Zambia Passports and Visas
All visitors are required to be carrying a valid passport
with at least six months remaining between the date of departure from the country and the date of expiration and sufficient blank pages for stamps and visas.
Most nationalities require a visa
to enter Zambia.
To obtain a visa on arrival
you will need to pay in cash US$, you may need to have the correct amount as change may not be forthcoming and you will need to comply with the passport regulations listed above. The price is around US$50 for single entry, US$80 for multiple entry.
Alternatively you can obtain a visa in advance using the links below.
If you are travelling on an Indian passport
and booking a trip with us from India then all your visa requirements will be sorted for you by our office in Mumbai.
Offically you may also be required to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds
for the duration of your trip, although in reality this is something which is rarely asked and the chances are that by local standards the amount of cash that you have on you will be sufficient.
You may also be required to show a departure ticket
, although again it is quite rare to be asked for this.
You do not need to take additional passport photos with you.
If you are asked on your Visa Application or Entry Certificate for 'local contact details', you can simply put the details of your first lodge and the phone number provided on your confirmation paperwork.Be sure that you passport is stamped with the correct departure date or you could encounter serious problems.
Travellers arriving from or having transited through countries where yellow fever
is endemic may be required to show a suitable certificate of vaccination
in order to gain entry into the country. This includes endemic countries such Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as of marginal risk countries such as Somalia and Tanzania. This requirement also and unusually includes arrival from and transit through South Africa.
We cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information. Please be sure to check for updates from the relevant authorities ...
London : for UK and Europe ... www.zambiahc.org.uk
Washington : North, Central and South America ... www.zambiaembassy.org
Please refer to our section on health
for information on vaccinations, malaria and other health issues.
Zambia Currency and Money
The currency in Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha
Approximate exchange rate : USD 1 = ZMK 5.3
Note that the ZMK was "re-based" in January 2013, with three zeros being taken off. So the exchange rate changed from 5300 to the dollar to 5.3 to the dollar. So do make sure that you don't pay 1000x too much for anything!
This cannot usually be exchanged back into hard currency, so whatever you change you will have to either spend, give away or take home.
It is worth noting that your on-the-ground expenditure in most parts of Africa should not be as high as you might be used on other trips since all of your accommodation is pre-paid, with many of your meals and activities also being included.
We recommend taking a modest amount of cash US$, a small proportion of which you can change into local currency. Then back this up with debit and credit cards.
Government legislation in 2012 now obliges all vendors within Zambia to only accept local currency as payment for goods and services. Since Zambian Kwacha can not usually be obtained outside the country, this obliges you to either change money on arrival and/or have a debit/credit card handy in order to withdraw ZMK from an ATM. This does not apply to visas, which can still be purchased in US$, but once past customs you will need to obtain Kwacha, notably for departure tax on any subsequent flights.
Exchanging US$ for ZMK is possible in most locations, although exchange rates will vary. Larger, newer and better condition US$ bills generally attract a better exchange rate. Note that some US$ banknotes may not be accepted due to the high levels of counterfeit currency in circulation in Africa. We recommend that you only travel with US$ bills dated 2006 or later
Other hard currencies can sometimes be used, notably Euro, although may be subject to more unfavourable rates of exchange.
Credit and debit cards are now accepted at most major stores and lodges and can be used to make payments. Virtually all locations charge a significant premium for using a card, 5% to 10% is common, higher rates in excess of 25% can be encountered.
Travellers checks are no longer widely accepted.
It may be significantly easier and cheaper to carry cash
, but this does obviously heighten the risk of loss or theft. Refer to the section on crime
for more information.
There are very few cash machines or ATM's, except in the major urban centres, where banks can also be found.
If you ever run out of money, then your safari operator or lodge owner should be able to bail you out, with our assistance where necessary.
When trying to assess exactly how much cash to take, most people seem to settle on somewhere between US$50 and US$200 per person per day. The more you take, the more you are likely to bring back home with you. It is more a case of how much you feel comfortable carrying. Note that your largest expenditure is likely to be tips
, which could exceed US$25 per person per day.
Generally speaking Zambia is a safe place to visit, although travellers should make themselves aware of any issues.
Refer to the general section on safety
and the more specific section on crime
Socket outlets are almost universally the British three rectangular pin variety, although you may also encounter South African three round pin sockets, both 230V/50Hz.
Most good lodges provide univerals adaptors, although we always recommend bringing your own.