Zambia, a hidden gem in the heart of southern Africa, is a country that beckons with its raw and unspoiled beauty. It’s a land of diverse landscapes, captivating wildlife, and warm, welcoming people. What sets Zambia apart is its genuine commitment to sustainability, ensuring the protection of its natural wonders for future generations.

Whether you’re drawn to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, the pristine wilderness of South Luangwa National Park, or the serene canoeing adventures along the Lower Zambezi, Zambia offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travellers. This vibrant nation is not just a destination; it’s an immersion in untamed beauty, untold adventures, and a profound connection with nature and culture that makes it a must-visit for every explorer.


Photo Credit: Zambia Tourism

Nestled in the heart of southern Africa, Zambia is a land of pristine wilderness, captivating wildlife, and warm, welcoming people. Bordered by eight countries, including Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia’s central location makes it an ideal entry point for exploring the treasures of the African continent.

Zambia is part of the KAZA (Kavango-Zambezi) region, a trans-frontier conservation area spanning five countries – Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The KAZA region boasts a remarkable diversity of ecosystems and an unparalleled concentration of wildlife, making it a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers alike.

What type of traveller will enjoy Zambia?

Photo Credit: Kafunta Safaris

Zambia beckons to the intrepid traveller, the nature enthusiast, and the safari aficionado. If you have a deep-seated love for unspoiled landscapes, thrilling wildlife encounters, and immersive cultural experiences, Zambia is your dream destination. Whether you’re seeking a heart-pounding adventure on the Zambezi River, exploring the remote wilderness of South Luangwa National Park, or discovering the rich heritage of local tribes, Zambia offers something for every adventurer.

Zambia’s approach to sustainability

Community sustainability. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Zambia is a pioneer in sustainable tourism, with a strong commitment to preserving its natural wonders for generations to come. National parks and game reserves are diligently managed to minimize ecological impact, ensuring the protection of diverse wildlife. Many lodges and tour operators follow eco-friendly practices and engage in community initiatives that promote responsible tourism. Zambia is a prime example of how adventure and conservation can go hand in hand.

How to travel to and around Zambia

Travel the Zambezi by boat. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Travelling from Australia to Zambia is an exhilarating journey that offers a rich tapestry of experiences. While Zambia is not directly connected to Australia with non-stop flights, there are several airlines and routes that can seamlessly bridge the gap.

International Flights: Travellers from Australia can reach Zambia by flying into major international airports like Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) or Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI). While there are no direct flights from Australia to Zambia, you can opt for connecting flights via popular international hubs like Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in South Africa or Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Kenya.

Several airlines offer convenient connections from Australia to Zambia. Qantas, Emirates, South African Airways, and Kenya Airways are among the carriers that provide flights from major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, to the aforementioned international hubs. From there, you can connect to Lusaka or Livingstone.

Travelling within Zambia

Domestic Flights: To explore Zambia’s vast and diverse landscapes, domestic flights are a convenient option. Proflight Zambia, the country’s major domestic airline, operates scheduled flights to various destinations, including Livingstone, Mfuwe (for South Luangwa National Park), and Ndola, among others.

Road Networks: Zambia has an extensive road network, and driving within the country is a viable option. You can rent a car at the major airports or in major cities. However, it’s important to note that road conditions may vary, and it’s advisable to research and plan your route in advance.

Guided Tours and Transfers: Many travellers prefer guided tours or transfers organized by tour operators. This ensures hassle-free travel between key destinations and often includes knowledgeable guides who enhance the travel experience with their insights into the local culture and wildlife.

Buses and Minibuses: Public buses and minibuses, known as “kombis,” are available for travel between cities and towns. These are economical options but may be less comfortable and slower than other modes of transportation.

Boating and Canoe Safaris: In areas along the Zambezi River and its tributaries, boat and canoe safaris provide a unique mode of transport, offering a serene way to explore wildlife-rich riverbanks.

Walking Safaris: In national parks like South Luangwa, walking safaris allow travellers to explore the wilderness on foot, guided by experienced rangers and guides.

Rail Travel: Zambia offers limited rail travel options, with the TAZARA Railway running from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. This can be a unique and adventurous way to experience the landscapes.

