We recommend obtaining up to date information from the Zambian Foreign Offices on safety, health and travel before your trip. We also recommend that you purchase Chris McIntyre’s “The Bradt Travel Guide for ZAMBIA”, for extensive knowledge on tourism in Zambia.
Zambia has many National Parks that are almost 40% of its total area. The population of Zambia is roughly 10 million; and Zambians are renowned for being extremely hospitable and friendly, treating visitors with genuine respect and warmth. The official language is English; other spoken are Nyanja, Bemba, Kaonde, Tonga, Lozi, Lunda and Luvale.
Three of Africa’s largest rivers drain its six months dry/wet cycle (see our seasonal calendar), fertile soils, and unspoilt forests (including the significant portion of the region’s “Miombo” woodland) and plains — the Zambezi, the Kafue and the Luangwa.
Each river provides the ideal ingredients that contribute to Zambia being one of the most significant and most abundant wildlife refuges in Africa. The country also encompasses ten large lakes including Tanganyika, Mweru, and Kariba; and Victoria Falls in Livingstone is, of course, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a World Heritage site.
Zambia is in the region of Africa that is referred to as “Southern Africa” and is comparatively large – about 750,000 km². The main port of entry is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, which has many international arrivals, including Emirates, South African Airways, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways. Due to the vast expanse of the country, the principal recommended form of travel within Zambia is by plane. The major airline within Zambia is Proflight, which has scheduled flights across all safari destinations. Including to Mfuwe International Airport which is the main airport for all destinations in the South Luangwa National Park.
Please visit the official Zambian Immigration website before your arrival. Visa information is always being updated and it’s best to consult official government pages. Currently, most international citizens can obtain their Zambian visa upon entry to the country, or before arriving in Zambia through an immigration officer at their local embassy. If you plan to purchase your permit upon arrival, please have the exact amount of cash for your visa. Please check this list to see if you need to apply before you arrive.
Another option is the Kaza Univisa, which allows multiple entry access to both Zambia and Zimbabwe, and day trips into Botswana. This visa is not available online and is only available at certain ports of entry. Please note however that there are limited numbers of the Kaza Univisa available in a year.
Before you come to Zambia, make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website – it’s useful for your travel.
Customs and Traditions in Zambia
Zambians are very warm and welcoming. But as with many African nations, it’s worth noting that they often favour traditional practices and customs. The Laws of Zambia are explicit and should be followed at all times – for this reason, we advise that same-sex couples are aware of these laws and are discreet.