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  ZAMBIA       Africa Enquiry Form    
  Weather   Good to know   Accommodation   Map of Zambia    

The home of copper, Zambia has long been the source of this valuable commodity. Miners of long past days traded the metal with explorers and fortune seekers from far off lands. Today copper is still valued but Zambia has much to offer the tourist.

No visit would be complete without viewing the breathtaking Victoria Falls, shared with neighbouring Zimbabwe. The north bank outside Livingstone has outstanding views of the Eastern Cataract and the incomparable Main Falls, a kilometre wide spectacle.


During the dry season, the Zambezi River is dotted with small islands and rocks, allowing the opportunity to get a closer look with guided walks to the middle of the river. Game viewing abounds in the game parks of Livingstone and along the banks of the Zambezi. The Zambezi Flood Plain, north of Victoria Falls, is a spectacular sight during the wet season when thousands of square kilometres of grassland are flooded by the oncoming rains. At this time witness the age-old annual traditions of the local people, the Barotse.

Lake Kariba also offers unsurpassed game viewing and is a water sport enthusiast’s paradise. The Kafue National Park, south of the capital Lusaka, houses thousands of game animals of many varied species. Numerous private and luxurious game lodges are found throughout the region.

Victoria Falls
WEATHER   Back to top

Zambia is warm all year round, but has three distinct seasons. Between December and April the weather is hot and wet; from May to August it is cooler and dry; between September and November conditions are hot and dry. Average summer temperatures range between 77°F to 95°F (25°C to 35°C), while in winter the variation increases ranging from 43°F to 75°F (6°C to 24°C).

Go to our Weather Page for current forecasts and more.

GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Time: GMT +2.

Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. Square pin plugs are in use.

Money: The Zambian currency is the Kwacha (ZMK), divided into 100 ngwee, but the coins are now worthless and seldom used. It is best to bring travellers cheques, US Dollars or Pounds Sterling which can be exchanged at the many bureaux de change found in the main towns.

Travellers cheques in South African rand or US dollars are recommended. While most of the tourist hotels, restaurants, travel agents and larger shops, especially in Lusaka and Livingstone, accept credit cards many outlets in the rural areas do not and deal only in local currency. ATMs are available in Lusaka and some of the major towns. Banking hours vary but are usually 8.30am to 2.30pm on weekdays and mornings of the first and last Saturday of the month.

Currency Exchange Rates

ZMK 100.00 =

USD 0.03

GBP 0.01

CAD 0.03

AUD 0.04

ZAR 0.20

EUR 0.02

NZD 0.04

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Language: There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. All media and business is in English and most Zambians speak it fairly well.

Passport/Visa Note:
A return ticket or proof of onward travel, and proof of sufficient funds is also required. There is a special provision for day visitors coming across the border from Zimbabwe into Livingstone. A fee of US$10 is paid for a 'Day Tripper Visa', but visitors must exit Zambia on the same day.

Game Drive
Zambezi River

Health: Polio, typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations, and malaria prevention measures are recommended, and yellow fever inoculation is a requirement for entry for those coming from an infected area. Malaria is endemic in Zambia and outbreaks of cholera and dysentery are common especially during the rainy season. The country also has one of the highest rates of HIV/Aids infection worldwide. Avoid swimming or wading in bodies of fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers due to the presence of bilharzia. Medical facilities in the country are under-developed and limited to the point that basic drugs and even clean needles are often not available. The small clinics in Lusaka are regarded as superior to the general hospitals, but clinics in rural areas are rarely stocked with anything more than aspirin or band-aids. Full travel insurance, including cover for medical evacuation by air, is therefore essential and it is vital to bring a good first aid kit. Avoid food bought from local street vendors and ensure drinking water is filtered and boiled, or bought in sealed, branded bottles.

Tipping: Tipping is discouraged, but still practised on occasion and is usually about 10%. A 10% service charge is included in bills, but tipping in hotels is against the law.

Safety: Most visits to Zambia are trouble free, but visitors should be aware that car hijackings and armed robberies are increasing, and mugging, bag-snatching and theft from parked cars is common in downtown areas. Luxury 4x4 vehicles in particular are being targeted for vehicle hijacking. Visitors should avoid the Cairo Road in Lusaka, which is dangerous due to violent robberies. Be vigilant and do not display tempting valuables. Avoid the border areas where Zambia meets Angola and all but essential travel should be avoided along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo; cross-border raids are frequent and landmines are a potential danger.

Communications: The international dialling code for Zambia is +260. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00 27 for South Africa). There are regional dialling codes, such as 01 for Lusaka and 03 for Livingstone. Operator assisted calls can be booked by dialling 090 or 093. Public telephones are widely available, most requiring tokens. Connections tend to be bad, particularly outside of Lusaka. There are GSM 900 cell phone networks in operation, but coverage is limited mainly to urban areas. There are several Internet cafes in Livingstone and Lusaka, and secretarial services in Lusaka offer full telephone, fax, telex and email facilities. Postal services are fairly reliable.

Duty Free: Travellers to Zambia over 18 years do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200 cigarettes or 450 grams tobacco, and 1 opened bottle of alcohol.


Please contact us for details on accommodation in Zambia.

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