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USEFUL INFORMATION FOR TRAVEL TO ZAMBIA
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. There should be sufficient blank pages for any visa as well as for entry stamps upon arrival.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON PASSPORT PAGES: It is the responsibility of each traveler to make sure their passport is valid and has sufficient “VISA” pages to stamp entry visas. Please note the last 3 pages on the passport are “NOT VISA” pages; they are amendment pages, and thus visa cannot be stamped on these pages. There should be at least a minimum of 2 blank (unstamped) “VISA” pages for each country to be visited. Failure to have 2 blank (unstamped) “VISA” pages you run the risk of being denied entry even when in possession of valid passport.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Before entering Zambia, you will have to get anti-malaria tablets. When purchasing these, please tell your doctor or pharmacist which areas in Zambia you intend visiting. Start your course at least 24 hours before entering Zambia and continue taking the pills for six weeks after leaving the country. If you suffer from side effects, try taking your pills at night after dinner. Take precautionary measures to prevent contact with mosquitoes, like: sleeping under a bed net or in a room/tent with mosquito proofing (remember to keep the flaps zipped at all times); spraying your accommodation with insecticide; making use of a mosquito repelling lotion or stick; and wearing long-sleeved clothing, trousers and socks when outside at night.
An International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever is required for visitors to northern and western Zambia. Immunization against hepatitis A and B and tetanus is recommended.
Visitors from or passing through a yellow fever and cholera zone must be able to produce a valid certificate of immunization. Air travelers who only pass through the airports of such a zone need not worry about this.
Health care: in the major towns (particularly Lusaka and Livingstone) is good, but is limited in remote areas, including game parks. Cash payment is required for medical services. Therefore, it is essential that your medical insurance covers your trip to Zambia. It is advisable to bring any medicines that you may require and a first aid kit.INSURANCE: It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out at the time of confirming your booking. This should cover any medical situation (such as hospitalization), as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and your baggage.
CLIMATE: SUMMER: November – March WINTER: April – August
Zambia’s elevation on a plateau gives it a moderate to tropical climate. There are three seasons, cool and dry from April to August, hot and dry from September to October and warm and wet from November to March.
Average temperatures range from 23ºC(73ºF) in winter to 30ºC (86ºF) in summer, when conditions can be humid. In the river valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa, it only becomes very hot in the month of October.
Zambia’s distinctive seasons provide visitors with different perspectives depending on the time of year. The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season. At the end of the dry season, October to December, the water levels are low and one can see the magnificent rock formation. Game viewing is excellent year round, particularly from June to October.
About 99% of the population are made up of over 70 indigenous tribal groups. The major groups are Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja and Tongo.
Zambia is a landlocked country, bordering eight countries. It is a vast plateau covered by deciduous savannah, small trees, grassy plains and marshland.
The plateau slopes down in the south to the fertile Zambezi plain, with Victoria Falls at the southern end of man-made Lake Kariba.
The region around the falls can be described as rainforest. The major rivers are the Zambezi, Kafue and the Luangwa.
SOUVENIRS: Local crafts, including wooden and soapstone carvings, can be purchased from markets and at roadside stalls along major tourist routes.
Traditional instruments including drums, whistles and thumb pianos can be purchased, which make fascinating souvenirs.PHOTOGRAPHY: Film is available at most game lodges, but stocks are usually small and of the common sizes only. For game and bird photography a telephoto lens of between 200 and 300mm is strongly recommended.
Larger lenses, which require a tripod, are generally impractical for game photography from vehicles, as are double lens reflex cameras.
A lens hood and ultra violet filter are advisable and a dust cover (plastic bag) is essential. Remember to bring spare batteries for your camera, as these are seldom available on safari. Binoculars are invaluable for bird and game viewing.
10, 5, 2 and 1 ngwee.
Generally, fine cuisine, wine, and entertainment cost a fraction of the tariff charged by equivalent establishments elsewhere in the world.
TIPPING: Tipping is not customary in Zambia. Many camps/lodges have communal tipping box, if in doubt ask what the standard practice is or use your own discretion. We suggest $5.00 -$10.00 per couple per day. A service charge of 10% is included in the bill. Bargaining for local goods is acceptable. CREDIT CARDS: All major credit cards are accepted at the bigger hotels and shops. Certain lodges do not accept payment by Diners or American Express.
BANKS: There are choices of banks in major towns as well as bureau de change, which usually offer better exchange rates than banks. Bank hours are generally 08:15 – 14:30, Monday to Friday. Off the tourist routes, there are not many banks and you will need a supply of cash. Entrance to the game reserves must be paid in the local currency, the kwacha.
COMMUNICATION: The international dialing code for calling Zambia is +260.
A direct international dialing service is available from the hotels in major towns. Both local and long distance calls are metered on a time basis.
Top hotels and businesses have fax and e-mail services. Hotels levy a substantial surcharge on all calls. Guests staying at private game lodges can communicate with the “outside world” via the Zambian telephone system or by satellite telephone.
The cost of a satellite call is approximately US$4 per minute.ELECTRICITY: Electricity is supplied at 220/240 volts AC. Outlets are of the three-pin, 13-amp type. Lodges in the more remote areas of Zambia do not have electricity. These lodges generally rely on generator power for lighting and refrigeration, and this power only runs at certain times of the day.
Please be aware that at these lodges, you will not find plug sockets in your room or tent.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year. The most practical items to pack for safari are:
VERY IMPORTANT: Packing space is limited on all modes of safari transport, so you will need to restrict your baggage to 12–15kg (preferably packed in a soft bag) plus a reasonable amount of camera equipment.
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