FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ZAMBIA
This information is intended as a guideline only. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Please note that we are providing links to external websites as guidelines for more information only. Karell Africa is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR ZAMBIA?
Passports are required by all foreign visitors to ZAMBIA and must be valid for at least 6 months after the intended length of your trip.
U.S. Citizens do require a visa for entry into Zambia. These are available at your point of entry in to Zambia for USD50.00 (cash only, exact change) or effective NOVEMBER 2015 you can apply for an e-visa online.
For your convenience here is the link : http://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/
Passengers visiting ZAMBIA for the day from a neighboring country (i.e. those visiting from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe etc) can obtain a day trip visa at the border in the amount of USD $20.00 (cash only, exact change).
Failure to comply with passport and visa requirements may result in denial of entry.
The Government of the Republic of ZAMBIA requires travelers to have at least two blank visa pages in their passport upon entering ZAMBIA. Likewise, travelers transiting South Africa should ensure that their passports contain at least one completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. South African immigration authorities routinely turn away travelers who do not have enough blank visa pages in their passports.
Visas may be required for ZAMBIA for other passport nationalities. It is is your responsibility to check the entry visa requirements with the individual embassy of each country you intend visiting prior to departure.
If you are a parent / guardian traveling with a minor (aged 18 or younger), you must be in possession of a certified letter of consent from the non-accompanying parent or guardian.
VISA STAMPS IN PASSPORTS UPON ARRIVAL IN EACH COUNTRY:
PLEASE CHECK THE DATES THAT THE OFFICIALS STAMP IN TO YOUR PASSPORTS TO MAKE SURE THE ALLOTTED TIME FOR YOUR STAY IS CORRECT BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM THE COUNTER. ON OCCASION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GIVEN INCORRECT INCREMENTS OF TIME TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY CONCERNED CREATING A LOT OF UNNECESSARY AGGRAVATION AND INCONVENIENCE.
We also suggest that before you depart on any international trip that you take a photo of the information page of your passport as well as any visas on your cell phone and share with a family member or friend via text or email in case you lose your passport!
WHAT IS THE WEATHER/CLIMATE LIKE IN ZAMBIA IN WINTER AND IN SUMMER?
The seasons in Southern Africa are reversed from those in the US.
The weather in ZAMBIA is generally pleasant throughout the year with warm to hot days followed by cool to warm nights. However, the winter months (May – September) see evening / morning temperatures drop considerably. The summer months in ZAMBIA are from November to the end of March which can be very hot. It is also the rainy season – cloud coverage and rain can cool things down but only for a short period of time.
The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas. The in-between periods – April/May and September/October – still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter. Make no mistake, in the winter months the evenings and early mornings can be bitterly cold. On safari during this time you will need to take very warm clothing especially for early morning game drives.
For more information please visit : WEATHER.COM
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY OF ZAMBIA?
ZAMBIA’S unit of currency is the Kwacha, denoted by the symbol ZMW.
1.00 USD = 16.787072 ZMW (As of Aug 1st 2017) MARCH 21, 2014 and with immediate effect : We have been informed that the Zambian Government has revoked Statutory Instruments 33 of 2012 and 55 of 2013. This means that foreign currency will once again be accepted for payment in Zambia and guests will no longer need to convert foreign currency into Kwacha. Please note it may take a while for the various institutions to make the required changes to their systems and Kwacha will still be needed for some things such as shopping in the local supermarkets.
Credit Cards :
Although ATMs are probably available in larger cities such as Livingstone and Lusaka (AND MOST OF THEM ONLY TAKE VISA CARD NOT EVEN MASTERCARD!!! ) they will definitely not be available on safari so we suggest you “stock up” before you venture forth in to the bush!
Please ensure that all USD notes are the 1996 series or above with “large heads”, as no one accepts notes below 1996 with “small heads” depicted. Could we make this up? Traveller’s checks are not accepted at most lodges, camps and hotels. Visa is widely accepted throughout ZAMBIA. Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club – not so much! Zambian banks cannot exchange currency unless you are an account holder, so any currency exchange transactions will have to be completed at a designated Bureaux de Change office.
For up to dates rates of exchange click on the following link : WWW.XE.COM
WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Most dietary requirements (kosher, vegetarian hindu etc) can be organized provided we request them well in advance. This is particularly important if you will be visiting game lodges. You must remember that many of the game lodges you may be visiting are in isolated areas so if you are not very specific in advance you may just go hungry! You cannot just pop out to the nearest restaurant or 7-11 – you are in the African bush.
