The land of the legendary African walking safari, Victoria Falls, the wild Zambezi River, abundant wildlife, and raw wilderness, all in one friendly country.
Acknowledged as one of the safest countries in the world to visit, Zambia's welcoming people live in peace and harmony. And here, in the warm heart of Africa, you will find some of the finest Safari experiences on the planet, including face to face encounters with Nature at its most wild.
Spectacular waterways provide adrenaline-thrills or a leisurely playground of activities for all ages. Seventeen magnificent waterfalls, apart from the spectacular Victoria Falls, provide endless adventure. Spectacular daily sunsets are almost guaranteed.
USEFUL TRAVEL INFO
Best time to visit
A year-round destination. The best time for game viewing is during the dry season that runs from May to October, with pleasantly mild daytime temperatures.
Time: GMT +2
Electricity: Current in Zambia is 230 volts, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs, as well as two- and three-pin round plugs are in use.
Language: There are many dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English.
Money: The Zambian currency is the Kwacha (ZMW). It is best to bring US Dollars or Pounds Sterling, which can be exchanged at the many bureaux de change found in the main towns; avoid exchanging money outside of banks or respected hotels. While most of the tourist hotels, restaurants, travel agents and larger shops, especially in Lusaka and Livingstone, accept credit cards, many outlets in the rural areas do not and deal only in local currency. ATMs are available in Lusaka and some of the major towns.
Communications: Public telephones are widely available, most requiring tokens, but card phones are now available from where international calls can be made. Connections tend to be bad, particularly outside of Lusaka. Wi-fi is limited to top hotels and restaurants, and free international calls can be made using the internet. There are several internet cafés in Livingstone and Lusaka
Health & Safety
Typhoid, polio, rabies and hepatitis A vaccinations should be considered for travel to Zambia. Malaria is endemic in Zambia (prophylaxis is essential), and outbreaks of cholera and dysentery are common especially during the rainy season. Yellow fever is a risk in the northwest and western provinces. Visitors to game parks are at risk of African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), which is carried by tsetse flies; insect repellent is ineffective against tsetse flies. The country also has one of the highest rates of HIV/Aids infection worldwide. Avoid swimming or wading in bodies of fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers due to the presence of bilharzia.
Medical facilities in the country are under-developed and limited to the point that basic drugs and even clean needles are often not available. The small clinics in Lusaka are regarded as superior to the general hospitals, but clinics in rural areas are rarely stocked with anything more than aspirin or plasters. Full travel insurance, including cover for medical evacuation by air, is therefore essential and it is vital to bring a good first aid kit. Avoid food bought from local street vendors and ensure drinking water is filtered and boiled, or bought in sealed, branded bottles.
Most visits to Zambia are trouble-free, but visitors should be aware that car hijackings and armed robberies are increasing, and mugging, bag-snatching and theft from parked cars is common in urban areas.
Visa & Passports
Citizens of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa require a passport valid for four months beyond period of intended stay. A 90-day tourist visa or 30-day business visa can be obtained on arrival. South African nationals do not need a visa for stays for up to 90 days.
A return ticket or proof of onward travel, all documents for next destination and proof of sufficient funds is required for all travellers. Visas issued on arrival vary in fee according to amount of entries and nationality. Passports must have at least one blank visa page. It is also possible to obtain an e-visa online prior to departure for Zambia. There is a special provision for day visitors coming across the border from Zimbabwe into Livingstone. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination
Airports in Zambia
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN)
The airport is situated 16 miles (26km) northeast of Lusaka.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport (NLA)
The airport is located two miles (3km) south of the Ndola city.
Mfuwe Airport (MFU)
Located in the Eastern Province in Zambia. It serves the tourism industry based on the nearby South Luangwa National Park and other wildlife areas in the Luangwa Valley.
Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI)
Formerly Livingstone Airport, is an international airport on the northern edge of Livingstone, Zambia.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT
There are 20 national parks and 34 game management areas in the country. South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi rank among the finest game parks in the world.
Luambe, and Lukusuzi Liuwa Plain, West Lunga, Sioma Ngwezi, and Nyika Plateau have substantial wildlife but are still undeveloped. Mosi-oa-Tunya, near Victoria Falls, is regarded as a Zoological park as it has a well-managed population of antelope, elephants, giraffe and rhino, but does not have any predators.
Isangano, Lavushi Manda, Lusenga Plain, and Mweru Wantipa have never had management or facilities and have little wildlife but are still worth a visit by intrepid explorers and birdlovers. The newest park to be proclaimed is Lusaka National Park, just outside the capital.
