21st Century Zambia's
There are two points of entry into Zambia. One is via the Tazara line
from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which only goes as far as Kapiri Mposhi.
From there, one can change trains (and stations) for the journey to
Lusaka. There are two trains a week running in each direction. The schedules
are unreliable and should be confirmed prior to travel. First second
and third class (not recommended) are offered. Dining is not available
and very often neither is water. Expect full immigration and customs
checks when crossing the border. The other line is from Zimbabwe, via
Victoria Falls town to Livingstone. Trains run every second day from
Livingstone to Lusaka.
Zambia can be entered by road from Congo D.R, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique,
Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia. : All road borders are open 24 hours
a day except for Chembe, Kazungula, Kariba and Chirundu, which are
open from 06h00 to 18h00. Victoria Falls Bridge is open untill 20h00.
The only water access to Zambia is on Lake Tanganyika . The MV Liemba,
one of the world’s oldest operating steam ships, runs scheduled
services from Bujumbura in Burundi, via Kigoma in Tanzania and docks
at Mpulungu in Zambia. The ferry takes vehicles, cargo and passenger
in first, second and third class (not recommended). Compartments and
meals are available. Delays of up to twenty four hours are possible.
There are numerous banks in the major towns as well as many bureaux
de change. Hours of business vary from bank to bank, but most are
open from 9h00 to 14h30, Mondays to Fridays, and 9h00 - 11h30 on Saturdays.
Some Banks open the first and last Saturday of the month.
Government offices are open from 08h00 to 17h00, Monday to Friday.
Closed from 13h00 to 14h00.
Bank hours vary from bank to bank but most are open from 08h30 - 14h30
Monday to Friday. Only some are open on Saturdays.
Shops are generally open from 08h00 to 17h00, Monday to Friday although
some stay open until 19h00 and on Saturdays from 08h00 to 13h00 although
some stay open til 17h00.
Zambia has three distinct seasons. December to April: warm and wet,
May to August: cool and dry. September to November: hot and dry. Average
temperatures in Summer range from 25° C to 35° C and in winter
from 6° C to 24° C.
The Zambian Kwacha is officially divided into 100 Ngwee to 1 Kwacha and since the 2013 Rebasing exercise, the Kwacha has denominations
of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 & 100. As of September 2014 US$1
= K 6.35
There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided
it is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form.
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.
There are a limited number of sporting and social clubs in the major
towns. Visitors are usually welcomed. Some charge a temporary membership
Postal services are fairly well organised in Zambia and you should
have no problem sending or receiving letters. Telegrams are less certain.
There are two commercial Internet servers in Lusaka and another on
E-mail: There are several Internet Cafes in Livingstone and Lusaka.
Businet Internet Cafe in Lusaka is conveniently located at the Southern
Sun Hotel (Ridgeway). Cyberweb is in Los Angeles Boulevard near the
golf course and Firstnet is just off Cairo Rd. The main Internet Service
Providers are IConnect, Zamnet and two others
are Coppernet and Zamtel.
Public telephones are available in most public buildings, ie. post
offices, and most use tokens. International calls can also be made
from a private home or large hotel. (Note the surcharge at hotels
is quite high). Direct dialling to neighbouring countries requires
4 sets of numbers: first the international prefix 00, then the country
code, the city code, then the number. Incoming calls usually cost
less than outgoing calls from Zambia. To book an operator assisted
international call, dial 090 or 093. Local directory assistance is
103. There are secretarial services along Cairo Rd in Lusaka that
offer telephone, fax and telex and email facilities for a fee.
Travellers may, for their own consumption, import 2.5 litres of duty
free beer, wine or spirits and 400 cigarettes or 500gms of tobacco.
There are buses from Dar es Salaam and Mbeya in Tanzania, to the Copperbelt
and Lusaka, as well as from Lilongwe and Harare to Lusaka. Other privately
owned companies run domestic services over a number of routes There
is a bus terminus behind Shoprite supermarket in Cairo Rd.
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. .
Currently there are scheduled flights available to Chipata, Kitwe,
Kasama, Kasaba Bay, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Mongu, Mansa and Ndola.