We need to know about allergies too – gluten -lactose – peanuts etc.
WHAT IS THE LANGUAGE IN ZAMBIA?
The official languages of ZAMBIA are English together with seven vernacular languages which include Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Kaonde, Luvale and Lunda.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DO LAUNDRY DURING MY ZAMBIA TOUR?
Laundry service is available at most hotels, camps and lodges throughout ZAMBIA.
However in most camps/game lodges throughout ZAMBIA the washing is done by hand, therefore underwear (bras, panties and men’s underwear) are not included in this service.
This is due to prevailing local traditions in the country.
WHAT ARE THE LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS FOR A ZAMBIA SAFARI?
RULE OF THUMB – IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN DO NOT PACK IT IN YOUR CHECKED BAGS!
Medications, eye glasses, sunglasses, wallets, passports, computers, iPads, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, jewelry etc should be carried with you at all times. And why are you taking that expensive jewelry with you anyway?
NOT A GOOD IDEA! Do not take anything with you that is not replaceable or anything that you would be devastated to lose!
Most airports today do offer plastic wrapping of bags for a small fee. Luggage restrictions vary between airlines / countries and aircraft. Please check with your travel consultant with regard to weight restrictions and quantity / size of bags permitted.
If you will be traveling in vehicles and small aircraft with limited luggage capacity, it is a requirement that you have a SOFT BAG without WHEELS, however, our brand new “wheeled” Karell safari bags which are made exclusively for us are unique as they have wheels but no solid frame which make them ideal for light aircraft transfers to and from camps/lodges.
Ideal travel bag example:
The Karell Duffel bag pictured above has been selected specifically for use on safaris utilizing light aircraft. It measures 26” x 14” x 12”, a perfect size and dimension for this type of travel.
NO HARD SUITCASES WILL BE ALLOWED!
Wilderness Air Weight & Luggage Restrictions for chartered aircraft in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and SOUTH AFRICA
- Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg (44 lb) per person
- Only soft bags will be accepted – no wheels, frames or rigid structures can be transported as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft!
- Maximum dimensions of the soft bags are as follows: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high and 62 cm (24 inches) long.
- If guests weigh more than 100 kg (220 lb), an additional weight allowance on the aircraft must be purchased for safety and comfort. The cost for this is calculated on request according to specific region and routing, and provides for a maximum of 70 kg (154 lb) excess weight and will be at the passenger’s expense.
- If guests need to bring luggage in excess of the stipulated allowance, they have the option of purchasing additional weight allowance allowing for a maximum of 70kg (154lb) with the proviso that the excess bags conform to the maximum dimensions listed above. The additional cost of this varies depending on the flight schedule and routing and will be at the passenger’s expense.
These strict weight restrictions apply to any itinerary which includes light aircraft transfers for the following reasons:
- The aircraft are designed with a maximum bodyweight and luggage weight allowance.
- The aircraft have physical space restrictions. Please refer to the images below for an indication on the cargo hold compartment limitations.
SHOULD I TAKE A CAMERA? SHOULD I TAKE BINOCULARS?
Yes, You are going to a photographer’s paradise wherever you go in Africa so do take plenty of memory cards to record your trip. They will not always be readily available everywhere you go. So to avoid disappointment take a lot with you as well as spare batteries for flashes etc.
Yes, A good pair of strong binoculars is a must on safari, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A KEEN BIRDER OR “TWITCHER”. Trust us, we know.
For everything you need to know about buying cameras and binoculars we invite you to visit : http://www.bhphotovideo.com
Or if you prefer to rent before you go: http://optics4rent.com/index.html
Camera equipment and lenses are so heavy and are included in hand baggage allowances so for your convenience, there are certain game lodges that rent equipment for the period of your stay.
We have provided these websites as guidelines for further information, Karell’s African Dream Vacations is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRIC CURRENT IN ZAMBIA?
All electrical appliances in ZAMBIA run on 220V. Although adaptors are generally available at hotels, we highly recommend taking your own.
If you are taking electric hair styling tools in any shape or form flatirons, curling irons, hairdryers etc. or any other electrical appliances, you should make sure they are dual voltage and remember to change the voltage if necessary when you get to BOTSWANA or you can undoubtedly kiss them goodbye!
