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Zambia - Info & Facts

Zambia is well known for its remarkable scenery, wildlife and remoteness. You could easily lose yourself for 1-2 weeks. Below are our suggested length of stays in the key areas.

Livingstone 2-3 nights, Lower Zambezi 2-5 nights, South Luangwa 2-5 nights, Kafue National Park 2-5 nights, Lusaka 1-2 nights, Liuwa Plains 4-5 nights

 

Modes of transport 

Road 

The easiest routes into Zambia are to and from Zimbabwe, which in turn is well connected to South Africa. It’s also straightforward to drive to Livingstone from the Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, northern Botswana, Malawi and southwest Tanzania. Border crossings are generally open 0600-1800 except for the Victoria Falls crossing which closes at 2000.

Zambia’s land borders with Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique are open, but border controls here can be slow. There is a risk of landmines on the Angola side of the Zambia/Angola border and on the Zambia/DRC and Zambia/Mozambique borders.

Air

From Australia, you will fly into Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport in South Africa before transferring into Zambia.  

There are direct flights between Johannesburg and Lusaka and Livingstone.

Regular flights from Johannesburg to Lusaka/Livingstone can be booked with South African Airways or British Airways. 

Scheduled light aircraft depart from Livingstone and Lusaka and fly into a number of the National Parks and Game Reserves.

Climate

The general elevation of Zambia gives a more pleasant climate than that experienced in most tropical countries. 

Zambia has three distinct seasons:

May to August - A cool, dry winter period. Water levels in rivers and water courses tend to drop during this period and the game viewing gets progressively better as animals concentrate around permanent water.

August to mid-November - A hot and dry period. October and the early part of November prior to the onset of rains are quite hot in both the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys with temperatures regularly sitting in the mid-40's. Game tends to concentrate and if you can handle the warmer temperatures, then this is an exceptional time for game viewing.

Mid-November to the end of April - A warm wet season. The beginning of the rains makes the remote areas difficult to explore and many seasonal camps are closed. A limited number of "green season" safaris are available. 

Food

Camps, hotels and lodges cater to overseas visitors and will often serve international cuisine. The quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps astounds many visitors. If you do have any special dietary requirements please let your specialist know and we can arrange for the lodges and hotels to cater for your requirements.

Zambia's native cuisine is based on nshima, a cooked porridge made from ground maize. This is usually served with a tasty relish of meat, fish or vegetables. 

Drinking water

Tap water in the major towns are purified and perfectly safe to drink. When visiting remote areas it is advisable to use purification tablets or drink bottled mineral water. Plenty of water must be drunk to prevent dehydration. 

Visas

Australian citizens require a visa for stays up to 90 days. The visa can be obtained on arrival for approximately USD$50 for a single entry. Oasis accepts no responsibility regarding the issue of visas.

Money

The currency of Zambia is the Zambian kwacha (Kw). 

As of April 2017, the current exchange rate is 1AUD = 7ZMW. 

The notes are in denominations of K2, K10, K20, K50, K100 and there are coins for smaller denominations. 

Hotels and lodges will accept payment for food and drinks in either US$ or Kwacha. However, due to a number of forgeries, nobody in Zambia, including banks, will accept US$100 notes, so it is best to carry smaller denominations. 

Most hotels, restaurants and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.

ATMs are available within Lusaka, Livingstone and other major towns in Zambia. The bigger banks have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.

Inoculations & health precautions

Some safari camps are situated in malaria-risk areas; it is vital to have good medical insurance before you travel and consult your general practitioner. 

Consulate Assistance

The Australian consulate in Zambia is currently closed. 

Please contact the Australian consulate in Zimbabwe.

Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harare

Address

1 Green Close

Borrowdale, Harare

Telephone: + 263-4 853 235 55

Facsimile: + 263-4 870 566

Email: zimbabwe.embassy@dfat.gov.au

Electricity

Voltage: 220-240 Volts

UK & Europe 

Getting there 

South African Airways and Qantas are the main International airlines that depart from Australia. 

Non-stop flight time Sydney – Johannesburg approximately 14 hours

Non-stop flight time Perth – Johannesburg approximately 11 hours

Non-stop flight time Johannesburg – Livingstone approximately 1.5 hours

Non-stop flight time Johannesburg – Lusaka approximately 2 hours

Time difference GMT: +2 hours 

Tipping Guideline 

Guide - USD$10 per person per day

Camp Staff – USD$5 per person per day

10% Restaurant bills.