CLIMATE: Temperature to semi-tropical climate with three main seasons.
Warm days and cool nights from April to July. Winter
Hot and dry from August to October Summer
Warm and wet from November to March with typical African thunderstorms. Rain season
BEST TIME OF YEAR: This depends on what you want to do! In brief summary:
June to October is the best time for walking and photographic safaris. (August to October is the peak season with much of the water in the game parks dried up and game concentrated near the remaining water holes and rivers.)
November to April is the best time for birders with the arrival of migrant species. A number of the camps in the National Parks close at the end of November and re-open in April.
February to May: The Victoria Falls is at its highest and most spectacular, absolutely thundering over the edge, but prepare to be drenched.
April to mid-June: Livingstone Island on the edge of Victoria Falls is closed, river levels dependent. Some river-based adrenaline activities may also be closed.
Wildlife can roam freely near national parks. When staying at a lodge 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
DRIVING IN ZAMBIA
We drive on the left-hand side of the road in Zambia and observe standard British driving rules. There are some very picturesque roads, but it is important to be aware of certain issues to ensure your comfort and safety.
Road conditions: Some road conditions in Zambia are extremely bad and you should take due care when driving on unsurfaced roads and where bad tarred road conditions exist. Huge potholes can appear suddenly in the middle of a perfect tarred road without warning always be prepared.
Obstructions: Villages are often located along the edge of roads which results in dogs, goats, children, oxen carts, drunks, chickens, cattle and bicyclists using the road. The majority of Zambians do not have driving licenses and are not familiar with general road traffic safety precautions. Please be very aware of this and always be prepared for someone to suddenly step out of the tall grass by the side of the road directly into your path.
Other vehicles: It is important to assume that other vehicles on the road may not necessarily have working brakes, indicators or headlights. We strongly advise against driving after dark in Zambia. It is difficult to see pedestrians, animals, broken down vehicles may not have warning triangles and some vehicles travel at night without lights.
Speed limits: Within towns and settlements the speed limit is generally 50 or 60km/h and 100km/h on open roads, but be very conscious of speed signs. Enforcement of speed limits is strict, Zambian police often have speed traps immediately after speed limit signs.
Police Road Blocks: These are very common in Zambia and generally do not provide much in the way of trouble. However, it is important to be aware that an orange traffic cone or a 44-gallon drum in the Centre of the road may indicate the presence of a police road block. There may not always be adequate warning of police road blocks. You should be aware of this and slow down so that you can stop if necessary. Below are a question that might be asked by Police.
Passport If you are requested for this, the chances are that the roadblock is in fact an immigration department roadblock. For this reason, if you are a visitor to the country, it is advisable to carry your passport.
Driving License This is your normal driving license. Under Zambian Law, you are permitted to drive for three months on your foreign Driving License. Your driver’s license must be in your possession at all times when driving in Zambia
Fuel: In remote areas of Zambia petrol is not commonly used and at times there are shortages of all fuel types. If you intend to travel into these areas, we advise that you take extra fuel with you in case.
PAYMENT FOR SERVICES IN ZAMBIA
The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. The largest note are K100.00, K50.00 then K20.00 K10.00. We also have coins in circulation including (K1.00 50ngwee 20Ngwee and 10Ngwee coins).
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Zambia, however not in remote areas and should not be relied on except in major towns. A commission varying from between 5 7% is generally charged on both credit cards and travelers’ cheques at lodges/hotels in order to cover the bank charge commission. Most hotels and lodges accept Visa and MasterCard. American Express and Diners are accepted in only a few establishments.
Zambia is a free market economy and foreign exchange can be readily converted. It's best to come into the country with either US dollars or pound sterling cash (or travelers cheques), which can be exchanged at any of the banks or Bureau de Change in the main towns. Travelers cheques attract a commission when changing to other currencies.
Changing Money: USD (United States dollars) are easier to change than Pounds sterling and Euro. It is essential that your USD notes are fairly recently printed with "large heads". Old notes with "smaller heads" (except One Dollar Bills) are not accepted ANYWHERE in Zambia. Some banks will also charge a different rate for small denominations. We recommend that you do have some smaller denominations of USD bills for tips and so on
In larger town Centre’s, USD bills may be accepted for payment instead of Kwacha if you run out of Kwacha. Having said that fuel stations will not generally accept USD.
ATM: The major towns and even some smaller Centre’s across the country have ATM machines now which will allow you to withdraw cash in the local Kwacha currency. Visa is the most widely accepted card at these machines.
Banks: There are banks in most Centre’s across the country. The opening hours are 08:30 to about 14:30 or 15:30 hrs Monday to Friday. It can be difficult to find a bank open on a Saturday. However, there are many bureaus de changes and these will be open on Saturdays and week day afternoons.
Theft: Talking of money, there is much poverty in Zambia and displaying your money openly is not advisable or fair to the local people. Please be sensible about securing your valuables. Do not leave them lying around where you will just tempt fate.
HEALTH AND INSURANCE
Insurance: Clients are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance including: medical evacuation; hospitalization & repatriation; baggage loss and loss of funds through cancellation or curtailment of package booked.
Malaria: Zambia is a high-risk malaria area. All visitors must take appropriate prophylactics to prevent them from contracting the disease, 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.
If you come down with flu-like symptoms either during, or within four to six weeks after your visit to a malaria area, seek a doctor’s advice immediately.
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.
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 enforce the law when it comes to drugs of any sort.
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 enforce 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.
Please consult your travel agent for the latest visa requirements applicable. The responsibility to obtain correct, current and valid passports, visas, vaccinations, inoculations and re-entry permits where required, is that of the renter alone.There is a small and variable local departure tax. International departure tax is presently US$40.00 Local travel departure tax US$16.00
ADDITIONAL POINTS TO NOTE:
The possession of pornographic material is illegal within Zambia. The use of rude words and derogatory terms could be easily misconstrued and is considered highly offensive. Please be considerate to avoid causing undue offense.