Police: 999, Ambulance: 991, Fire: 993
Recommended For Further Information On Zambia
Lonely Planet Southern Africa
The below is a very basic guide. If you are heading to Zambia I highly recommend picking up a copy of Lonely Planet's; Southern Africa. It provides the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and what to skip. It also includes coverage of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe...
Most visitors need a tourist visa to enter Zambia. It is highly advisable to obtain a visa before travel from a Zambian High Commission or Embassy for around US$50 for single entry or US$80 for multiple entry. You can get visas on arrival, but make sure you have the correct amount of cash. A 24 hour entry visa is also available to all nationalities for US$20.
Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Customs officers may ask to see prescriptions for any medication you bring into the country.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Zambia and have 2 blank pages.
For official information visit your home government travel bureau.
More detail is to come in this section, but you can read about general advice regarding Getting Around When You Get There
Zambia has hostels in tourist areas such as near Victoria Falls. Hotels are also relatively cheap, but vary in quality. Camping is also a viable option.
Food And Health
Food hygiene and safety is not great, food bought from local street vendors is unlikely to meet adequate hygiene standards. Use your instincts; if the place looks dirty, don't eat there; if your food isn't piping hot, don't eat it.
Water is not safe to drink, so stick to bottled or boil.
Medical facilities and communications in Zambia are poor, especially in rural areas. Even basic drugs and clean needles may not be available. Emergency services are limited. Make sure you know your blood group and carry a sterile medical kit including needles, dressings etc. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Always contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Visit here for Recommended Vaccinations and read here for more about Travelling Health In General
Weather & Time To Go
Zambia has three seasons hot, dry and wet. The dry season (May to August) is the best time to visit. It is the coolest time of the year, but temperatures are still a pleasant 24-28°C during the day. If you visit early in the dry season (May); just after the rainy season, you will be able to see Victoria Falls at their best. The dry season is also the best time to see wildlife.
Internet is generally slow, but accessible in most towns, hotels and lodges. International calling cards are cheaply available in large towns.
Dangers And Considerations
Bag snatching, pick pocketing and theft from parked cars are common at some restaurants and internet cafes in downtown areas, particularly near bus and railway stations and in some shopping areas.
Walking after dark, particularly in tourist or down town areas, can be dangerous.
Use reputable banks, bureaux de change or ATMs to exchange money.
Keep valuables and originals of important documents in a safe place and carry a copy of your passport and immigration permit.
There is a risk of explosive remnants of war in remote areas near the borders with Angola, Mozambique and DRC. Take care if you venture off road in these areas.
Whether you are travelling on land or water, you are at risk of potentially fatal animal attacks. Always observe local regulations and follow your tour or safari guide’s instructions.
The possession of pornographic material is illegal in Zambia and offenders may be jailed and/or deported.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia and those caught engaging in homosexual acts can be sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
While foreign currency can still be exchanged in Zambia, it is against the law to quote, pay or demand to be paid or receive foreign currency as legal tender for goods, services or any other domestic transaction. Doing so can result in a fine or a 10 year prison sentence.
Dangers constantly change. Always check with your foreign office (British Foreign Office webpage) or travel advice bureau for the latest information regarding your destinations safety.
Holding long periods of eye contact is considered aggressive and disrespectful.
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