FCO TRAVEL ALERTS

THE SOS GROUP
SOS-BANNER-SWADV

BodyGuard / Medical Courses from the SOS GROUP

Click on the Logo !

STREIT Armored Cars

Streit-Armored-Logo

Global Leader in Armored Transportation !!!

ADT Home Security
The Security Website : ADT Alarm Systems

For Specialised ADT

Home Security Solutions

Please Click HERE

SIRAS ACADEMY

Siras-Academy-RSBanner-

Close Protection Courses from the SIRAS ACADEMY

Click on the Logo !

University of St Andrews

St_Andrews_CT_Course_Banner

Terrorism Studies Course from The University of St Andrews ENROLLING NOW !!

TTF DIRECTORY

THIRTYTF_LOGO

 

Aviation Security Directory from TTF

Click on the Logo !

Travel Security Advice

Sub Menu

Banner
Travel Security Advice for Zambia

Zambian_National_Flag

zambia_mapZambia_Overview


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:  

Zambia is a developing country in southern Africa.  Outside of Lusaka, Livingstone (Victoria Falls), and well-known game parks, other tourist facilities are not fully developed.  Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Zambia for additional information



REGISTRATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Zambia are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Registration is important and enables the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency



ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A passport and visa are required.  A visa may be obtained in advance at a Zambian Embassy or Consulate or at the port of entry.  The fee is $50 for a single-entry visa, $80 for a three-year, multiple-entry visa, or $20 for a day-trip visa (typically issued to tourists visiting Victoria Falls from a neighboring country).  Please try to bring exact change whenever practical.  At the time of entry, the immigration officer will stamp your passport with the permitted length of stay.  Typically, an immigration officer will admit an American citizen for the exact number of days they request, up to a maximum of thirty days.  Visitors with indefinite departure plans may want to request admission for thirty days on arrival in the country. Visitors who wish to stay longer than their initial period of entry may visit an immigration office to obtain no more than two thirty-day extensions (for a total time of 90 days).  Zambian Immigration officials insist that visitors carry the original or a certified copy of their passport and immigration permit at all times.  Certified copies must be obtained from the immigration office that issued the permit.  American citizens should closely follow immigration guidelines, including visa requirements for travel to Zambia.

In recent months, a number of American citizens have encountered difficulties with Zambian Immigration officials as a result of their volunteer activities in Zambia.  Americans who wish to engage in voluntary service in Zambia, even on a short-term basis, are reminded that they must enter Zambia on a business visa.  Business visas may be obtained by presenting a letter of invitation from the organization that is sponsoring the volunteer.  Americans who engage in volunteer activities on a tourist visa are subject to fines and removal by the Zambian Department of Immigration.

All Americans, except resident diplomats, must pay an airport departure tax which is collected in U.S. dollars.  Airlines include this tax in the cost of the ticket; however, passengers will need to verify that this tax has been paid at the airport.  The passenger will receive a “no-fee” receipt reflecting this payment.

Visit the Embassy of Zambia website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Zambia.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.



THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY:

U.S. citizens are advised to exercise caution when traveling in northern Luapula Province and in areas of the Northern Province adjacent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Although a cease-fire is currently in effect, the DRC is not yet stable, with uncontrolled militias operating in the eastern DRC.  In the past, armed gunmen have occasionally attacked vehicles near the DRC-Zambian border.  The U.S. Embassy discourages travelers from driving off-road or on remote, lightly-used tracks near the borders with the DRC and Angola as there may still be undetected land mines and unexploded ordnance.  American citizens who must drive in these areas are encouraged to drive in convoys and to carry satellite telephones.  

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website,

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.



CRIME:

Travel in many sections of Lusaka, Livingstone and most other major cities as well as in the major game parks, is generally safe during daylight hours.  Travelers using public transportation or visiting high pedestrian traffic areas are advised to be vigilant against robbery and pick-pocketing.

