Zambia is the home of the legendary walking safari, the Mosi oa Tunya - the smoke that thunders (Victoria Falls), the mighty Zambezi River, abundant indigenous wildlife, the worlds’ largest mammal migration of fruit bats in Kasanka National Park, the worlds’ longest and presumed deepest Lake Tanganyika and vast open spaces . This is where to discover the last truly authentic safari experience of days gone by. Acknowledged as one of the safest countries in the world to visit, Zambia’s welcoming people live in peace and harmony and have a great sense of humour.
Zambia offers some of the finest Safari experiences in Africa, from face to face encounters on a walking safari, day and night game drives, canoeing, cycling, Tiger fishing, dining and sleep outs under the stars, specialist birding, hides, private guiding and vehicles, expert guides, romantics weddings and honeymoons, camping on your own island, cultural visits and conservation projects. Bush cuisine is a highlight so do indulge in freshly baked goods produced using local skills and techniques. Experience village life in rural areas or try some of the adrenaline-thrills like sitting on the edge of the Victoria Falls in Devils Pool or a microlight flight over the Falls and end your day with a sundowner and a guaranteed spectacular sunset.
Adjust your pace to our natural rhythm and let your soul find perfect peace in this remote wilderness. However you choose to spend your time in Zambia you are bound to leave with a heavy heart and a desire to return again soon.
Do look out for our unique and endemic animals. Zambia has all the animals you’d expect to find on an African safari—elephants lumbering across the plains, cheetahs stalking prey, hippos peeking their eyes above the water’s surface. The country, however, offers something more—a stunning amount of wildlife diversity. Go beyond the iconic, well-known species and discover the rare and unusual wildlife of this untouched, spellbinding place.
1. Thornicroft’s giraffe has dark, large leaf-shaped spots that travel down its cream-colored leg. This subspecies was named after Harry Scott Thornicroft, the then commissioner of North-Western Rhodesia. Distinguishable by its stunning skin pattern, this isolated population of giraffes is only found in South Luangwa Valley.
2. Roan antelope is sometimes confused with the sable antelope but has a lighter coat. Travelers who witness two males fighting for dominance over the herd—a relatively common occurrence—will see them drop to their knees and then violently clash their horns together.
3. Puku is a medium size antelope with golden-reddish coats. Males are distinguishable by their beautiful short, slightly curved horns. Large groups of puku can be seen in floodplains during the dry season.
4. Bushpig has short legs, a long snout, small eyes and a round body. Generally nocturnal, the bushpig is found in groups of a dozen or so members.
5. Crawshay’s zebra have narrower stripes and lack the light-brown shadow stripe found on other zebras. This distinct subspecies of the plains zebra can be found in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.
6. White-tailed mongoose - This carnivore is the largest of all mongooses. Its hind legs are longer than its front legs, and its back, consequently, appears rounded. Travelers are most likely to see the solitary, nocturnal animal during a night safari. Even if you don’t see it, you may hear its high-pitched cry or smell its skunk-like odour, which is used to fend off predators.
7. Tree-climbing lions - Though only a theory, some wildlife experts hypothesize lions climb trees to avoid the biting insects in the savanna grasses. In Kafue National Park it’s possible to find lions lounging in the limbs of fig trees. Unusual behavior for the big cat and a dream come true for nature photographers.
8. Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is a large antelope with high shoulders and a yellowish-brown coat. It’s easily recognizable by its horns, which both the males and females possess, that curve inward and then out in an “S” pattern.
9. Pangolin gets its name from the derivative of the Malay word “pengguling”, which roughly translates to “something that rolls up.” The species’ shy nature and nocturnal habits makes it anything but certain. Often called “the scaly anteater,” as it is covered in overlapping keratin scales and can roll itself into an impenetrable ball when being attacked by a predator.
10. Cookson’s wildebeest is endemic to the Luangwa Valley, this subspecies is distinguishable from other wildebeest by its smaller stature and the light, reddish bands that run along its side.
11. Endemic species include - Ansell’s Shrew, Bangweulu Tsessebe, Black Lechwe, Cookson’s Wildebeest, Pitman’s Shrew, Rosevear’s Striped Grass Mouse, Sakeji Horseshoe Bat and Zambian Mole-rat, Black-cheeked Lovebird, White-chested Tinkerbird and the Zambian Barbet.
Please check link to see which VISA is applicable to your passport.
If your passport allows a KAZA VISA on arrival please note the following.
You will need a passport valid for six months and an appropriate visa to enter Zambia (preferably with a minimum of 2 blank pages). Please obtain a multiple entry visa or KAZA visa.
The KAZA UNIVISA costs USD 50 and allows tourists to obtain one visa to visit both countries multiple times. The visa is valid up to 30 days as long as the holder remains within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers those who visit Botswana for day-trips through Kazungula Borders. (You may need a multiple entry visa for Zambia.)
Banking and Currency
Zambia's unit of currency is the Kwacha (ZMW), formally ZMK which was rebased in 2013. The denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2. It is subdivided into 100 ngwee. Coins available are K1, 50 ngwee, 10 ngwee and 5 ngwee.
However, some prices are quoted in US$. It is therefore possible to use dollars and pounds as well.
In the cities and larger towns, you can change cash and travellers cheques at branches of Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. Larger branches have ATMs that accept Visa. Foreign exchange offices are easy to find in cities and larger towns.
Banks are generally open on weekdays from 08h150 to 15h30 and 08h15 to 12h00 on Saturdays. Banks are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
Proflight flies from Lusaka to Mfuwe (South Luangwa), to Livingstone and the Copperbelt and also does 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 by air.
