January 18, 2016
The new year is upon us; ripe with opportunities to visit a host of exciting destinations both near and far. Are you planning to travel to Zambia in 2016? If so, here are a few Zambia travel tips to keep in mind before you set off.
All foreign visitors except SADC (Southern African Development Community) passport holders, require a Visa, which costs the equivalent of US$50 for a one-month single entry visa. If you plan to stay longer, you must apply at the Zambian embassy or high commission.
If you plan to cross over the Zambezi to visit the other side of Victoria Falls, request a KASAVISA which is valid for one month and also costs US$50. The KASAVISA is available at major airports and border posts.
As of July 2012, all transactions in Zambia must be in the new Zambian Kwacha. Although some tourist activities are advertised in US Dollars, payment must still be made in the legal tender – ZMW. International flights may be paid for in US Dollars.
Kwachas are not available outside of Zambia and should be purchased at a bank on arrival. One US dollar buys you 4800 ZMW and a British pound is worth 7900 ZMW.
Shopping and Tipping
Bargaining is accepted practice in Zambia and expected, don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. It is also customary to receive something free (mbasela) if you buy more than one item.
Tipping was illegal at one stage but is widely accepted now, 10% is the norm. Always give tips directly to the person involved as tips are pooled and they may not receive the full benefit of your generosity.
Anti-malaria treatment is advised and a yellow fever inoculation is required for travel to Zambia. Your family doctor will be able to assist you with these. Although pharmacies and chemists are available at most centres of tourism in Zambia, travellers to the country are advised to carry a basic supply of general medicines and first aid supplies – just in case! Likewise, ensure your International Medical Insurance is up to date and organised before you arrive.
Casual wear is the norm in most tourist centres, but short skirts and shorts are considered inappropriate dress for ladies.