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Zambia general information

Zambia general information

General country information

How can I make a call to or from Zambia? What is Zambia's currency? What time is it in Zambia? – just some of the questions travellers have, when going on a Zambia safari holiday for the first time. Below we've tried to answer common questions.

Know before you go

As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign Office advice on the places that you're going to - regardless of where you are travelling to, or how you are travelling. See FCO's Zambia advice here, or its info on other countries here.
We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.

Time in Zambia

Zambia is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). There's no time difference between the summer and winter months, since Zambia doesn't operate daylight saving times.

Currency in Zambia

Zambia's currency is the Zambian Kwacha (ZMW), and at time of writing (Apr 2024) £1 = Kw31.15 – please see for the latest rates. Camps usually charge in UK£ or US$; credit cards are accepted by most, although many have a surcharge. Most visitors heading out on safari don't get any Kwacha in advance of their arrival in Zambia.

Zambia's International Dialling Code

Calling to Zambia, you dial the international country code (00)260, followed by an area code (e.g. (0)21 for Lusaka) and the local number; calling from Zambia, you dial 00 and the relevant country code (e.g. +44 for the UK, or +1 for the US). Calls on a landline to the UK with Zambia's largest telecommunications operator, Zamtel, cost approx US$3.50 per minute (Apr 24).

Food in Zambia

The standard of food at Zambian safari camps is very high; the majority serve delicious international fare.

The local Zambian cuisine is based on nshima – cooked porridge made from ground maize, served with tasty meat or dried fish. The local beers (Mosi, Castle and Rhino) are good, as are imported South African beers and wines. Soft drinks are available everywhere, although choices are often limited.

Health in Zambia

Zambia is a tropical country and several vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio, hepatitis, tetanus and possibly meningitis C). Malaria is common; you should take antimalarials. Always check the latest recommendations with your doctor or travel clinic, and perhaps see the Scottish NHS website for more useful travel information on Zambia.

HIV infection rates are high; AIDS is prevalent here. This isn't usually an issue for travellers, but they should be aware of the situation, and take the same sensible precautions to avoid infection which are wise in most countries. We understand that blood supplies used by the private hospitals here have been carefully screened for many years.

Language in Zambia

Zambia's official language is English, which is spoken by most people. Beside this, there are more than 70 different dialects spoken in Zambia, with the most common being Bemba; Bemba is also used for administration and education.

Luggage restrictions for Zambia

Most transfers between parks use light aircraft which results in a luggage restriction of 12-15kg per person, packed in squashable bags. Travellers require only comfortable, casual clothes and camps have efficient laundry services. If you have a lot of excess luggage, then discuss this with us before you book.

Taking children to Zambia

Many camps are unsuitable for children, who will always need full-time supervision when on safari. However, one or two now offer excellent family holidays specifically tailored for children, so please ask us for details or see our suggestions for family holidays in Zambia.

Visas for Zambia

At the time of writing (Apr 2024), most nationalities can, on arrival, either receive a free visa or can buy a visa for Zambia, using UK pounds or US dollars cash. Ask us for guidance and check with your nearest Zambia Embassy or High Commission for the latest detail; If you're in the UK then contact the Zambia High Commission.

Weather and climate in Zambia

Zambia's climate is tropical, with a wet and a dry season; for details of Zambia's climate, and the best times to visit, see our weather and climate in Zambia guide.

Our top picks for holidays to Zambia

We'll always tailor-make your Safari for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$13,200 - US$18,440 per person

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Perekani Walking Trail

10 days • 5 locations

Five smart but rustic bushcamps are the comfortable staging posts for this walking safari in South Luangwa. The route offers outstanding seclusion and rich wildlife with top-quality guiding throughout.

US$9,250 - US$11,500 per person

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Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$9,760 - US$13,820 per person

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Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$8,060 - US$10,020 per person

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Hippo Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining excellent game with aspects of remoter safari in South Luangwa, as well as the cultural delights of Livingstone, this trip also makes use of long-stay discounts, making it an excellent-value and well-rounded adventure.

US$7,480 - US$8,820 per person

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Giraffe Safari

9 days • 3 locations

A safari to the remotest parts of Zambia’s Luangwa Valley. Perfect for experienced safari goers and first-time Africa adventurers. Explore with expert guides whilst staying at small bushcamps.

US$8,390 - US$9,740 per person

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Defassa Waterbuck Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Stay in three intimate, owner-run camps during this exploration of Kafue National Park. Remote locations, true wilderness and a range of activities make for a real adventure off the beaten track.

US$8,240 - US$8,670 per person

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Civet Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining three intimate bushcamps in the quieter south of the South Luangwa, this safari will appeal to those looking for an interesting mix of walking and vehicle safari.

US$7,480 - US$9,230 per person

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Purple Roller Safari

8 days • 2 locations

Explore the varied habitats and terrain of Kafue National Park with stays in two wonderfully remote bushcamps: sister camps that offer access to both the centre of the park and the wildlife-rich Busanga Plains.

US$8,790 - US$9,320 per person

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Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in four-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$9,400 - US$12,260 per person

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