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Facts for the Visitor to Zambia

Facts for the Visitor to Zambia

Travel Butlers Safari Holidays

All you need to know for your holiday to Zambia

Travel Alerts


Travellers to Zambia are encouraged to be fully vaccinated but this is not mandatory.

Entry to Zambia - If You Are Fully Vaccinated
If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Zambia without providing any form of negative COVID-19 PCR test. Fully vaccinated means complete doses of a vaccine e.g. first and second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

You must present proof that you have been vaccinated to qualify as fully vaccinated. Accepted evidence of proof has not been specified. For British travellers, the UK COVID Pass is expected to be accepted but you are advised to take a paper copy.

Please ensure the surname on your vaccine document matches the surname on your passport to avoid delays.

Entry to Zambia - If You Are Not Fully Vaccinated
If you are not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Zambian Government guidelines state tests should be taken within 72 hours before departure from the country of origin. Some airlines ask passengers for evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Zambia. You should check your airline’s guidelines carefully when arranging your tests.

You should arrange to take a private test. Please ensure the surname on your test result document matches the surname on your passport to avoid delays.

Travellers should upload their negative PCR test certificate to https://globalhaven.org/.

Holders of tests taken outside Zambia are not exempt from this requirement, even if the test was taken within the previous 14 days.

If you have had COVID-19 in the Past Year
Entry requirements for Zambia are the same for all travellers, regardless of whether you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past year.

Children and Young People
Children aged 11 and under are exempt from the requirement to provide a PCR COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination

Testing/Screening on Arrival
Regardless of your vaccination status, you are required to complete a health declaration form and undergo thermo-scanning.

If you enter Zambia with a body temperature equal to, or above 38.0 C you will be tested for COVID-19 at your expense on arrival and be required to quarantine (at your home, a hotel or government facility) until your test results are known.

In Transit Through Zambia
Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

If you are travelling to a destination that requires a negative COVID-19 certificate, on departure from Zambia you will be expected to present evidence of a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test certificate from a certified Ministry of Health COVID-19 testing laboratory. Travellers should upload their negative PCR test certificate to https://globalhaven.org/.  Holders of tests taken outside Zambia are not exempt from this requirement, even if their test was taken within the previous 72 hours.

There are no exemptions to Zambia’s entry requirements.

Departing Zambia
Travellers leaving Zambia for destinations or on airlines that require negative COVID-19 tests are required to use a certified Ministry of Health COVID-19 testing laboratory and present a Ministry of Health approved negative COVID-19 PCR travel certificate.

All passengers arriving in, departing from or transiting Zambia should also validate their COVID-19 RT PCR test via the African Union Trusted Travel https://trustedtravel.panabios.org/trusted-testing/signup/ or UNDP Global Haven systems https://globalhaven.org/travel-guide/ (you will need to register an account on one of these sites).

These systems will generate a digital Trusted Travel reference code for your test, which should be presented upon request.

It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of Zambia deems it safe to do so.

Visa Requirements

Additional requirements and restrictions may apply for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel Butlers aim to highlight these requirements to affected clients, however the onus remains with the traveller to ensure they are aware of any requirements and restrictions that will apply to their own trip.

For up-to-date travel information from the UK government, please check:

UK Government Advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zambia

It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of Zambia deems it safe to do so.

As of 01 November 2022, passengers carrying passports from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia or the European Union will no longer have to purchase visas in order to enter Zambia and can obtain a free visa on arrival. Please note this ruling may be subject to change at short notice.

If you are a passport holder from another country, please contact your local Zambia High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements or check here:



Visas can issued at any Zambia Embassy, online via https://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/ or single or double entry visas can be obtained on arrival. You cannot get a multiple entry visa on arrival.

If you plan to get a visa on arrival, make sure you have the correct amount of cash (US dollars) with you as change may not be available. If you enter through Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka or the Harry Mwanga International Airport in Livingstone, you can now make payment for single and double entry visas via credit card at the Zambian Immigration desks.

