Most of Zambia is a malaria area and recommended prophylaxis should be taken. The low lying river valleys are where malaria is most virulent and extra care should be taken in these areas. Your doctor can advise you on the best type for the area of travel and your personal requirements. However, taking prophylaxis will not guarantee that you will not contract malaria! The best way to avoid malaria is to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the parasite. Only the females of one species of mosquito (Anopheles) carry the tiny parasite, and the greatest incidence of malaria is in areas of high population where there are many people for the mosquito to bite and pass the parasite between.
Mosquitoes usually bite between sunset and sunrise, so make sure that you are covered up during this time! Wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and trousers, use a good insect repellent and sleep underneath a mosquito net or in a tent/ room sealed with netting. If you do develop flu-like symptoms, or feel at all unwell, during your holiday or after your return home, you must make sure that your doctor knows that you have recently travelled in a malaria area. Malaria is not a serious problem provided people take adequate precautions and seek advice and treatment immediately if they feel unwell.
Zambia's major private hospitals are of a fair standard; however, serious medical cases will be evacuated by air to South Africa where further facilities are available. For this reason you must make sure that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out before you travel, this insurance should cover any medical expenses, air evacuation and repatriation if necessary.
The water is safe to drink in Zambia's towns, when visiting the remote areas purification tablets should be used, or bottled mineral water bought en-route. Plenty of water must be drunk to prevent dehydration. We recommend 2-3 litres minimum, excluding beverages such as tea, coffee, juice and alcohol. Dehydration is responsible for many emergency evacuations and can cause very serious problems, it is totally avoidable, so don't let this spoil your holiday!
Rainy season: December to April. Rainfall does not usually occur every day, and generally takes place in the afternoon with mornings being fairly clear.
Summer: September to April with a high of 35° C and a low of 18° C.
Winter: May to August with a high of 27° C and a low of 10° C.
The best time to visit Zambia is in the winter months of May to August, and many safari operators do not run trips into the National Parks during the rainy season due to the condition of the roads and the intensity of the heat in lowland areas.
Bring plenty of memory cards and a spare camera battery as these items may not be available in some of the more remote areas of Zambia. A good zoom lens (minimum 200 mm) is essential for wildlife photography.
Neutral, muted colours such as khaki, dark green or beige ensure as little disturbance to wildlife as possible whilst on game drives or walks. White or bright colours are not advised and army camouflage uniforms or army hats are not recommended.
Neutral coloured casual clothing (shorts/shirts) for everyday wear, stout shoes (with soles thick enough to protect against thorns and for walking), light waterproof jacket for summer, warm jumper/ fleece for winter, warm long trousers for winter, two sets of good casual clothes for evening dining where appropriate, towel, broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, plenty of memory cards & spare battery, binoculars, reliable torch, sleeping bag if camping. It is also worth noting that if you are travelling by light aircraft or as part of a guided safari, you should carry no more than 10-15kg of luggage in a soft bag for ease of packing.
Zambia's currency is the Zambian Kwacha which is divided into 100 ngwee, although these coins are very rarely used due to devaluation. US$ can be exchanged throughout the country, as can Euro and pounds sterling although US$ generally receives a better rate. Travellers’ cheques can also be changed in banks and most accommodation establishments accept credit cards, mainly Visa or Mastercard, although this should be checked before arrival. Fuel cannot be purchased with credit cards, and in the more remote areas most places only accept cash.
Visitors from the Commonwealth and some other European countries can obtain tourist visas for up to 3 months at the border. The cost depends on your nationality. Please contact us for details regarding your personal visa requirements.
Destination:Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana
Destination:Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana
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