Vehicle thefts, burglaries, and armed robbery occur throughout the country. Carjacking remains an ongoing problem, especially in Lusaka and other major cities.  Carjackers generally employ a strategy of blocking the back of one’s car when the car is waiting to pass through a security gate into a residence or other facility.  It is recommended to drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times and to remain vigilant when entering or exiting one’s residence.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available.  Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law.  In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. 



VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. mbassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Zambia is 999.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.



CRIMINAL PENALTIES: 

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Persons violating Zambian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs into Zambia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

In late 2008 and early 2009, the Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) detained a number of Americans for possession of Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications which contained small quantities of diphenhydramine, an active ingredient that is on Zambia’s list of controlled substances.  Although unaware of these restrictions, Americans have been charged with drug-trafficking offenses, had their passports confiscated, and have been jailed.  As a result, any American visiting Zambia should consider leaving non-prescription medications behind.  When traveling with prescription medications, Americans should bring a doctor’s prescription and ensure that the medication is in its original bottle.  Any American stopped by the DEC for possession of over-the-counter medications should contact the Embassy at 021-125-0955 as soon as possible.  Information about controlled substances may be found at the Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission website.

It is against both Zambian and U.S. law to buy, possess or transport animals or animal products, such as tortoise shells, rhino horns, elephant ivory, tusks of any animal, or any items made out of these materials.  While many of these items are sold in open markets particularly aimed at foreign tourists, it remains the responsibility of the customer to ensure that he/she is not purchasing a prohibited item.  The Zambian Wildlife Authority has screeners at international ports of entry/exit and WILL prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law with penalties ranging from large fines to 5-year prison sentences.  



SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Travelers transiting South Africa should ensure that their passports contain at least two completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport.  While South African statutes require one completely blank visa page, this rule has been applied inconsistently by South African immigration officials.  South African immigration authorities routinely turn away travelers who do not have enough blank visa pages in their passports.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available.  Zambian police do not provide the U.S. Embassy with timely notification of the arrest of American citizens.  If you are detained, you should insist on your right to contact a U.S. consular officer.

Foreign tourists have frequently been the target of small-scale financial scams involving bogus “fees” to be paid to various Zambian officials and groups.  The embassy cautions travelers to make sure that they receive an official receipt from the Government of Zambia for any fines and duties paid.  Often, travelers will be told that the official does not have a receipt book or that this type of fine is not receipted.  Polite, but firm insistence on a Zambian Government receipt will often result in these fines disappearing.

MasterCard and Visa cards are accepted at major supermarkets, restaurants, stores, and hotels in Lusaka and Livingstone (Victoria Falls).  Credit card fraud is increasing in Zambia, and there have been several cases involving fraudulent charges, including some at major hotels catering primarily to foreign visitors.  Many businesses use carbonized paper documents to process payment.  These documents are not secure and can pose a threat to cardholders.  The Embassy urges caution when using debit or credit cards at any point of purchase, especially if the transaction is not processed electronically.  Normally, American travelers can withdraw money (in local currency) from ATMs in major cities in Zambia using their ATM cards or credit cards from the United States.  However, from time to time, the banks lose their connections with the credit card exchanges, thus making withdrawals impossible.  Zambian banks and bureaux de change will not accept dollar-denominated notes issued before 1990.

Travel to military areas and photographing military facilities, airports, bridges, and other facilities deemed to be of security relevance are prohibited.  Often these sites are not clearly marked and the first notification that a tourist would receive is a police officer demanding their film and/or camera.  Authorities may also challenge photography of areas other than tourist attractions. Service providers in Zambia, including the tourism sector, are not subject to the same standards of safety oversight that exist in the United States; visitors should evaluate risks carefully.

Travelers are cautioned to observe local or park regulations and heed all instructions given by tour guides.  Even in the most serene settings, wild animals can pose a threat to life and safety.