Zambia’s transportation options cater to a variety of preferences, ensuring that you can explore this captivating country at your own pace, whether you’re an intrepid explorer or a traveller seeking comfort and convenience. So, whether you’re taking to the skies or embarking on an overland adventure, Zambia awaits with its remarkable landscapes and diverse experiences.

Banking and Currency

Zambia’s official currency is the Zambian Kwacha (ZMW). ATMs are widely available in major cities, making it easy for travellers to access cash. Credit cards are accepted in larger establishments, but it’s advisable to carry cash for remote areas and small vendors.

Tipping Guide

Tipping is customary in Zambia to show appreciation for good service. In restaurants, a tip of around 10-15% of the total bill is generally considered appropriate if the service is satisfactory. Safari guides, trackers, and lodge staff often rely on tips as part of their income. It is recommended to tip guides and trackers around USD10-15 per person per day and lodge staff around USD5-10 per person per day, depending on the level of service and personal satisfaction. However, please note that tipping is discretionary, and clients should feel free to adjust amounts based on their own experience and satisfaction.

Visa and Entry Requirements for Australian Passport Holders

Australian passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival in Zambia for short visits, typically valid for 90 days. It’s essential to have a passport with at least six months’ validity beyond your intended departure date. For longer stays or other purposes, such as business or employment, it’s recommended to check with the Zambian Embassy or Consulate for specific visa requirements.

Electricity and Power Sockets

Zambia uses type C, D, and G power sockets. The standard voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. Travellers should bring suitable adapters if their devices use different plug types.

Medical Advice and Vaccinations

Zambia is a malaria-prone country, so it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for advice on malaria prophylaxis and other vaccinations. Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for travellers arriving from infected areas. Adequate travel insurance is also recommended to cover any medical emergencies during your trip. Malaria is a concern in some regions, so taking antimalarial medication and using mosquito repellent is essential when visiting those areas. It is crucial for travellers to consult with a healthcare professional or a specialized travel clinic well in advance of their trip to receive personalized medical advice and recommended vaccinations.

Language Spoken and Use of English

English is the official language of Zambia and is widely spoken. However, many Zambians also speak local languages, such as Bemba, Nyanja, and Tonga. Learning a few local phrases can be a rewarding way to connect with the friendly locals.

Customs and Cultural Awareness

Zambians are known for their warm hospitality, and travellers are encouraged to reciprocate with respect and courtesy. When visiting local villages or communities, it’s respectful to ask for permission before taking photos and to engage in conversations to learn about their customs and traditions. It’s also important to be aware of the political and social sensitivities in the country and to avoid discussing sensitive topics unless invited to do so. It is also essential to respect wildlife and adhere to responsible tourism practices, including maintaining a safe distance from animals and following the instructions of guides and rangers.

Top Tips for travelling in Zambia

Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Travelling in Zambia can be an incredible and enriching experience, but like any destination, it’s essential to be prepared and informed. Here are five top tips for travelling in Zambia:

  • Respect Local Customs and Traditions: Zambia is a culturally rich country with diverse traditions and customs. It’s crucial to respect local cultures and traditions. When visiting villages or communities, ask for permission before taking photos and engage with locals respectfully. Learning a few basic greetings and customs can go a long way in fostering positive interactions with Zambians.
  • Health Precautions and Vaccinations: Prior to your trip, consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic for advice on necessary vaccinations and health precautions. Malaria is a concern in some parts of Zambia, so take appropriate prophylactic medication and use mosquito repellent. Also, ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
  • Travel Responsibly and Support Sustainable Tourism: Zambia places a strong emphasis on sustainable tourism. Support eco-friendly lodges and tour operators that prioritize conservation and community involvement. Avoid purchasing products made from endangered wildlife or contributing to activities that harm the environment.
  • Stay Informed About Safety and Local Conditions: While Zambia is generally a safe destination for tourists, it’s wise to stay informed about current local conditions and any travel advisories. Keep an eye on news and government updates, and follow the advice of local authorities. Exercise common-sense safety precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and avoiding poorly lit or isolated areas at night.

To discover more about Zambia, visit Zambia Tourism –

For more on the KAZA region, visit

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Editor Africa Beat

Africa Beat is the source of all your news and updates in the travel industry out of Africa. You will find also find reviews and features focused on Africa.

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