Zambia is one of the most water-rich countries in Africa, with many rivers that cascade into waterfalls. The most spectacular is of course the not-to-be-missed Victoria Falls, but there are 17 other beautiful falls dotted around the country. Waterfall Tours are becoming a popular trip providing access to these out of the way delights as well as opportunities to see rural village life in Zambia.
Despite being landlocked, there are few places in the world as blessed as Zambia when it comes to water resources. And the nation’s vast and beautiful lakes are as breath taking as the mighty Zambezi River and Victoria Falls. Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world, while Lake Kariba is Africa’s largest man-made dam and rapidly becoming Zambia’s very own French Riviera. For the more intrepid traveller, the tropical and wild Lake Mweru offers a fascinating glimpse of village life that lines the shores of this vast lake in the far north…overall, they are well worth a visit.
Blessed with 3 major rivers, several substantial tributaries, and many smaller rivers, as well as vast natural lakes and the enormous Kariba dam, Zambia is one of the most water rich countries in Africa. The source of the Zambezi is in northwest Zambia and runs through the Barotse Floodplains until it forms the border with Zimbabwe. After providing power from Kariba Dam, it is joined by the Kafue River and later the Luangwa before heading out to the Indian Ocean. The Kafue and Luangwa Rivers are the life blood of the Kafue and Luangwa National Parks, teeming with hippos, crocodiles, water birds and plains game coming to drink. Many other rivers traverse the country with an abundance of delightful waterfalls.
Cities & Towns
The capital Lusaka is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. The steady increase of tourism throughout the country has brought further development and better tourist infrastructure to once small provincial towns like Livingstone and Chingola, as well as to commercial and industrial centres like Ndola and Kitwe.
There is a sense of restlessness in the towns and cities of Zambia, complimented by an increasingly cosmopolitan mix of people, cultures and commodities from all over the country and far beyond its borders too. To overlook Zambia’s urban centres is to overlook the people of Zambia.
Big Game Safaris
Zambia is a safari enthusiast’s dream with a large portion of the country’s land allocated to National Parks. Not only is there an array of some of the world’s biggest and best game parks to choose from, such as the vast Kafue National Park or the famous South Luangwa, there are many safari activities available too. Whether it’s a canoeing safari along the game-rich shores of the Lower Zambezi, or following in the footsteps of the pioneers into the Zambian interior on a mobile walking safari through North Luangwa National Park, you are sure to find something in the continent’s spectacular wildlife and scenery to thrill and amaze you.
One of the most relaxing ways to spend a few days. Lake Kariba houseboating holidays are legendary and most days are calm and sunny. The Zambian side of the Lake is not crowded with other boaters, in fact there are only a few boats that operate on this side. On the Zimbabwean side there are hundreds. The lake, however is big enough to feel completely isolated as you drift along the banks or over to the many islands. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular. Hire a luxury cruiser with cabins and crew to serve you in style, or take your own food, bring loads of friends and party ’till you drop.
Zambia’s contemporary culture is a blend of values, norms, material and spiritual traditions of more than 70 ethnically diverse people. Most of the tribes of Zambia moved into the area in a series of migratory waves a few centuries ago. They grew in numbers and many travelled in search of establishing new kingdoms, farming land and pastures. The main exports were copper, ivory and slaves in exchange for textiles, jewellery, salt and hardware.
Many of the rural inhabitants have retained their indigenous and traditional customs and values. After Independence in 1964, the government recognised the role culture was to play in the overall development of a new nation and began to explore the question of a National identity.
Institutions to protect and promote Zambia’s culture were created, including the National Heritage Conservation Commission. Private museums were also founded, and cultural villages were established to promote the expression of artistic talents.
Top Adventure Activities
Flights over Victoria Falls
Walk with Cheetahs
Zambezi White River Rafting
The vibrant capital of Zambia, is home to roughly a 10th of the country's population. The city is an interesting mixture of modern and traditional with new high-rise buildings towering over colourful outdoor markets. Home to several sights and attractions, including museums like the Lusaka National Museum, the Political Museum and the Zintu Community Museum; monuments and statues dedicated to freedom fighters; and cultural attractions like a theatre, cinema, zoo, golf club and the Munda Wanga Environmental Park. Lusaka is the best shopping destination in Zambia, with traditional goods and handcrafted souvenirs on sale.
Centrally located, Lusaka is within driving distance of many of Zambia's game parks, including South Luangwa National Park and Kafue National Park. Blue Lagoon is a popular excursion for viewing game like zebra, buffalo and hippos.
