November 24, 2017
Planning a trip to a foreign country is often a daunting task for even the most experienced of travellers. From visa requirements and currency questions, to languages spoken and what to pack to suit the weather, there are endless things to figure out. To make organising your holiday to Zambia a bit easier, we’ve put together a short travel guide covering everything you need to know.
The country of Zambia boasts an impressive 7 official languages: Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Kaonde, Luvale, Lunda and English. Much like other neighbouring countries, each of the indigenous languages in Zambia are members of the Bantu family. The two most widely spoken languages are Bemba and Nyanja, serving as first or second language for 41% and 23% of the population respectively. Despite these statistics, English was declared the national language in 1964, is used to conduct official business and is the main medium of instruction in schools.
Zambia features a distinctly tropical climate, with the rainy season occurring between November and April, and the dry season falling between May and October each year. The hottest months of the year are September and October, right before the onset of the much-welcomed rains. A pleasantly mind affair, winter occurs between the months of May and August. Not to worry though, across the country, average daily temperatures remain above 20°C for 8 or more months of the year.
The official currency in Zambia is the Zambian Kwatcha (ZMW). As of November 2017, the major conversion rates are as such:
1 ZAR = 1.40 ZMW
1 USD = 10.10 ZMW
1 GBP = 13.35 ZMW
1 AUD = 7.60 ZMW
1 EUR = 11.80 ZMW
Conveniently, most hotels, restaurants and major shopping centres accept credit cards and most banks have ATM’s which accept Vis cards for cash. Note that, countrywide, Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.
Zambian visa requirements fall into three sections: countries that do not require visas, countries granted visas at ports of entry, and countries required to obtain visas prior to travel. Fortunately for many holidaymakers, over 50 countries are featured in the first category, including Botswana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The second category includes countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. The third and final category features countries such as China, India, Philippines, Qatar, Sri-Lanka and Taiwan. The cost of a visa to Zambia ranges from $20 to $80. Visit the Zambia Immigration website for more information!
There are four main ways to get into Zambia: by plane, by bus, by car, and even by train. What we suggest though, is accessing this beautiful country by air. Zambia has 3 international airports – in Lusaka, Livingstone and Ndola – and 20 domestic airports in various cities, towns and settlements across the country. The main international gateway is the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, which directly connects Zambia with Johannesburg, Dubai, Harare, Windhoek Durban, and more. Airlines that make use of this airport include Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways (SAA), and Emirates.
The recently upgraded Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport is the country’s next most popular airport, with regular direct flights from Nelspruit, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Cape Town and Nairobi. Airline operating at this airport include SA Airlink, British Airways (operated by Comair), Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Proflight Zambia and SAA. Last, but not least, the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola connects Zambia with Johannesburg, Addis Ababa and Nairobi, and airlines operational there are SA Airlink, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Proflight Zambia and SAA.
To find out more about the gorgeous country of Zambia, or to book your stay in at Cresta Golfview in Lusaka, simply get in touch with our friendly reservations team at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 11 881 1200.
Flicrk/DFID – UK Department for International Development
Zambia Airports Corporation Limited