Zambia safari at a glance …
Located in the heart of central southern Africa, lies the amazing Zambia. More than anywhere, Zambia evokes the true essence of safari.
Regarded as the home of the walking safari, this is a country where you feel completely immersed in unspoilt wilderness. With nearly 40% of the country either national park or game management area you will be spoilt for choice.
There are 20 national parks alone. South Luangwa is regarded as one of the greatest parks on the continent. The Lower Zambezi National Park for up close encounters both on land and on water.
Walk through the remote North Luangwa, being at one with your surroundings. The incredible birdlife of the Bangweulu wetlands. The immense and remote Kafue National Park and and and…. The list of wildlife attractions in Zambia is amazing.
Zambia is also the source of the great Zambezi River and shares the mighty Victoria Falls with neighbouring Zimbabwe.
If you want to discover the true meaning of safari, you need look no further than a Zambia safari.
Zambia Safari Highlights
South Luangwa National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park
Kafue National Park
North Luangwa National Park
Liuwa Plains National Park
The very essence of Zambia is to experience safari.
Canoeing on the Zambezi River
House boating on Lake Kariba
Cultural interactions and ceremonies
Travel info …
The mobile network in the urban areas and even in many rural areas is good. However, once in the national parks it is a lot less reliable, to non-existent. As the vast majority of time for many in Zambia will be spent on safari, a local sim card may not be worth it.
Many lodges and hotels do offer wifi facilities, but many do not. If this is important to you, please advise us.
There are no required vaccines for visiting Zambia (except Yellow Fever – see below) – however, we recommend that travellers do have inoculations against Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Typhoid. As always, it is best to consult your doctor.
In line with the International Health Regulations (2005), Zambia requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens (over one year of age) travelling from a yellow fever risk country. Vaccination certificates are routinely checked at the Namibian port of entry for travellers arriving from countries designated as high risk for yellow fever transmission. For full details please click here. Please note that if you are coming from a yellow fever risk country that you need to carry your yellow fever certificate with you!
The whole of Zambia lies in an endemic malaria belt. We strongly recommend that you seek medical advice on the best anti-malarial medication to take for your visit.
Tsetse flies are present in many of Zambia’s national parks, however, there have been no recorded cases of sleeping sickness for many years. Best not to wear blues and very dark colours, like black, that attract the flies.
Take sensible precautions, do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables on your person. Make sure that valuables and money are securely locked away in your hotel/lodge. Be extra cautious when in towns and cities and out at night, particularly if travelling alone.
Of greater concern is safety on the roads, particularly if driving at night. See our driving section below.
Dangers while on safari should also not be underestimated. Zambia has a high proportion of walking and canoeing safaris, which do increase your risk of accidents.
Visa credit cards are widely accepted in larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Mastercard is less widely accepted. We do not recommend American Express and Diners for Zambia.
ATM/cash point machines are available in the main airports, most towns, and some of the smaller villages. Exchange facilities are available at all major airports as well as most large bank branches, although exchange rates from ATM/cash point machines are generally more favourable. Most ATMs will allow withdrawals with VISA cards, not Mastercards. We strongly advise that when using ATM machines that you do so inside banks, rather than street side ones.
At most of the safari lodges you will be able to settle your account with a credit card. Prices may be displayed in US$ but payment will be deducted in Kwacha.
In the more touristy areas, particularly around Livingstone you may be able to pay for items with US$ and even South African Rands. However, don’t rely on this.
Try and only draw the Kwacha that you will need as it will not be that easy to convert left over Kwacha back to your original currency. You will need your exchange or ATM withdrawal receipts to do so.
All visitors to Zambia require a valid passport with at least 6 months validity from date of entry.
Zambia allows visa free entry for many Commonwealth countries and Irish passport holders.
PLEASE note that visitors must have 2 blank pages in their passport for entry into Zambia. If you intend travelling to South Africa and Zambia please ensure you have at least 4 blank pages in your passport.
Holders of full United Kingdom, United States, Canadian, Australian and most EU passports are eligible for a visa on arrival for tourism purposes up for stays up to 90 days. However, often immigration officials will only grant entry for the exact period you have said you will be in the country. Please check the dates stamped in your passport on arrival, and make the necessary arrangements to extend your stay if you plan to stay longer.
Single entry visas cost US$50.00 and US$80.00 for double entry. Multiple entry visas are not available on arrival. Travellers who will be travelling between Zambia and Zimbabwe should consider the UniVisa which costs US$50.00 and allows unlimited travel between the two countries over a 30 day period. However, please note that Zambia and Zimbabwe regularly run out of these visas, and they may not be available on your arrival – in which case you will need to buy standard visas on arrival.
You can also obtain an e-visa in advance – click here for the link.
However, as many people visiting Zambia transit through South Africa it is worth checking your specific requirements with regards passing through South Africa with minors.
We do not recommend self-drive tours to Zambia.
Poor road conditions and poor driving standard through much of the country prevail. There is a high fatality level on Zambian roads.
We are able to assist with 4×4 vehicle rental in Zambia for experienced 4×4 drivers who are used to African road conditions. Ask us for more information.
In Zambia the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Zambia, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you may need a voltage converter in Zambia. Many small electronic devices now have dual voltage converters as standard.
Zambia uses three main types of plug – referred to as G, C and D. However, the most common is the type G – pictured above. This is the standard plug used the UK. We suggest travelling with an adaptor – although most hotels and lodges will be able to assist (a deposit may be required)
Zambian seasons are reversed to those in the northern hemisphere.
Spring: September – November
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August
More accurately there is a dry cooler season, from around April until September. The days are warm and at night the temperatures plummet. Clear skies predominate and there is usually no rain.
From October the temperatures start climbing and cloud cover increases. The day time temperatures become hot and the evenings remain warm. By late November the first rains have usually arrived. The rainy season then lasts until late March.
Night time in winter can get very cold, especially at higher elevations. While the lower lying areas (Lower Zambezi and Luangwa valley) can get extremely hot in October/November.
As with most areas of the world, Zambia is experiencing a changing weather pattern, with more extremes.