Also known as Maramba, is a historic colonial city on the southern border of Zambia and a popular gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls. Its colonial past means the city has several historical buildings of interest and a surprisingly festive nightlife, with several bars and clubs frequented by tourists and expats. Its a perfect base for white water rafting and bungee jumping and well situated as a gateway to the abundant nature and wildlife of southern Zambia. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park offers bird watching and game safaris, and a few game cruises are available along the Zambezi River.
Where to Stay
aha The David Livingston Safari Lodge & Spa
Situated 5km from the town of Livingston and 7km from Vic Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi River. 77 Rooms and suites, most with river views, have flat-screen TVs and minibars, tea and coffeemaking facilities, and balconies. Suites add separate living areas, kitchenettes and whirlpool bathtubs. Wi-Fi is available. Amenities include a restaurant, parking, a bar, a pool, a spa and a conference centre, as well as a 3-decker river cruiser offering sunset cruises.
The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth largest River system, after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers. It runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Its unique value is that it is less developed than others in terms of human settlement and many areas along its banks enjoy protected status. Its power has carved the spectacular Victoria Falls and the zigzagging Batoka Gorge. The Power of the Zambezi River has been harnessed along its journey at two points, the first being Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe and the second Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique. Both these dams are sources of hydroelectric power and supply a large portion of power to Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The River’s beauty attracts many visitors from all over the world providing opportunities for a myriad of water sports and game viewing.
The upper part of the Zambezi River is only sparsely populated by farmers and fishermen. Vic Falls is considered the boundary between the upper and middle Zambezi and for 500km the river serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
With its spectacular scenery, stunning sunsets, great fishing and boating opportunities it is one of the finest places on this planet for a holiday.
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
Situated about 10km from the city of Livingstone and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Vic Falls offers breath-taking views that are almost too spectacular and majestic to describe. Unique attractions on the Zambian side include the Boiling Pot and The Devil’s Pool.
Take a walk across the knife-edge bridge for a spectacular view of the eastern cataract and up the main gorge. A walk down the steps to the Boiling Pot provides an interesting view from the base of the falls and the Victoria Falls Bridge spanning the gorge.
Whether you stay in Zambia or Zimbabwe, its recommend seeing both sides of the falls. This is now even easier thanks to the introduction of the KAZA Univisa, a single visa that covers Zambia, Zimbabwe and daytrips into Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Crossing between countries takes you over the Victoria Falls Bridge, around a 20-minute walk and get a chance to see bungee jumpers waiting to earn instant bragging rights by throwing themselves 111 metres towards the river below.
Water levels on the Zambian side is at its highest during February to June and lowest during the dry season October to November. This doesn’t happen on the Zimbabwe side, where the Main Falls flow all year round.
Where to Stay
Avani Vic Falls Resort
Adjacent to the Falls Entertainment Centre, this stylish resort is 4 km from the Victoria Falls.
Guests enjoy free and unlimited access to the Falls. A choice of 212 en-suite rooms come with free Wi-Fi, TVs, sofas, and tea and coffee making facilities and some have balconies. Family rooms are available, while suites add separate living/dining rooms. Amenities include a business centre, boardroom, various outdoor dining options, outdoor pool, spa and a beauty salon.
The Royal Livingstone Vic Falls Hotel by Anantara
The hotel evokes Victorian elegance and Colonial traditions in impeccable style, and offers unforgettable adventures. The Big-5 can be spotted on a river cruise or a 4x4 safari. The rapids of Batoka Gorge offer adrenalin pumping thrills and The Royal Livingstone Express steam locomotive invites you to travel in vintage style along one of Southern Africa’s most scenic railway passes. Guests enjoy the privilege of complimentary access to Victoria Falls via a private entrance.
Air-conditioned luxury rooms and suites feature a private veranda with mighty Zambezi River views. Rooms features a terrace, satellite TV, minibar and tea-and-coffee-making facilities and amenities such as an outdoor pool and a Casino.
South Luangwa National Park
One of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, where the concentration of animals is around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons, among the most intense in Africa. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation, best experienced by a walking safari. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.
Kafue National Park
Situated in the centre of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks. Easily accessed from both Lusaka and Livingstone with a 2 to 3-hour drive although many prefer to fly in with charter flights. The park remains largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife. Accommodation types vary from remote tented camps to luxurious safari lodges to suit all budgets and tastes.
This huge inland sea is Zambia’s biggest body of water and one of the world’s largest manmade lakes. Created by the rising waters of the Zambezi after the river was dammed in the 1950s, its tranquil vistas are crowned by the silhouettes of drowned trees and echo to the grunt of hippos. Visitors can relax at lakeside resorts, fish for fighting tiger fish or cruise the wild shores in a houseboat in search of elephant and other game.