Zambian Airways flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe (South Luangwa), 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
Departure tax is US$20, payable in hard currency. Travellers cheques
are not acceptable.
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.
The following items may be imported into Zambia without incurring
400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco; One bottle of spirits and wine
and 2.5 litres of beer (opened); 1oz bottle of perfume.
Note: 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.
Local current is 220v, 50 cycle AC
The government of Zambia is elected in a multi-party general election
every five years. Up until 1991, when the first multy-party elections
were held, the country was ruled by Kenneth Kaunda in a one party
state. The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and their leader
Frederick Chiluba, are now the ruling government. Their economic policy
is to move Zambia from a centralised, state driven economy to a more
liberal open market economy that is private sector driven. The Government
has put in place the necessary incentives to encourage private investment
which includes privatisation of State owned companies, rehabilitation
of strategic infrastructure, a stable monetary policy and the recent
enactment of the Competition and Fair Trade Act.
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 travellers who only
pass through the airports of such a zone are exempt from the requirement.
See Health International/ MARS, and Speciality Emergency Services
for Medical Rescue Services.
Airlines serving Zambia are: Zambian Airways, Air Botswana, Air Malawi,
Air Tanzania, Air Zaire, Air Zimbabwe, Angolan Airlines, British Airways,
Kenya Airways, Royal Air Swazi, South African Airways, Comair, 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
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. Bemba is the next most commonly understood language,
followed by Nyanja Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe and Tumbuka.
INTERNATIONAL: Commonwealth, GATT, ILO, IMF, NAM, UN, WB, WHO
REGIONAL: African Development Bank, Common Market for East and Southern
Africa (COMESA) OAU, Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Magazines: Lusaka Lowdown has Maps of Lusaka, reviews of accommodation
and restaurants, consumer affairs, articles on tourism and other Zambian
issues, life in Lusaka, regular features, interesting links and an
archive of back issues.
::: Daily Mail
::: The Post
::: Times of Zambia
::: The Monitor
Radio Stations: Mulungushi (FM), RadioPhoenix, QFM,
Hot FM, Christian Voice(Lusaka), Rock FM, Power FM, metro FM,
Trinity Broadcasting, Radio Icelengo, Voice of America, BBC and radio
Canada can be picked up on FM.
TV Stations: ZNBC (2 channels), Muvi TV, Mobi TV and Prime TV to major metropolitan centres in
English. Mnet and Satelite TV
Other Zambian Sites Zambia on Line (general Zambia e-zine)
Zambiz Business Directory, Lyrics
Africa (Zambian music), The
Best Of Zambia (Directory & Info site)
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.
Check directory for Emergency Services 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 organisations; one in Lusaka and one in Copperbelt. (Check
Petrol and diesel can be readily obtained in all major towns, but
shortages are common in the remote areas so 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.
Travellers should carry an adequate supply of their prescribed medicines
with them although chemists in the major centres now carry a wide
range of medicines and first aid accessories.. There are some emergency
chemists open after hours or Sundays in Lusaka
Monday 1st January - New Year’s Day
Monday 12th March - Youth Day
Friday April - Good Friday
Saturday April - Holy Saturday
Monday April -Easter Monday
Tuesday 1st May- Labour Day
Friday 25th May - Africa Freedom day
Monday 2nd July - Heroes’ Day
Tuesday 3rd July - Unity Day
Monday 6th August - Farmers’ Day
Wednesday 24th October - Independence Day
Tuesday 25th December - Christmas Day
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. Other private bus companies offer more reliable
services to Livingstone, Harare and Johannesburg.
There is freedom of worship in Zambia with over 15 different churches.
Christianity is followed by over 60% of the population.
Zambia has a total road length of 38763kms tarred roads, 8592kms gravel
roads and 21999 kms dirt roads. Zambia is notorious for potholes and
roadsigns are few, but there are major roadworks 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 roadmarkings 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, secondary roads 100km/h
and in urban built up areas 65 km/h unless otherwise indicated.
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.
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.
Tipping is discouraged as it is included as service charge on your
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 authorisation 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.
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