​Zambia|​Frequently Asked Questions?

​Frequently Asked Questions?

How long are the flights to Zambia?

Anyone wishing to visit Zambia can fly direct from London Heathrow to Lusaka ( 3 flights a week) or via Johannesburg (everyday). The return flights from Lusaka depart early in the morning, so require clients to overnight in Lusaka beforehand. The flights via Johannesburg are overnight.

Can I fly from a regional UK Airport?

There are no direct flights from other UK regional airports but it is possible to fly via Heathrow.

When is the best time to visit Zambia?

Zambia’s distinctive seasons provide visitors with different perspectives depending on the time of year. In April and May wildlife is less concentrated due to an abundance of water left over from the rainy season. In June, July and August the countryside begins to dry out and game viewing is generally excellent. September and October provide wonderful game viewing opportunities as game congregates around available water, usually along the rivers. The rainy season is great for bird watching.

When is the best time to see the Victoria Falls?

The Victoria Falls is spectacular between April and May after the rainy season but often the spray is so thick it is difficult to see the full width of the falls. To appreciate the magnificent rock formations and gorges, it is just as interesting to visit when the water is low at the end of the dry season from October to December, when you can walk out to the Devil’s Pool right on the edge of the Falls.

Can the Victoria Falls be viewed from Zambia?

The Victoria Falls is accessible from Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls are better known and most photographed from the Zimbabwean side but this is largely because visitors are unaware of the possibility of seeing them from Zambia, where there are less visitors.

Do I need a visa to visit Zambia?

Please check with your nearest Zambian consulate for up-to-date information. As a general guideline, all travellers need visas. It is quick and easy to buy these on arrival at Immigration with US Dollars. the current cost is $50 per person. (Apr 2014) Please make sure that the notes are no more than 2 years old.

Is it safe to travel in Zambia?

Zambia is an extremely safe destination. It has a stable government and the people are known for their friendliness.

Are there special health requirements?

Zambia is a malaria area and the use of malaria prophylactics is highly recommended. Consult your medical practitioner when planning your trip. Visitors from or passing through a yellow fever and cholera zone must be able to produce a valid International Certificate of Vaccination.

Passengers leaving Zambia and travelling onto South Africa (even if they are passing through and remain in transit) MUST have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate.

Can I drink the water?

Tap water is said to be safe to drink, but bottled water can be purchased if preferred and is recommended. Rather be safe than sorry.

Do the game reserves in Zambia have the big five?

Most of the parks in Zambia do not have any rhino, although they are slowly being reintroduced to certain parks. The other four of the big five (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo) are resident in most of the Zambian parks.

Can I bring my children on safari in Zambia?

Most Zambia lodges do not accept children under the age of 8. Families travelling with children aged between 8 and 12 years are usually requested to hire a private vehicle for their game drives, making things slightly more costly. On Zambia exploration tours, children are only welcome if they are 12 years and older.

What can I expect when I land at the airstrip for my lodge?

When you land at an airstrip in Zambia you might see a line of men dressed in army gear and armed with automatic rifles. These are government scouts who are employed to patrol for poaching in the area. While this is daunting at first, you can be assured that there is nothing to be afraid of. They are there to protect the environment and the wildlife.

Will my guide carry a rifle or gun with him on our game activities?

Guides in Zambia do not carry weapons with them. By law they are not allowed to, but you can be assured that they are highly skilled and very well trained in their knowledge of the wild. They do not require guns to ensure your safety.

The scouts mentioned above, who are employed by government to patrol for poaching, do carry weapons. They will accompany you on all guided walks and may come on your game activities with their weapons.

How accessible are the safari lodges in Zambia?

Most lodges in Zambia are relatively remote and are only reached by light aircraft transfers followed by helicopter/road transfers, which are in turn accessed from Lusaka.

There are daily flights into Lusaka (the Capital) from Johannesburg and Livingstone, and frequent flights several times a week from London and Nairobi.

What is the normal luggage restriction on flights in Zambia?

Most flights and charter flights within Zambia have a strict luggage restriction of 12kg per person and under. It is imperative that all luggage on the charter planes is in soft manoeuvrable bags. Hard suitcases are not allowed on these planes under any circumstances. Zambia is more strict on this than most countries; even bags with only one hard side are not allowed.

What does the price I pay for accommodation generally include?

Most lodges offer fully inclusive accommodation, meaning that all of your meals and snacks, soft drinks, local alcoholic beverages and safari activities are included in the cost. This excludes premium brands and imported liquors.

What activities can I expect at Zambian safari lodges?

This ranges between seasons and lodges, but activities can include 4×4 guided game drives, guided walking safaris, canoeing, boating, fishing and horse riding.

Can I go on night drives?

Yes. Most parks in Zambia do allow night drives.

What currency is best to carry with me? Can I use my credit card?

The Zambian Government has recently decreed that all purchases in Zambia must be made in the local currency Kwacha. US Dollars would still be very welcome as a tip but any lodge purchases such as souvenirs or activities will be charged in Kwacha either in cash or to your credit card. The only exception is buying a visa on arrival.

Credit cards are accepted in the main cities although high commissions can be charged and some lodges have difficulty processing credit card payments.

What is the standard tipping procedure?

Tipping is entirely at your discretion but we recommend the following guide:

Transfers – US$2 per person

Restaurants – 10% for good service, up to 15% for exceptional service

Game Lodge Staff – US$25 per stay

Rangers/ trackers – US$10 per person per day

Will there be electricity for me to charge my camera, and if so, what kind of plug will I need?

All lodges and hotels will either have electricity, solar power or a generator so charging your camera will be no trouble. Zambian plugs have a voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50 Hertz. The plugs have either 2 round prongs, 3 round-prongs or 3 square prongs.

Is my holiday protected when booking via my travel agent or directly with Visions of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations?

Yes. Visions Of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations are part of the Visions Holiday Group Ltd – Visions Travel Group which holds an ATOL licence no: 5889. This licence has been granted to us by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

This licence offers complete financial protection but only for holiday vacation packages that include flights commencing in and returning to the UK only. Ground arrangement only holiday vacation packages, accommodation only arrangements and other non-flight packages excluding the pre-arranged travel to and from your destination are financially protected through a bond that we have placed with the Association Of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).

We are also members of ABTA – the Travel Association,