Visa costs (subject to change) are as follows: Single Entry Visa USD 25 per person; Double Entry Visa USD 40 per person; Multiple Entry Visa USD 75 per person; Day Tripper Visa USD 10 per person (enter and exit through same port); Transit Visa USD 50 per person. 

For visitors wanting to travel across to Zimbabwe, the KAZA UniVisa is also an option (although unfortunately this is not always available). This visa allows tourists of certain nationalities to travel freely between Zambia and Zimbabwe, within a 30 day period from the date of their first entry.

This same visa will also allow those who cross into Botswana for a day trip to come back into Zambia (or Zimbabwe) without paying any extra visa fees - please note however it is not valid if staying in Botswana overnight.

The UniVisa can ONLY be obtained at SELECTED border posts - the international airports in Lusaka and Livingstone and at the land borders at Livingstone (Zimbabwe border) and Kazungula (Botswana border) - the current price is USD 50 per person (subject to change) and is valid for 30 days.

To check whether you are eligible for this visa, please visit https://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/kaza-univisa/.

For everyone entering Zambia, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry and have at least 2 blank pages for entry/exit stamps.

PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.

Medical Considerations

You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to Zambia.

To help prevent diarrhoea, avoid tap water – drink only bottled water and use bottled water for tooth brushing, and avoid ice made with tap water – and only eat fruit or vegetables that are cooked or can be peeled.

To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids, and keep out of the midday sun.

There is no risk of yellow fever in Zambia, so a yellow fever vaccination is NOT required for travellers whose sole destination is Zambia. However, in accordance with International Health Regulations, Zambia requires all travellers over one year of age arriving from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate. These countries include Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda but it is up to the traveller to check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1.

There is a risk of malaria in all areas of Zambia - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Dengue fever can also be transmitted via mosquito bites. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.

Tsetse flies are found throughout some of Zambia's National Parks, especially in the Luangwa Valley and Kafue National Park. There have been some cases of sleeping sickness occurring after a tsetse fly bite, although these are mainly amongst farmers and other locals who have repeated exposure to bites. However, the fly can still deliver a painful bite, so it is advisable to take necessary precautions - don't wear dark colours, especially black and blue (including denim), wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and don't walk through bushes during the hottest part of the day.

language and people

The official language of Zambia is English. Commonly-spoken indigenous languages number over 70 and include Lamba, Kaonde, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Ila,Senga, Chewa, Chibemba, Nsenga Chinyanja, Lunda, Chitonga, Kaonde, Silozi, Nkoya, and Luvale.

We would ask that all travellers are respectful of the local culture as follows:

Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia. Whilst everyone is of course entitled to their own sexual preferences and gender identity, we would advise all clients of the LGBT+ community to refrain from public displays of affection (including kissing and holding hands) and to be as discrete as possible about their relationship.

You should always ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph.

Avoid taking pictures of sensitive sites including power stations, explosives factories, pumping stations, army barracks, government buildings, river junctions, road and rail bridges, the Ndola Oil refinery, mining areas and airports. If in doubt, don’t take pictures.


The currency in Zambia is the Kwacha. Cash US Dollars are accepted for domestic transactions (ie purchases made in Zambia). There are banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in Livingstone, Mfuwe and in Lusaka Airports and some bureau de change facilities in Lusaka Airport. If you are changing USD be sure to bring notes of varying denominations since change is often a problem in Africa and all notes must have 'large heads' - the old series notes with small heads are no longer accepted anywhere in Zambia.

Credit cards are accepted in many places but it is safer not to rely on any single card to get you through Africa. Authorisation usually needs to be obtained for larger purchases and this is sometimes difficult to obtain. Most credit card transactions will also attract a surcharge of around 5% of the total invoice amount. Visa is the easiest card to use in Zambia, followed by MasterCard and then American Express.


You can read more about the climate in our guide to the best time to visit Zambia.

phone coverage

The International Dialling Code for Zambia is +260, followed by the regional code and then the number. Zambian emergency telephone numbers are as follows : 999 - from fixed lines 112 - from mobile phones


Zambia runs on 220 - 240 volts using British style square pin plugs.

time zone

Zambia Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) and they do not operate Daylight-Saving Time.