About Zambia

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Zambia:

zambia

Quick Facts:

Area:  290 587 sq miles

Capital City:  Lusaka
Government:  Republic
President:  Rupiah Banda
Prime Minister:  George Kunda
Languages:  English, Nyanja, Bemba, Lunda, Tonga, Nkoya, Lozi, Luvale, Kaonde
Location:  Zambia is landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west.
Population size:  11, 668, 000,  Population density:  40 sq miles
Telephone code:  +260 plus the city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open 8:15am to 14:30pm Mondays to Fridays. Major national banks are available in most large towns. There are ATM’s outside Barclays Bank in Livingstone.
Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted throughout Zambia, but American Express and Diner’s Club are often not accepted.

Climate:

H = Average High    |    L = Average Low  (in Fahrenheit)

SummerDecember to March AutumnApril to May Winter June to August SpringSeptember to November
Livingstone Area H 88 | L 63 H 84 | L 50 H 82 | L 43 H 91 | L 57

Livingstone Average Rainfall – in inches

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
8.47 7.28 3.94 1.77 .19 .11 .03 .11 .15 .78 3.94 7.48

Clothing:

Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year Items should include:

  • Bush hat
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirt (gents)/long-sleeved blouse (ladies)
  • Shorts/skirts, jeans or safari trousers, tracksuit, swimsuit
  • Good walking shoes, sandals, warm jersey, jacket or parka (for game drives) and light rain gear in summer
  • Bright colours are not recommended – Khaki is fine.  NO CAMOUFLAGE CLOTHING IS PERMITTED
  • Other suggested items are: good quality sunglasses, moisturizing cream, lip-salve, UV sunblock, torch, insect repellant, binoculars and camera

Laundry:

A laundry service is available at all camps, but certain camps charge a nominal fee for this facility.

Credit Cards/ Currency:

Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted throughout Zambia, but American Express and Diners Club are not commonly accepted.
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha, which is not available for purchase outside the country. Tourist activities are quoted and paid for in US dollars. US dollars and UK pounds are easily changed into Kwacha locally.

All payments made in Zambia for any services or products are only payable in the local currency – Zambian Kwacha. It is not possible to purchase Kwacha outside of Zambia. Guests will need to change cash at a Bureau de Change or commercial bank. Alternatively carry a debit card to draw cash from local ATM’s.

The US$ / Kwacha exchange rate is fluctuating a lot at the moment so it is important to take this into account when calculating costs.

Departure taxes on domestic or light aircraft flights must be paid at the airport in Kwacha.
You should alert your card provider that you are travelling so that cards are not locked upon seeing unexpected transactions from Zambia – most well-known cards are accepted.
Carry a little extra US$ in cash than budgeted for to allow for any exchange rate fluctuations.
Only recent series US$ notes (large presidential portrait) are accepted by banks and bureaus. Guests will need their passport to change money at these facilities.

Departure Tax:

A Zambian Departure Tax (US$25 per person) applies to all light aircraft transfers from Livingston to Botswana. This fee must be paid in Zambian Kwacha cash by the passenger on departure. Airlines flying from Livingston to South Africa include this tax in the airfare.

A further US$5 – US$8 per person Zambian Security Tax is applicable. This applies to all International Departures and must be paid in Zambian Kwacha cash by the passenger on departure.

Duty Free/ Customs Allowances:

Travellers may, for their own consumption, import:

  • 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco
  • 5l beer, wine or spirits
  • 1 oz bottle of perfume
  • Note: souvenirs may be exported without restriction by game trophies such as tooth, bone, horn, shell, claw, skin, hair, feather or other durable items are subject to export permits.

Electrical Current:

230 volts AC, 50Hz

Health Concerns:

Malaria prophylactic medication is required when visiting Zambia.

Tap water is generally safe to drink, but should bottled mineral water be preferred, this is readily available. Avoid drinking calm stagnant water as this may be infected with bilharzia. It is recommended that guests drink at least 3 litres of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration – this excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.

