The general Travel Information for Zambia on our website is divided into four categories of;
- What to bring on safari
It is necessary for most foreign nationals to have a visa for entry into Zambia. It is possible to purchase visas at the point of entry into Zambia and we recommend this course of action.
An alternative option which is not preferred by most travellers though is that of purchased visas in advance of travel from Zambian Missions abroad. This is a slightly complicated process as it requires you to send your passport off for a few weeks prior to your departure.
It is advisable to have the correct amount of US dollars in cash available on entry into Zambia.
Current Visa Fees for most Nationals are;
Single entry US$50.00
Double entry US$80.00
For most nationals, double entry visas are valid for 3 months. It is important that you know that multiple entry visas can only be obtained from either Zambian Missions abroad or from headquarters in Lusaka and not at any point of entry.
A website for the Zambian Government Department of Immigration gives you information about nationalities that do not require a visa for entry to Zambia. The same website also has a small list of nationalities that must obtain their visas prior to arrival in Zambia. Have a look at www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. The most recent legislation from the government requires that all business transactions done within Zambia need to be paid for using he local currency. You can change money at banks or in bureaus but the easiest way of obtaining local currency would be from cash-point machines which are found in the major airports around Zambia and at various other places in Lusaka and other towns around the country.
Credit cards are accepted in many places but it is advisable not to rely on any single card during an African holiday. You will need authorisation for larger purchases in advance and this is sometimes difficult to obtain. The most used cards in Zambia are Visa, Master and American Express cards.
Tipping: If you are staying in a hotel or camp or eating in a restaurant in Zambia, it is a statutory requirement for a 10% service charge to be added to your bill if it is not incorporated within it. This is passed onto the staff and is designed to replace the optional gratuity.
Having said this, it is customary to tip staff a small amount if you feel the service has been up to scratch. Whilst staying in safari camps one is not expected to tip staff during the course of your stay but it is advisable to leave something with the camp manager at the end. A particular guide who has been looking after can be given a small gratuity separately as a token of appreciation but of course, this should only be given on merit.
Imagine Zambia Tours has no one qualified in giving medical advice. The information in this part therefore, is only to give you some guidelines and general tips.
We recommend Medical insurance and preferably one that includes air evacuation should be regarded as a pre-requisite for any safari holiday. You are strongly advised to consult your doctor prior to travel and get accurate and up-to-date advice on inoculation requirements, and anti-malarial precautions.
Hepatitis A and Cholera are some of the current Inoculations required for Zambia. If you’ve traveled from another country where yellow fever occurs then you may be asked to produce an International Certificate of Vaccination when entering Zambia.
Common medical concerns on safari…
Malaria: is caused by a mosquito borne parasite and is endemic in Zambia. One can contract malaria at any time of the year and in virtually any area of Zambia. As a precaution, it is advisable to put on long trousers and sleeves as well as to apply some repellent in the early evenings and at night. It is important to get treatment as soon as you’ve contracted malaria – you should have a simple and quick blood test when you notice some symptoms which usually resemble those of flu. It is important to consult your doctor closer to your safari so he will prescribe a course of some prophylactics.
The Sun: The African sun can be very strong and sunburn can occur through clouds and even a light T-shirt. It is advisable to use cream and wear a hat during your safari.
De-Hydration: this can be common in the hotter months but it is not dangerous as long as you recognize the symptoms and react accordingly. The precaution is to keep body fluids up by drinking plenty of water and juices. If nausea or vomiting result then medical attention should be sought; it would be worth including some packets of re-hydration salts in your holiday medical kit if you are traveling with one.
Diarrhoea: is a common problem when traveling anywhere in Africa. You should find standards of hygiene in all the safari camps and hotels recommended and booked by Imagine Zambia Tours to be very high but it is not uncommon for individuals to react to a change in diet or water. The best way of handling this is to be sensible about what you eat and drink, and of course to carry some suitable medication just in case.
What to take on safari
Please understand that our information on this section of our website is not meant to tell you exactly what to bring and what to leave behind during your trip to or around Zambia, it is meant to give you some useful pieces of advice that we fill might be useful.
Most domestic flights around Zambia will have a check-in baggage allowance of 15kgs. We advise that you always travel with soft bags as many itineraries will include small light aircraft that may not be able to accommodate large hard cases.
- Clothes: Most safari camps in Zambia have a daily laundry service, so you don’t need to bring too many. Try to make your clothes khaki or neutral in colour, (dark colours stand out less in the bush than light ones). Loose clothes are preferable and extra layers are always useful. Evening dress in all camps and most hotels is casual but bring long sleeves against mosquitoes when eating out in the bush. A sweater or light jacket is useful at most times of the year. If traveling in June or July a warm jacket will be necessary.
- Sandals or open shoes are often favorites but bring a covered pair if doing any walking in the bush.
- A hat, sunglasses, high strength sun block, moisturiser, lip salve, insect repellent, anti-histamine cream and tablets should always be carried.
- Binoculars – an absolute must if on any type of safari. Many options are available but with this equipment invariably the more you spend the better you get.
- Torch – Many camps have no mains power so night-time lighting may be by candle or hurricane lamp, a lot of camps will have torches by the bed but best to pack your own.
- Glasses – if you wear prescription glasses bring a spare pair. If you wear contact lenses bring a pair of glasses as well since dust can be a problem.
- Camera equipment – This is obviously very personal, but zoom or telephoto lenses are useful. Cleaning equipment and a dust proof bag are also useful. Spare batteries and memory cards are very important.