Zambia

VISA Requirements

A visa is an endorsement on a visa form or in a valid passport of a foreign national granting such person authority to enter Zambia within a specific period upon examination by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.

The period of stay in Zambia shall be determined by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. The validity of the visa is NOT the period in which the holder is entitled to remain in the country but a period within which the holder has to enter Zambia.

The following visa procedures will therefore apply:-

Tourists to Zambia

A bona fide tourist is any person travelling to Zambia as an individual or group of persons on a tour through a foreign tour operator or travel agent in conjunction with a local tour operator. Tour operators include hotels registered in Zambia as such.

Tourists shall be issued with visas at any port of entry to Zambia or at a Zambian Mission Abroad EXCEPT for those visas that fall under referred visa (nationals requiring visas prior to travel).

Private Visitors

Nationals of countries which require visas to enter Zambia for the purpose of visiting friends or relatives can be issued with such visas at any port of entry or Zambian Missions Abroad EXCEPT for those visas that fall under referred visa (nationals requiring visas prior to travel). Any other nationals who may wish to obtain such visas well in advance may apply for them to the Director General of Immigration, P.O. Box 50300, Lusaka – Zambia. E-mail addresses, zambiavisa@zambiaimmigration.gov.zm or pro@zambiaimmigration.gov.zm , Fax no. +260 211 254393/255282/252008, Tel: +260 211 252622, +260 211 252831, +260 211 251305, +260 211 252669, +260 211 254393, +260 211 252659, +260 211 252008

Transit Visa

Transit visas are issued to nationals who require visas to enter Zambia and are transiting through using land transport and shall be valid for a maximum period of seven (07) days.

Day Tripper Visa

A Day Tripper visa shall be issued at a port of entry to a tourist who visits Zambia for less than 24hours and makes exit through the same port. Except those nationals that fall under referred visa (nationals requiring visas prior to travel).

Currency

It’s best to come into the country with either travellers cheques or Dollars or Pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureaux de Change in the main towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it. Travellers cheques attract a commission when changing to other currencies.

The Zambian currency is the Kwacha and it fluctuates quite regularly. As of Jan 2013, Zambia rebased the currency dividing by 1000.

As of April 2015 K100 = $13.91 GBP 8.9, ZAR 158.45, EUR 12.87

Kwacha note denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, and K2

Coins are in denominations of K1 and 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee.

Currency Regulations

Payments within Zambia can be made in Kwachas only, by law, even if the price is quoted in USD. Foreign currency will not be accepted once you have cleared immigration at the airport.

There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided it is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form.

To find out more about the current exchange rate please visit www.xe.com

ATMs

ATMs are available within Lusaka, Livingstone and other major towns in Zambia. The bigger banks have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers cheques are widely accepted, though no longer commonly used. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US dollars, Euros or Pounds.

Currency Exchange

Exchange of foreign currency is carried out at authorised banks and bureaux de change. There are many bureaux at the central shopping areas in the main towns.

Health and Medical

A yellow fever certificate is mandatory if you are travelling from an infected area. Malaria is virulent in the low lying areas of the country which include most of the good wildlife destinations. Doctors advise taking prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continuing two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.

Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is boiled already. Bottled water is readily available in the bigger towns.

Chemists / Pharmacies

Travellers should carry an adequate supply of their prescribed medicines with them although chemists in the major centres carry a wide range of medicines and first aid accessories. There are some emergency chemists open after hours on Sundays in Lusaka.

Medical Services

Medical services are underdeveloped and only in Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone can you find anything resembling western standards. There are a number of small clinics in Lusaka which are better than the general hospitals, but the clinics in the rural areas usually only have the basics.

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance should be purchased before you leave your own country and should include emergency air evacuation coverage if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country. There are two medical rescue organisations.

Safety and Security

Petty theft is as common as any major city where unemployment is high. Be very awake when walking around carrying anything of value, there are master pickpockets here and there. Never leave your vehicle unlocked and never change money on the streets. For the most part, however, Zambians are very friendly and helpful.

As far as personal safety is concerned, one could easily hitchhike alone throughout the country without a problem. Theft however is possible in the bigger towns and cities as it is the world over. Don’t walk around with things you can’t do without, like your passport or airline tickets. Carry minimum amounts of cash and keep it hidden or in a money belt and if possible, don’t leave your car unattended. This is less of a problem in the rural areas.

Emergency Numbers

Emergency – 999

Police – 991