Travel Into Zambia And Be Received Like Royalty
So many countries and so many safari travel destinations to choose from. Well, so “where do you go?” This is a common worry. But one place, one country, is an emerging one-stop travel safari country.
Now recognized in its own right Zambia has become of age. She is the destination for the discerning tourist. An-all-in-one-friendly-country. Safaris are better organised. In comparison Zambia’s low population density makes the country spacious. By large it is! So the wilderness, the great expanse and the untamed bush and wildlife continue to give awe and myth to the traveler. But how do you get here?
Choose any mode of safari travel.
Contact any tour operator
and arrive as you wish.
Airlines serving Zambia are: Zambian Airways, Air Malawi, Air Zaire, Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Regional Air. There are frequent services to and from Lusaka and a limited number to Mfuwe International Airport in Luangwa Valley. The Airport is 24kms from the centre of Lusaka.
Third party insurance must be purchased at the border for a nominal fee.
Domestic Air Services
Currently there are scheduled flights available to Chipata, Kitwe, Livingstone, Mfuwe and Ndola.
Zambian Airways flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe (South Luangwa National Park), Victoria Falls and any charter flights
Proflight flies to Mfuwe (South Luangwa) and Livingstone and charters.
Various air charter companies will fly to any of the many airstrips around the country and most of the areas worth visiting are accessible by air.
Departure tax at airports is US$20 (international) and $5 (domestic), payable in hard currency. Travelers checks are not acceptable.
There are buses from Dar es Salaam and Mbeya in Tanzania, to the Copperbelt and Lusaka, as well as from Lilongwe in Malawi and Harare in Zimbabwe to Lusaka.
There are many
car hire companies
in Lusaka and a few in Ndola, offering a small range of vehicles. Some offer a flat weekly rate, but most charge a daily rate plus mileage, insurance and petrol. Most cars come with a chauffeur and are thus expensive.
Visiting drivers must hold an International Drivers Licence. Drivers licences from other countries are not valid except SADC countries. New residents are required to pass a driving test. A person driving into the country on business can have their car admitted without having to pay duty, provided they will not use it for hire or commercial purposes. They will also have to show that the car is owned by themselves or by their company.
There are many taxis available. Prices are negotiable. There is a good bus service to Chipata, Livingstone, the Copperbelt and Harare, but they don’t always follow strict schedules. The main bus terminus is in Dedan Kimathi road in Lusaka where one can enquire about timetables. Generally travel to any part of the country is possible from here. Other private bus companies offer more reliable services to Livingstone, Harare and Johannesburg.
The following items may be imported into Zambia without incurring customs duty: 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco; One bottle of spirits and wine and 2.5 litres of beer (opened); 1oz bottle of perfume.
Souvenirs may be exported without restriction but game trophies such as tooth, bone, horn, shell, claw, skin, hair, feather or other durable items are subject to export permits.
The government of Zambia is elected in a multi-party general election every five years. Up until 1991, when the first multi-party elections were held, the country was under a one party state. The new economic policy is a liberal open market driven by the private sector.
The Government has put in place the necessary incentives to encourage private investment which includes privatization of State owned companies, rehabilitation of strategic infrastructure, a stable monetary policy and the recent enactment of the Competition and Fair Trade Act. Did we forget to mention that there are no foreign currency exchange restrictions?
There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. All media and business is in English and most Zambians speak it fairly well. So while on safari travel language is not a problem. Bemba is the next most commonly understood language, followed by Nyanja Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe and Tumbuka.
Visitors from or passing through a yellow fever and cholera zone (most of tropical Africa and South America) must be able to produce a valid International Certificate of Vaccination. Air travelers who only pass through the airports of such a zone are exempt from the requirement. Health International/ MARS, and Speciality Emergency Services for Medical Rescue Services are available through insurance.
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 have little more than quinine, aspirin and band aids. Also available are the specialist emergency services mentioned above or hospitals.
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 (see above).
Petrol and diesel can be readily obtained in all major towns, but shortages are common in the very remote areas. So before you travel make sure you have spare fuel for emergencies. Both petrol and diesel get more expensive the further away you are from the line of rail. Unleaded petrol is now available at most BP stations in the major towns.
Zambia has a total road length of 38,763kms tarred roads, 85,920kms gravel roads and 21,999 kms dirt roads. Zambia is notorious for potholes and road signs are few, but there are major road works on some of the main routes at the moment as the roads are finally being upgraded. Some of the more remote roads require great care and caution while driving. Avoid driving at night if possible as there are no road markings and potholes and animals occur when least expected. A 4x4 is recommended if you’re going anywhere off the main routes.
In Zambia, one drives on the left hand side of the road. The general speed limit on national highways is 100km/h, a secondary road is below100km/h and in urban built up areas 65 km/h unless otherwise indicated.
To bring a vehicle into Zambia one must obtain a temporary import permit (TIP) or, depending on the country of origin of the vehicle, a carnet de passage. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, they must have a letter of authorization from the owner for use of the vehicle in Zambia. Your local AA office should be consulted before leaving for Zambia to check whether any of these conditions have changed. Otherwise, write to the Controller of Customs and Excise Headquarters, Box 60500, Livingstone, Zambia.
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.
There is freedom of worship in Zambia with over 15 different churches. Christianity is followed by over 60% of the population.
Tipping is discouraged as it is included as service charge on your bill.
Zambia is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, one hour ahead of Central European Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern USA time and ten hours ahead of Western USA time.
Local electricity current is 220v, 50 cycle AC
To travel in Zambia one requires more common sense and art than following road signs. For the most part the road signs have fallen off not to be replaced. So drive with caution as you travel around.
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