Large numbers of travelers visit tourist destinations, including South Luangwa National Park and Livingstone (Victoria Falls), without incident.  However, American citizens are advised to avoid rafting and other whitewater boating activities on the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls during the high-water season, February through June.  During periods of high water, the Batoka Gorge section of the river becomes unpredictable and several tourists have been involved in fatal accidents.



MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Government hospitals and clinics are often understaffed and lack supplies.  Private medical clinics in major cities can provide reasonable care in many cases, but major medical emergencies usually require medical evacuation to South Africa, Europe, or the United States.  Basic medical care outside of major cities is extremely limited.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.  Travelers should carry their prescription drugs and medications in the original labeled containers, as well as the written prescription from their physician.  Travelers who cannot get a doctor’s note for their over-the-counter medications may wish to leave them behind or risk possible arrest.  [Refer to the section on Criminal Penalties above for more information about over-the-counter medications.] 
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the
CDC website.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: 

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether the policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.



TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.  The information below concerning Zambia is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left side of the road, and there are many British-style roundabouts rather than intersections with traffic lights.  It is illegal to turn left on a red light.  Seat belts are mandatory, as are helmets for motorcyclists.  A child's seat is not mandatory by law but is essential for safeguarding children.  The speed limit is 50 km/30 mph in Lusaka and 100 km/60 mph outside of city limits; however, speed limits are rarely respected, and most cars drive 80 km/50 mph in the city and 120 km/75 mph outside of town.  Most vehicles operate at even faster speeds on the road from Lusaka to Livingstone.  Drivers under the influence of alcohol who are involved in accidents are tested at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and then taken to court.

Driving on Zambian roads can be hazardous.  Most roads do not have shoulders or sidewalks, forcing pedestrians and livestock to use the roadways both day and night.  While the main roads in Lusaka as well as the principal highways linking Lusaka with the major provincial capital are generally maintained, many secondary roads are in poor repair.  During the rainy season (end of October to mid-March), travelers who do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle will encounter problems driving on rural roads.  Even in daylight, passing another vehicle can be particularly dangerous given the general condition of roads.  Driving at night can be hazardous and is discouraged.  When breakdowns occur, local drivers place a few branches behind the car to indicate trouble, but they are hardly visible at night.  As a result, many drivers use their high beams at night to detect stopped vehicles and pedestrians.

Americans have been involved in a number of serious car accidents.  There are no emergency services for injured or stranded drivers.  Car accident victims are vulnerable to theft by those who pretend to be “helpful.”  It is advisable to have a cell phone when undertaking a trip outside of town, although many parts of the country do not yet have cell phone service.

City traffic is comprised mostly of cars and minibuses; motorcycles are rare.  Minibuses serve as the primary means of inter-city travel in Zambia and are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, and seldom punctual.  Drivers often pass using road shoulders or opposing traffic lanes.  Often they will stop with little or no warning to pick up or drop off passengers.  Some luxury buses travel between Lusaka and Livingstone and the Copperbelt.   
Please refer to our
 Road Safety page for more information.  Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Zambia’s national tourist office.



AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Zambia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Zambia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.



CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.



EMBASSY LOCATION:

Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

U.S. Embassy Lusaka


Corner of Independence and United Nations Avenues
Lusaka, Zambia 
Telephone: 011-260-21-125-0955; Emergency After-hours Telephone: 011-260-21-125-0955, extension 1
Facsimile: 011-260-21-125-2225

Telephone exchanges have recently changed within Zambia.  The U.S. Embassy’s regular work hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The mailing address is P.O. Box 31617, Lusaka, Zambia. 

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Zambia dated January 23, 2009, to update sections on Registration, Entry/Exit Requirements, Threats to Safety and Security, Special Circumstances, Medical Facilities and Health Information, and Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.


The UK foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding travel to Zambia HERE....

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassies Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens).........

There is a Malaria Warning for Zambia HERE.....

Regards

The SW Team.......

 

Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts