Zambia Information:

What you need to know before travelling to Zambia

Zambia Travel Advice

Travelling to Zambia? There are a few things which are beneficial to know to ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible. The last thing you want to happen is to arrive in Zambia and be turned away because you don’t have sufficient blank pages in your passport!

Here, we will discuss; health and safety, passports and visas and climate and seasonality. But before we get into that, here’s a brief intro to Zambia.  

Where is Zambia?

As many of you may know, Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is amongst the list of the most bordered countries in the world: with a total of 8 neighbours; Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.

Quick Facts about Zambia:

  • Population: 16.59 million (2016 – World Bank)
  • Capital city: Lusaka
  • Currency: Zambia Kwacha (ZMW)
  • Major languages: English (official), Bemba, Lozi, Nyanja, Tonga
  • President: Edgar Lungu
  • Geographic coordinates: 15 00 S, 30 00 E
  • Area: 752,614 sq km (290,586 sq miles)
  • Time: +2 hours GMT

Safety considerations when travelling Zambia

As far as personal safety is concerned, Zambia is very safe. The typical precautions need to be adhered to when travelling around Zambia, just as you would any other country in the world. Crime levels are similar to a typical European country. Theft is possible in bigger towns and cities so don’t carry anything you don’t need and only bring minimum amounts of cash when day-tripping. For extra peace of mind keep your cash in a money belt.

There aren’t any major travel warnings for Zambia at present and there seldom are. You can stay updated on travel warnings here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zambia.

Health and medical considerations for Zambia

Be sure you’re up to date on all vaccinations before you travel. You may not want to arrive in Zambia without having proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination, without it you may be held up at the border until you present one. Vaccines to consider include Cholera, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever. For more information on these diseases visit Fit For Travel.

Malaria risk in Zambia is high throughout the year and in all areas. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria, however, precautions can be taken. Mosquito bites can be avoided by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers, particularly after sunset. It is also advisable to use insect repellents on exposed skin and to sleep under a mosquito net. Check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets.

We highly recommend you take out medical insurance before you leave your own country it should include emergency air evacuation coverage, especially if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country.

Passports & Visa information for Zambia

When visiting any African country, you must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date. Occasionally you will be asked to show your onward travel documents, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. You must also ensure your passport has sufficient blank pages, with at least 2 consecutive/side by side blank pages.

Depending on the country you are a resident of you may require a visa. The list does change so please visit Zambia Immigration for up to date visa information.

The Zambian climate & seasonality

Zambia has a sub-tropical climate and its weather is defined by a marked wet and dry season rather than Winter, Spring, Summer & Autumn. The dry season runs from May to October and the rainy season from November to April.

Average temperatures in the cities in summer range from 25° C to 35° C and in winter from 6° C to 24° C.

What to pack for travel in Zambia

When on safari in Zambia it is recommended to wear neutral colours such as khaki, olive and brown but not white as it won’t be white for long – due to dust. Black and dark blue attract tsetse flies, so avoid wearing these colours.

It is advisable to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from cotton or linen that will keep you cool. The evenings and mornings can be chilly so you will want a jacket or fleece which you can easily remove once the sun comes up.

For general wear in Zambia that really is up to you but bear in mind, the dress code in Zambia is conservative.

Packing essentials:

  • Hat or cap
  • Sun cream
  • Sports bra (for women) as it can be very bumpy on game drives
  • Comfortable shoes / walking shoes if you are intending to go on a walking safari – not essential but provide extra comfort
  • Raincoat – if you are travelling during the wet season
  • Sunglasses – UV protected and polarised are recommended as the sun is very strong
  • Torch – often camps are run on solar, so there comes a point in time when the power is out or reduced.

And of course, you won’t want to forget your camera equipment as well as spare memory cards and batteries for all those fantastic moments you will capture.

If you have any questions about travelling in Zambia, please contact us. Our team will be very happy to help.