Due to their remote locations, many camps/game lodges in ZAMBIA generate their own electricity by means of generators. Generators run for about 6-7 hours per day providing power in the rooms/tents for lighting and possibly ceiling fans. Not all camps provide plug points in the rooms/tents so if you have equipment that requires charging such as camera batteries the camps will often have charging facilities in the main areas.
Sooooooooooo…………….you may as well face it ladies, you will be having some bad hair days as at most camps no hair dryers, flat irons or the likes allowed!!!!! Just go with the flow and enjoy.
WHAT TIME ZONE IS ZAMBIA IN?
Local time in ZAMBIA is GMT +2
Which means it is always 6 or 7 hours ahead of us in the eastern United States depending on the time of the year and daylight savings time.
So, if it is 8PM IN LUSAKA OR LIVINGSTONE then it is 2PM the same day in NEW YORK ! Hope this helps. Probably won’t – you will be more confused than ever and will more than likely call home and get it all mixed up.
The following link may help: WORLDCLOCK.COM
WHAT ARE THE TIPPING AND GRATUITY GUIDELINES FOR A ZAMBIA SAFARI?
TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE, THAT IS THE QUESTION! AND IF SO HOW MUCH.
This is one of the questions we are asked most often prior to departure: How much should we tip?
THE FOLLOWING IS ZAMBIA TIPPING GUIDELINE:
Safari Guide / Game Ranger at Camps & Game Lodges : US$ 10 per guest per day.
Trackers at Camps & Game Lodges : US$ 5 per guest per day.
General Staff at Camps & Game LodgeS : US$ 5 per guest per day.
Porterage : US$ 1 per person per movement. Restaurants / Hotels : 10% is customary.
DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS FOR ZAMBIA? IS ZAMBIA A MALARIA FREE AREA?
NO, there is no formal requirement for any shots for entry into ZAMBIA however, we highly recommend that you do take precautions against malaria, particularly in the ZAMBIAN summer months. Your physician will be able to assist you with a prescription for prophylaxis for malaria prior to your arrival in the malaria infested area.
Tips on avoiding Malaria : Take a prescription antimalarial drug. Use insect repellent liberally and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites. Sleep in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or use bednets. To maximize the benefit of inoculations/immunizations we suggest you see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. Please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations.
Please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations.
For further information please click on the following link CDC.gov
CAN I DRINK TAP WATER IN ZAMBIA?
Although tap water may be fine in most areas for bathing and brushing teeth, we recommend that you drink bottled water at all times.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR A SAFARI IN ZAMBIA?
RULE OF THUMB – DON’T PACK TOO MUCH
The other most frequently asked question. As a general guideline, comfortable casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. If you are going on safari, the less you take the better as most camps lodges and hotels do offer laundry service if you are staying at least two days.
Muted colors such as stone, khaki, beige or brown are recommended when you are on safari. Game drives in the early morning and evenings can BE VERY COLD especially in winter so you must pack accordingly. “BUT WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA- WHY WOULD IT BE COLD?” Trust us, we know! The key is to dress in layers in the early morning and strip down layer by layer as it gets warmer as the sun rises. Vice versa for evening game drives.
Light weight shirts/blouses with long sleeves as protection from the sun and mosquitos
Jeans or safari trousers
A light weight water-proof jacket
Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
Comfortable walking sandals or flip flops for warmer days
A wide brimmed hat with under-chin tie to prevent it from flying away
A WARM WINDPROOF jacket (winter)
A fleece jacket that will go under the warm jacket (winter)
A warm polo neck shirt (winter)
A beanie (winter)
A warm scarf (winter)
Equipment & OtherSunglasses
Spare prescription eye glasses/contact lenses
Cameras and related paraphernalia like lenses etc and plenty of memory cards and spare batteries
A small powerful flashlight and extra batteries
Travel alarm clock
Small purse size umbrella can come in handy
Small lint roller
A light packable backpack or tote to carry equipment and stuff on game vehicles
A supply of Ziploc bags in different sizes may come in handy for dust or water proofing cameras , wet bathing suits etc.
Chargers for cell phones, iPads, cameras, computers and you may want to invest in a mini travel charger surge protector with dual USB ports and five charging outlets.
Personal First Aid KitBand aids
Itch spray for bug bites
Sunscreen with high SPF factor
Purse size kleenex packets
“make you go ” pills “make you not go” pills as well as any prescription medications that you reply on on a daily basis.