Home to the legendary Victoria Falls, walking safaris, the mighty Zambezi River and diverse wildlife, with many protected parks and safari areas, Zambia is your gateway to the ‘real Africa’. From laid-back to adventurous, Zambia has something on offer to accommodate all moods, tastes and preferences.
If you are looking for an easy-going and relaxed experience, Zambia has a non-stop offering. Walk with the king of the jungle on escorted lion walking safaris, take advantage of all the game drives that are offered (some will be overnight excursions, taking you into Zimbabwe or Botswana, while others are half-day trips), pay a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls or meet Africa’s white rhino at the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Livingstone’s market is also a great place to find those precious keepsakes from your trip and offers the ideal opportunity to get acquainted with the locals.
The adventurous at heart will delight in activities ranging from white-river rafting on the mighty Zambezi (the rapids are big, the largest being a class five), bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, and abseiling or gorge swings.
A definitive bucket-list item is the Flight of Angels where you will take a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls for a once-in-a-lifetime experience offering breathtaking views and incredible photo opportunities.
What to bring
Please note that luggage is restricted to 12-15kg packed in soft bags for some internal flights within Zambia.
Whilst there are no regulations for dress codes, it is customary in Zambia for women to cover their legs for the sake of modesty. It is therefore important that you respect this, particularly in rural areas. Both men and women dress smart casual in the evenings at safari lodges.
Lightweight casual clothes can be worn all year round, with a warm jacket for early winter mornings and evenings. Smarter evening clothes are advisable for guests staying at lodges should they wish to be a little more formal for dinner.
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.
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)
* 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
* Sunblock, sunglasses and a hat that doesn’t blow off your head easily
* Swimsuit if your lodge has a pool
* Light, compact raincoat during the rainy months
* Insect repellent, 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 open vehicles can be a problem
Wildlife can roam freely near national parks. When staying at lodges please take the utmost care when walking about. If you come across a 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. You are therefore advised not to swim in any local waterways.
Zambia is an extremely photogenic country, with 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 films as it is difficult to get to 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.
- A telephoto lens (200/300mm).
- Flash and fast film (400 ASA) for night
- Lots of films (64,100,200,400ASA).
- Camera cleaning equipment and a good dustproof bag.
- Videos and digital cameras-bring spare batteries.
Payment for services in Zambia
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. The largest note is 100 Kwacha, then 50, 20, 10, 5, and 2 Kwacha. Coins have values of 1 Kwacha and 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee.
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 euros. It is essential that your USD notes are fairly recently printed with ‘large heads’. Old notes with ‘smaller heads’ (except One Dollar Bills) 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.
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 weekday afternoons.
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.
Health and Insurance
Insurance: Clients are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance including medical evacuation; hospitalization & repatriation; baggage loss and loss of funds through cancellation or curtailment of the package booked. There are many exciting excursions and activities (with an element of risk) within Zambia, so medical insurance with repatriation is of paramount importance.
Malaria: Zambia is a high-risk malaria area. All visitors must take appropriate prophylactics to prevent them from contracting the disease, 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.
You 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.
If you come down with flu-like symptoms either during, or within four to six weeks after your visit to a malaria area, seek a doctor’s advice immediately.
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 by 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.
Travel documents and visas
Please consult our travel consultant for the latest visa requirements apply. The responsibility to obtain correct, current and valid passports, visas, vaccinations, inoculations and re-entry permits where required, is that of the passenger alone.
Whilst there is a multitude of cell phone providers in Zambia, the coverage outside the major towns is still somewhat limited. Internet cafes are available in major towns.
Additional points to note
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.