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 inquire about timetables. Other private bus companies offer more reliable services to Livingstone, Harare and Johannesburg.
Travel by Bus
Long range buses frequently leave from Lusaka to all the main towns. The intercity bus terminal can be found one road up from Cairo Road at the station.
Minibuses and taxis, local transport – all painted blue – can be jumped on at pretty much any juncture. They’re not expensive and you can always find a minibus that won’t cost too much to buy all the seats in it to get your own private minibus to wherever you want to go but you’ll have to negotiate.
Travel by Road
Zambia has 38,763 kilometres of roads, about 10,000 kms of which are tarred and another 8000 kms are gravel road. The rest range from reasonable to bad dirt roads.
If you’re doing a vehicle trip through Zambia it is a good idea to carry a range of tools and essential spares with you.
Be really careful, especially if travelling at night for road markings are usually non existent. Do watch out for animals in the road, vehicles without lights, pedestrians, unannounced roadworks, bad drivers and broken down trucks with no warning triangles. If you see a tree branch in the road, slow down immediately – these are improvised warning triangles and there’s bound to be a truck or car in the middle of the road up ahead.
Be sure to have all your vehicle papers on hand as you’re bound to encounter a few roadblocks.
Health and Medical Information
Health and Insurance
The tour price does not include personal insurance. All guests must have comprehensive travel and medical insurance, including trip delay/cancellation and emergency evacuation cover by air if needed, hospitalization & repatriation; baggage loss and loss of funds through cancellation or curtailment of package booked. Ntanda Ventures Ltd cannot be held responsible for the financial costs involved in the evacuation or medical treatment of any guest or any disruptions in itineraries due to external circumstances.
* There are many exciting excursions and activities (with an element of risk) within Zambia, so medical insurance with repatriation is of paramount importance.
* Anti-malarial prophylaxis are recommended, to prevent you from contracting maleria, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Consult your medical practitioner. It is important to adhere strictly to the dosages, especially for the four to six weeks after their stay in Africa. Guests are further advised to use mosquito repellent and wear long clothing in the evenings and sleep under a mosquito net at night to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
Inoculations: A yellow fever certificate is mandatory if you are travelling from an infected area. Vaccinations for cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are advised. Consult your medical practitioner.
Carrying Medicines: A small personal medical kit will give you extra comfort if you do become ill whilst on holiday. However please be aware that any medication MUST be accompanied with a doctor’s prescription. The Zambian government strictly enforces the law when it comes to drugs of any sort. Many drugs that you can buy across the counter in other countries, such as strong painkillers etc. are classified as prohibited in Zambia. If in doubt, get an official prescription and make sure your medication is in a sealed container.
Wildlife can roam freely near national parks. When staying at lodges please take the utmost care when walking about. If you come across game, do not approach the animal. Elephants in particular can move very fast and can be very dangerous – they are scared of humans and can react suddenly without warning. Nile crocodiles occur in the rivers and lakes in Zambia. We advise you not to swim in any local waterways.
Please do not buy any curios that are made from any animal material.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
Zambia's native cuisine is based on nshima, a cooked porridge made from ground maize normally accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes, or dried fish. Safari camps will often prepare nshima if requested, and it is almost always available in small, local restaurants.
Camps, hotels and lodges that cater to overseas visitors tend to serve a range of international fare, and the quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps is typically excellent.
Water in the main towns is usually purified, provided there are no shortages of chlorine, breakdowns, or other mishaps. The locals drink it, and are used to the relatively innocuous bugs that it may harbour. If you are in the country for a long time, then it may be worth acclimatising yourself to it. However, if you are in Zambia for just a few weeks, then try to drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water in town.
Out in the bush, most of the camps and lodges use water from bore-holes. These underground sources vary in quality, but are normally perfectly safe to drink.
Climate and Weather
The rains in Zambia come mostly in December, January, February and March though the further north you are, the earlier the rains arrive and the later they leave. Eastern areas and higher areas generally receive more rain than western and lowland areas.
By April and May most of the rain has faded away, leaving a landscape that's still green, but starting to dry out. Nighttime temperatures start to drop, especially in higher and more southerly locations.
In June, July and August the nights become much cooler, but the days are clear and warm. Make sure you bring warm clothes to wrap up if you're out at night, as some nights get very cold! Most of Zambia's small 'walking bush camps' open at the start of June, when the roads have dried out sufficiently to allow access. This is the start of the 'peak season' for these countries – with often cloudless days and continually increasing game sightings.
Into September and October the temperatures climb: the lower-lying rift valleys – Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools and Luangwa Valley – can get very hot in October. However, you'll see some superb game as the animals concentrate around the limited water sources.
November is variable; it can be hot and dry like October, or it can see the season's first downpours. Often it's a very interesting month as you can see both patterns on successive days.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
Zambia has mild winters and the summer days can be scorching hot. Lightweight casual clothes can be worn all year round, with a jacket or jersey for early winter mornings and evenings.
On safari, keep clothes to neutral colours - khakis, browns and greens. A sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent are a must.
Whilst there are no regulations for dress code, it is customary in Zambia for women to cover their legs for the sake of modesty. We ask that you please respect this, particularly in rural areas. Both men and women dress smart casual in the evenings at safari lodges.
Most hotels offer internet and/or Wi-Fi (free or paid) to their guests. Internet cafes are springing up in Zambia, but connections can be erratic and slow.
Electricity and Plug Standards
Electrical sockets in the Republic of Zambia are Type G (BS-1363) and Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type D (BS-546). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.
Electrical sockets in the Republic of Zambia supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.