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ZAMBIA TRAVEL TIPS

Zambia is a thrilling destination in its own right, with abundant wildlife and many other beautiful attractions. Of particular appeal is Zambia’s vast unspoiled wilderness and plains filled with wildlife, not to mention Victoria Falls. Visitors become enchanted with the rustic ambience of this country, where a network of rural villages ensures that man wildlife survive together through recognition of their interdependence.
Banks
Operational hours are 08:15 to 15:30 hours Mondays through to Fridays and 08:15 to 11:30 hours on Saturdays.
Credit Cards
Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card. Most banks have ATM’s which accept Visa cards for cash. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.
Currency
It’s best to come into the country with either Euros or Dollars or Pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureaus de Change in the main towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it. Travelers’ Cheques attract a commission when changing to other Currencies.
The Zambian currency is the Kwacha and it fluctuates quite regularly. As of Jan 2013, Zambia rebased the currency dividing by 1000.
As of April 2015 K100 = $13.91 GBP 8.9, ZAR 158.45, EUR 12.87
Kwacha note denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, and K2 Coins are in denominations of K1 and 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee.
Currency Regulations
Payments within Zambia can be made in Kwachas only, by law, even if the price is quoted in USD. Foreign currency will not be accepted once you have cleared immigration at the airport.
There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided it is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form. To find out more about the current exchange rate please visit www.xe.com
ATMs
ATMs are available within Lusaka, Livingstone and other major towns in Zambia. The bigger banks have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.
Travelers’ Cheques
Travelers’ Cheques are widely accepted, though no longer commonly used. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers’ are advised to take travelers’ Cheques in US dollars, Euros or Pounds.
Currency Exchange
Exchange of foreign currency is carried out at authorized banks and bureau de change. There are many bureau at the central shopping areas in the main towns.
Insurance
Third party insurance must be purchased at the border for a nominal fee.
Medical Insurance
Medical insurance should be purchased before you leave your own country and should include emergency air evacuation coverage if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country. There are two medical rescue organizations.
Visa Information
If one is not a citizen of a country that is exempted from having to apply for a visa, then one must obtain a visa either at the port of entry or at a Zambian Mission abroad.
Please note that the countries do change and we advise that you visit Zambia Immigration for up to date Visa information.
The Zambia Immigration website contains visa guidelines for different types of visitors. Each visitor to Zambia must declare the main purpose of their visit. This will determine what sort of visa one needs, and where to obtain this visa.
Citizens of specific countries have specific rules that supersede the guidelines below.
Once one has determined the purpose of one’s visit to Zambia and understand the basic guidelines, one can proceed to the Visa Fees section to determine how much one must pay for a visa upon application.
Consultants and other experts that are entering Zambia to conduct business with an organization in Zambia can obtain a visa at the port of entry. A “business” visitor must produce an invitation letter from the inviting institution. Business visits by a single individual cannot exceed 30 days in a 12 month period.
Nationals of countries, which require visas to enter Zambia for the purpose of visiting friends or relatives, should be issued with visas at Zambian Missions abroad or ports of entry. Those nationals who may wish to obtain such visas well in advance should apply for them to the Chief Immigration Officer – P. O Box 50300, LUSAKA-ZAMBIA, and zambiavisa@zamnet.zm or immighq@zamnet.zm.
Health and Medical
A yellow fever certificate is mandatory if you are travelling from an infected area. Malaria is virulent in the low lying areas of the country which include most of the good wildlife destinations. Doctors advise taking prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continuing two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.
Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is boiled already. Bottled water is readily available in the bigger towns.
Chemists / Pharmacies
Travelers should carry an adequate supply of their prescribed medicines with them although chemists in the major centers carry a wide range of medicines and first aid accessories. There are some emergency chemists open after hours on Sundays in Lusaka.
Medical Services
Medical services are underdeveloped and only in Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone can you find anything resembling western standards. There are a number of small clinics in Lusaka which are better than the general hospitals, but the clinics in the rural areas usually only have the basics.
Medical Insurance
Medical insurance should be purchased before you leave your own country and should include emergency air evacuation coverage if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country. There are two medical rescue organizations.
Safety and Security
Petty theft is as common as any major city where unemployment is high. Be very awake when walking around carrying anything of value, there are master pickpockets here and there. Never leave your vehicle unlocked and never change money on the streets. For the most part, however, Zambians are very friendly and helpful.
As far as personal safety is concerned, one could easily hitchhike alone throughout the country without a problem. Theft however is possible in the bigger towns and cities as it is the world over. Don’t walk around with things you can’t do without, like your passport or airline tickets. Carry minimum amounts of cash and keep it hidden or in a money belt and if possible, don’t leave your car unattended. This is less of a problem in the rural areas.
Emergency Numbers
Emergency – 999
Police – 991
Lusaka, Central Police Station – 0211 220006
Lusaka, Central Fire Station – 0211 220180
Lusaka, Ambulance Service – 0211 220180
National Telephone Operator – 100
National Directory – 102
International Operator – 090
Ambulance – 991
Fire Brigade – 993
Hospital UTH – Lusaka
General Line – 0211 251200
Casualty Direct Line – 0211 254115
Livingstone Central Police – 0213 3 323575/320116
Livingstone Fire Station – 0213 324043

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