You will be required to produce your Yellow Fever vaccination certificate on arrival in Zambia. Whether you are staying overnight in Zambia or merely passing through, the vaccination is required. These vaccinations should normally be done at lease 10 days prior to entering the country. You will be denied entry into Zambia without the certification proving your vaccination.

Metal Hips, Pins, Knee Replacements, Pacemakers, etc:

Please be aware that if any guests travelling with us have had a knee or hip replacement (usually metal) or have pins, pacemakers, etc., they may set off security alarms at airports which can prevent them from being allowed to board. Our recommendation is that they travel with a doctor’s card / letter stating this information, to show security officials to ensure there are no delays, especially at our regional airports.

Holidays: 2018

Date Day Holiday
1 Jan Mon New Year’s Day
8 Mar Thu International Women’s Day
12 Mar Mon Youth Day
30 Mar Fri Good Friday
31 Mar Sat Easter Saturday
2 Apr Mon Easter Monday
1 May Tue Labour Day
25 May Fri Africa Day
2 Jul Mon Heroes’ Day
3 Jul Tue Unity Day
6 Aug Mon Farmers’ Day
18 Oct Thu Prayer Day
24 Oct Wed Independence Day
25 Dec Tue Christmas Day

Passport/ Visa Requirements:

As visa information can change without notice, please refer to the official Embassy websites for verification of visa requirements and charges. As at July 2012 most countries are able to purchase visas on arrival in the country.

Regarding foreign currency regulations, presently the moment the private sector is seeking further clarification on how these policies will affect doing business and specifically for international tourists. As more information becomes available we will update you.

In the meantime, please be aware of the following:

  • All payments made in Zambia for any services or products are only payable in the local currency – Zambian Kwacha. Payments made from abroad are still acceptable in foreign currency and payments for entry visas remain payable in foreign currency at the Port of Entry. Once you have cleared immigration though, all payments must be made in Kwacha only.
  • The US$/Kwacha exchange rate is fluctuating a lot at the moment so it is important to take this into account when calculating costs.

Departure taxes on commercial flights are generally built into the ticket price, however for domestic or charter flights these must be paid at the airport in Kwacha. In order to ensure your passengers are prepared and any inconvenience is kept to a minimum, we have outlined some guidelines below:

  • It is not possible to purchase Kwacha outside of Zambia. Guests will need to change cash at a Bureau de Change or commercial bank. Alternatively carry a debit card to draw cash from local ATM’s
  • Guests may need to alert their card provider that you’re travelling so that their cards aren’t locked upon seeing unexpected transactions from Zambia – most major cash cards are accepted.
  • Carry a little extra US$ in cash than budgeted for to allow for any exchange rate fluctuations.
  • Only recent series US$ notes (large presidential portrait) are accepted by banks and bureau’s. Guests will need their passport to change money at these facilities.

Passports: The situation regarding blank pages in passports, for visits to Southern Africa, changes regularly.  Please see the list of counties with their specific requirements below:

  • Passports must be valid for 6 months after your departure from Southern Africa
  • Please note pages headed “Endorsements, Observations” etc arenot VISA pages.
  • For your visit to Zambia: 2 blank VISA pages

Without the above you could be denied entry

Photography:

A good SLR (single lens reflex) or digital SLR camera with telephoto zoom lens is recommended for photography of birds and animals, as is colour reversal film (slides) if using film as this will give better quality pictures than regular film. A big memory card / abundant film and spare batteries as recommended as these are often not available at the bush camps/lodges.

Recommended Reading:

  • Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa – Chris & Tilde Stuart
  • Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa – Ken Newman
  • Zambezi – The River of the Gods – Jan & Fiona Teede
  • The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals – Richard D. Estes
  • The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals – Jonathan Kingdon
  • African Thunder: The Victoria Falls  – Jan & Fiona Teede
  • Birds of Prey of Southern, Central, and East Africa – David Allan
  • Field Guide to the Snakes & Reptiles of Southern Africa – Bill Branch
  • Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries – Mark Nolting
  • Zambia – the Bradt Travel Guide – Chris McIntyre
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