Before You Travel to Zambia

This section of our site is designed to give you a few helpful hints and some check-lists to run through before you leave home for a safari to Zambia.

We hope that most things are covered but if you need any clarifications on any section of this page, please write to us and we will be happy to give you further information which may be needed.

VISA INFORMATION

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 to Zambia and we strongly recommend this option for those whose nations are allowed to get visas at the point of entry.

Visas can also be purchased in advance of travel from any Zambian Missions abroad. This is a more complicated channel and requires you to send your passport off for a few weeks prior to your departure. It works well if you have a Zambian Mission in your country of residency.

It is advisable to have the correct amount of US dollars cash available on entry to Zambia and a visa will be granted without question. Pounds sterling is no longer accepted for visas at point of entry.

Whilst things can change at any time the information contained here is up to date and current.

Current Visa Fees are;

  • Single entry – US$50.00
  • Double entry – US$80.00

Double entry visas are normally valid for 3 months.

Multiple entry visas can only be obtained from Zambian Missions abroad or from headquarters in Lusaka and not at point of entry.

The Zambian Government Department of Immigration has a website on which you will find a list of 3 categories nationalities with their visa requirements – www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm

MONEY TIPS

The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. Hard currency is accepted in most tourist facilities so for those booked on fully inclusive safari holidays it is not usually necessary to purchase any local currency. For those who need some Zambian Kwacha you can change money at banks or in bureaus but the easiest way of obtaining local currency would be from cash-point machines which can be found in all major airports and in urban centers throughout the country.

We recommend that you bring a small amount of cash US Dollars with you as a “back-up” also if you are buying your visa on entry to Zambia. Be sure to bring notes of varying denominations since change is often a problem in Africa and all notes must have “large heads” – the old series notes with small heads are no longer accepted anywhere in Zambia.

Credit cards are accepted in many places but it is safer not to rely on any single card to get you through Africa. Authorization usually needs to be obtained for larger purchases and this is sometimes difficult. Visa is the easiest card to use in Zambia, and MasterCard and American Express are also accepted in some places.

HEALTH ADVICE

Please note that no one at Authentic Safaris Zambian is qualified to give medical advice. The information in this section is therefore simply meant to give your some guidelines and general tips.

Medical insurance and preferably one that includes air evacuation should be regarded as a pre-requisite for any safari holiday. We strongly recommend that you consult your doctor prior to travel and get accurate and up-to-date advice on inoculation requirements, and anti-malarial precautions.

There are currently no specific requirements for visitors to have any inoculations prior to their arrival in Zambia.

The following are the common medical concerns for a safari in Zambia

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. The best precautions include putting on long trousers and sleeves in the evenings and at night – a slight application of repellant will also usually help. It is important to get treatment very quickly if you’ve contracted malaria so if you develop flu-like symptoms you should have a quick and simple blood test without delay.

It is important to consult your doctor prior to your safari so that he can prescribe a course of prophylactics.

The Sun: The African sun can be very strong and sunburn can occur through clouds and even a light T-shirt. A bad sunburn can spoil your safari so be sensible, use cream and wear a hat.

De-Hydration: this problem can be fairly common in the hotter months. The key is to keep body fluids up by drinking plenty of water. It is also a good idea to include a couple of packets of re-hydration salts in your holiday medical kit if you have such a thing.

Diarrhoea: is a common problem when traveling anywhere in Africa. You should find that standards of hygiene in all the safari camps booked by Authentic Safaris Zambia to be very high but it is not uncommon for individuals to react to a change in diet or water. A good precaution is to be sensible about what you eat and drink and bring suitable medication just in case.

WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR SAFARI

Preparation and packing for any holiday is important but more so when you are visiting remote areas in a country like Zambia.

Most domestic flights around Zambia will have a check-in baggage allowance of 23kgs. You should always travel with soft bags not hard suitcases as many itineraries will include small light aircraft that may not be able to accommodate large hard cases.

Here is a list of basic requirements for a safari in Zambia.

  • A hat, sunglasses, high strength sun block, moisturizers, lip salve, and insect repellent should be carried.
  • Binoculars
  • 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.
  • Clothes: Most camps that we book have a daily laundry service. 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 a sweater or light jacket is useful at most times of the year. Bring your swimsuit to make use of the pools in some lodges during your safari.
  • Sandals or open shoes are useful but bring a comfortable covered pair for walking safaris.
  • Camera equipment – This is obviously very personal but a good zoom is always useful. If using 35mm then some fast film for night time shots and LOTS of extra films. If using digital then extra memory sticks although we will be happy to help you download and store your shots. If using video then bring spare batteries although charging facilities are available in all our camps.
  • Money – No money will be needed whilst on safari apart from passenger access fees at Royal Airstrip in Lower Zambezi and most guests like to leave staff gratuities at the end of their stay – this can be in any currency. US Dollars are best for paying visas although local currency and Sterling are also accepted. Be sure to bring US$ notes with “large heads” – the old series with small heads are not accepted anywhere in Zambia.
  • A torch can be useful at night in some of the camps in the remote places of Zambia.

We hope that the information on this page has been useful but should require any further clarification on any section, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist.