intercity bus terminal can be found one road up from Cairo Road at the station.
Minibuses and taxis, local transport – all painted blue – can be jumped on at pretty much any juncture. They’re not expensive and you can always find a minibus that won’t cost too much to buy all the seats in it to get your own private minibus to wherever you want to go but you’ll have to negotiate.


Travel by Road
Zambia has 38,763 kilometres of roads, about 10,000 kms of which are tarred and another 8000 kms are gravel road. The rest range from reasonable to bad dirt roads.
If you’re doing a vehicle trip through Zambia it is a good idea to carry a range of tools and essential spares with you.
Be really careful, especially if travelling at night for road markings are usually non existent. Do watch out for animals in the road, vehicles without lights, pedestrians, unannounced roadworks, bad drivers and broken down trucks with no warning triangles. If you see a tree branch in the road, slow down immediately – these are improvised warning triangles and there’s bound to be a truck or car in the middle of the road up ahead.
Be sure to have all your vehicle papers on hand as you’re bound to encounter a few roadblocks.

 

Health and Medical Information

Health and Insurance
The tour price does not include personal insurance. All guests must have comprehensive travel and medical insurance, including trip delay/cancellation and emergency evacuation cover by air if needed, hospitalization & repatriation; baggage loss and loss of funds through cancellation or curtailment of package booked. Ntanda Ventures Ltd cannot be held responsible for the financial costs involved in the evacuation or medical treatment of any guest or any disruptions in itineraries due to external circumstances.
 
* There are many exciting excursions and activities (with an element of risk) within Zambia, so medical insurance with repatriation is of paramount importance.
 
Malaria: Anti-malarial prophylaxis are recommended, to prevent you from contracting maleria, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Consult your medical practitioner. It is important to adhere strictly to the dosages, especially for the four to six weeks after their stay in Africa. Guests are further advised to use mosquito repellent and wear long clothing in the evenings and sleep under a mosquito net at night to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
 
Inoculations: A yellow fever certificate is mandatory if you are travelling from an infected area. Vaccinations for cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are advised. Consult your medical practitioner.
 
Carrying Medicines: A small personal medical kit will give you extra comfort if you do become ill whilst on holiday. However please be aware that any medication MUST be accompanied with a doctor’s prescription. The Zambian government strictly enforces the law when it comes to drugs of any sort. Many drugs that you can buy across the counter in other countries, such as strong painkillers etc. are classified as prohibited in Zambia. If in doubt, get an official prescription and make sure your medication is in a sealed container.

 

 

Safety Notes

Wildlife safety
Wildlife can roam freely near national parks. When staying at lodges please take the utmost care when walking about. If you come across game, do not approach the animal. Elephants in particular can move very fast and can be very dangerous – they are scared of humans and can react suddenly without warning. Nile crocodiles occur in the rivers and lakes in Zambia. We advise you not to swim in any local waterways.


NB - DO NOT REMOVE ANY PLANT OR ANIMAL FROM A NATIONAL PARK IT IS ILLEGAL AND A JAILABLE OFFENCE. 


Curios
Please do support local artisans but ensure they are sustainable and legal.
NB - Please do not buy any curios that are made from any animal material unless from a reliable source and ask your guide for guidance if you are unsure.

 

Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Zambia's native cuisine is based on nshima, a cooked porridge made from ground maize normally accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes, or dried fish. Safari camps will often prepare nshima if requested, and it is almost always available in small, local restaurants.
Ask your guide about eating local and where to go.


Camps, hotels and lodges that cater to overseas visitors tend to serve a range of international fare, and the quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps is typically excellent.


Water in the main towns is usually purified, provided there are no shortages of chlorine, breakdowns, or other mishaps. The locals drink it and are used to the relatively innocuous bugs that it may harbour. If you are in the country for a long time, then it may be worth acclimatising yourself to it. However, if you are in Zambia for just a few weeks, then try to drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water in town.
Out in the bush, most of the camps and lodges use water from bore-holes. These underground sources vary in quality, but are normally perfectly safe to drink.

Climate and Weather

Water in the main towns is usually purified, provided there are no shortages of chlorine, breakdowns, or other mishaps. The locals drink it and are used to the relatively innocuous bugs that it may harbour. If you are in the country for a long time, then it may be worth acclimatising yourself to it. However, if you are in Zambia for just a few weeks, then try to drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water in town.Out in the bush, most of the camps and lodges use water from bore-holes. These underground sources vary in quality, but are normally perfectly safe to drink.

The rains in Zambia come mostly in December, January, February and March though the further north you are, the earlier the rains arrive and the later they leave. Eastern areas and higher areas generally receive more rain than western and lowland areas.
By April and May most of the rain has faded away, leaving a landscape that's still green, but starting to dry out. Nighttime temperatures start to drop, especially in higher and more southerly locations.
In June, July and August the nights become much cooler, but the days are clear and warm. Make sure you bring warm clothes to wrap up if you're out at night, as some nights get very cold! Most of Zambia's small 'walking bush camps' open at the start of June, when the roads have dried out sufficiently to allow access. This is the start of the 'peak season' for these countries – with often cloudless days and continually increasing game sightings.
 
Into September and October the temperatures climb: the lower-lying rift valleys – Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools and Luangwa Valley – can get very hot in October. However, you'll see some superb game as the animals concentrate around the limited water sources.
November is variable; it can be hot and dry like October, or it can see the season's first downpours. Often it's a very interesting month as you can see both patterns on successive days.

 

Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Zambia has mild winters and the summer days can be scorching hot. Lightweight casual clothes can be worn all year round, with a jacket or jersey for early winter mornings and evenings.
 

For safari activities casual, comfortable, lightweight clothing in khaki, green and beige colours are recommended. Pale or bright colours are not advisable for walking safaris as the animals can easily see these shades. (Shorts or trousers are best for walking safaris). A sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent are a must.

Smarter evening clothes are advisable for guests staying at lodges should they wish to be a little more formal for dinner.


Whilst there are no regulations for dress code, it is customary in Zambia for women to cover their legs for the sake of modesty. We ask that you please respect this, particularly in rural areas. Both men and women dress smart casual in the evenings at safari lodges.

For white water rafting, shoes which are suitable for rock climbing but which can get wet and can be strapped securely to the foot are essential.

 

Packing Check List:

 

Whilst there are no regulations for dress code, it is customary in Zambia for women to cover their legs for the sake of modesty. We ask that you please respect this, particularly in rural areas. Both men and women dress smart casual in the evenings at safari lodges.

 

  • Passport with Visa

  • Camera

  • Batteries

  • Mobile Phone Charger

  • Square Plug International Adaptor

  • Small Torch

  • Warm clothes for evenings and early mornings

  • Binoculars  (Each person should have their own pair of binoculars)

  • Mosquito Repellant

  • Sunblock

  • Sunglasses

  • Swimsuit

  • Hat that doesn’t blow off your head easily

  • Light Raincoat

  • Light cotton tops and cotton trousers

  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer; to protect from the sun and mosquitoes)

  • Shorts or a light skirt

  • Jeans or trousers for evenings and cooler days

  • Sweater or warm jacket (game drives in open vehicles can be very cold in winter)

  • Women may prefer to use a sports bra for bumpy roads

  • Comfortable walking shoes/boots – suitable shoes for rafting if appropriate

  • Anti-histamine cream, personal toiletries and medication

  • If you wear prescription glasses – bring a spare pair. For contact lens wearers bring a spare   pair of glasses as the dust and insects in the open vehicles can be a problem
     

Please note that luggage is restricted to 12-15kg packed in soft bags for some internal flights within Zambia. Kindly contact us for confirmation.
 

Language

As a former British colony the official language in Zambia is English. There are dozens of local languages, some om the most spread native languages are Nyanja, Bemba, Lozi, Tonga, Luvale, Lunda, and Kaonde.

Photography

Zambia is an extremely photogenic country, from panoramic scenery, wildlife and birds to people and vibrant ceremonies. Rich colour and good lighting conditions abound. It is considered rude to take pictures of people without asking them first. Always bring plenty of film as it is difficult to get in Zambia. Limited film and processing facilities are available in Lusaka. Keep your cameras in a dust resistant, padded case and out of the midday sun.

Suggested Camera Equipment;

  • A telephoto lens (200/300mm).

  • Flash and fast film (400 ASA) for night photography.

  • Lots of film (64,100,200,400 ASA).

  • Camera cleaning equipment and a good dust proof bag.

  • Videos and digital cameras - bring spare batteries.
     

Internet 

Most hotels offer internet and/or Wi-Fi (free or paid) to their guests. Internet cafes are springing up in Zambia, but connections can be erratic and slow. There are various service providers eg- MTN and ZAMTEL but coverage outside the major towns is still somewhat limited. Internet cafes are available in the major towns.

Electricity and Plug Standard

Electrical sockets in the Republic of Zambia are Type G (BS-1363) and Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type D (BS-546). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.
Electrical sockets in the Republic of Zambia supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency.  If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.
 

Legal & Customs

The possession of pornographic material is illegal within Zambia.


The use of rude words and derogatory terms could be easily misconstrued and is considered highly offensive. Please be considerate to avoid causing undue offence.
 

Sexual Exploitation

It is important to understand that sexual exploitation happens in some form in every country. Even though you do not witness it, it does not mean it does not exist; no country or business is immune from risk. We all have a role to play in eradicating this crime.


We recognise that the sexual exploitation of children is a world-wide problem. In all our activities and operations we actively disagree with all kinds of sexual exploitation of children all over the world.
We donate to www.ecpat.org
 

Support Zambia and its local communities

 

Zambia is a developing country, many travelers to Zambia want to support local communities, underneath suggestions are initiatives we support.   

Shop at local shops

Patronizing local shops and purchasing local goods and services not only results in a more authentic destination experience for you, but it also helps to support the local community and promote the benefits of tourism in a destination. Please do ask us for recommendations if there is something specific you are looking for or visit our sustainability page.

Pack for a Purpose

Giving donations to local charitable organisation is one way to contribute to the sustainability of a destination. Pack for Purpose can include school books and stationery or sport equipment – let us know where your passion lies and we can recommend some ideas.

Carbon Offset

We buy carbon offsets from https://bcp.earth/
BCP works across over 1000000 hectares of threatened forest in 13 chiefdoms throughout Zambia, making the conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people. Do learn about the life changing impact they are making and do feel free to help us save these forests and our people.

Emergency Numbers and Contacts

We recommend carrying your country consulate/embassy contact in case of emergency 

Our Ntanda Ventures 24 Hours Emergency phone number is: Cell/wats app 00260966904376 – Kerry

Country Contacts

NTANDA VENTURES LIMITED ZAMBIA

Chingola Office

Plot 18, Musenga, Chingola, Zambia

Tel: +260 966 904 376/+260 964 702 621

Main Emergency Contacts (24hrs)

Should you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact me, Kerry MacFarlane

any time.   I will gladly assist you.

Tpin 1002221315 Company Registration 110887

Kerry Macfarlane, Ntanda Ventures Limited, P.O.Box 11014, Chingola, Zambia

Email: kerry@ntandaventures.com | info@ntandaventures.com | c: +260 966 904376 |  www.ntandaventures.com