Facts for the Visitor
Visas, Climate, Currency - all you need to know for your holiday in Zambia
Certain nationalities require a visa to enter Zambia - these include nationalities from the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. If you are a passport holder from another country, please contact your local Zambia High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements.
The visa can issued at any Zambia Embassy or on arrival at an entry point, or you can now obtain an e-Visa prior to travel via https://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/. Single and double entry visit visas are available at all ports of entry, but multi-entry visas are not. If you plan to get a visa on arrival, make sure you have the correct amount of cash (US dollars) with you as change may not be available.
Current visa costs (subject to change) are as follows: Single Entry Visa USD 50 per person; Double/Multipe Entry Visa USD 80 per person; Day Tripper Visa USD 20 per person (enter and exit through same port); Transit Visa USD 50 per person.
If you enter through Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka or the Harry Mwanga International Airport in Livingstone, you can now make payment for single and double entry visas via credit card at the Zambian Immigration desks.
For visitors wanting to travel across to Zimbabwe, the Uni-Visa is also an option (although unfortunately this is not always available). This visa allows tourists of certain nationalities to travel freely between Zambia and Zimbabwe, within a 30 day period from the date of their first entry. This same visa will also allow those who cross into Botswana for a day trip to come back into Zambia (or Zimbabwe) without paying any extra visa fees - please note however it is not valid if staying in Botswana overnight. The current price is USD 50 per person (subject to change), payable in cash at SELECTED border posts (currently Harry Mwaanga/Livingstone Airport, Victoria Falls Land Border, Kazungula Land Border (border with Botswana) and Kenneth Kaunda/Lusaka Airport). To check whether you are eligible for this visa, please visit http://www.kazavisa.info/index.php/about/zambia-zimbabwe-visa-info.
For everyone entering Zambia, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry and have at least 2 blank pages for entry/exit stamps.
PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can compy with current passport and visa requirements.
You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to Zambia.
To help prevent diarrhoea, avoid tap water – drink only bottled water and use bottled water for tooth brushing, and avoid ice made with tap water – and only eat fruit or vegetables that are cooked or can be peeled. To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids, and keep out of the midday sun.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Zambia, so a yellow fever vaccination is NOT required for travellers whose sole destination is Zambia. However, in accordance with International Health Reguations, Zambia requires all travellers over one year of age arriving from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate. These countries include Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
There is a risk of malaria in all areas of Zambia - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Dengue fever can also be transmitted via mosquito bites. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.
Tsetse flies are found throughout some of Zambia's National Parks, especially in the Luangwa Valley and Kafue National Park. There have been some cases of sleeping sickness occurring after a tsetse fly bite, although these are mainly amongst farmers and other locals who have repeated exposure to bites. However, the fly can still deliver a painful bite, so it is advisable to take necessary precautions - don't wear dark colours, especially black and blue (including denim), wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and don't walk through bushes during the hottest part of the day.
language and people
The official language of Zambia is English. Commonly-spoken indigenous languages number over 70 and include Lamba, Kaonde, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Ila,Senga, Chewa, Chibemba, Nsenga Chinyanja, Lunda, Chitonga, Kaonde, Silozi, Nkoya, and Luvale.
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. Cash US Dollars are accepted for domestic transactions (ie purchases made in Zambia). There are banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in Livingstone, Mfuwe and in Lusaka Airports and some bureau de change facilities in Lusaka Airport. If you are changing USD 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. Authorisation usually needs to be obtained for larger purchases and this is sometimes difficult to obtain. Most credit card transactions will also attract a surcharge of around 5% of the total invoice amount. Visa is the easiest card to use in Zambia, followed by MasterCard and then American Express.
You can read more about the climate in our guide to the best time to visit Zambia.
The International Dialling Code for Zambia is +260, followed by the regional code and then the number. Zambian emergency telephone numbers are as follows : 999 - from fixed lines 112 - from mobile phones
Zambia runs on 220 - 240 volts using British style square pin plugs.
Zambia Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) and they do not operate Daylight-Saving Time.