Currency: Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)
Some ATMs in the larger cities accept international credit cards (mainly Visa, some also Mastercard) and at some machines it is now possible to withdraw money with debit cards. Your card needs to have a chip and pin. Direct payment by credit card is widespread in larger cities in hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets but debit cards are rarely accepted for direct payments. In Zambia it is advisable to always take enough cash with you as cashless payment does not always work. Visa fees can rarely be paid by credit card at border crossings, so bring a few US Dollars with you. Please make sure you only bring recent bills as only these are accepted in Zambia (recognizable by the large president’s head). Changing money at an exchange office is much easier in Zambia than in other countries in Southern Africa but it can also be a lengthy process and valuable time can be lost.
Please be sure to advise your bank before you travel that you will be using your card in a different country as they may block access to your card if they do not know that you are currently travelling.
For current exchange rates please use this website.
Official language: English
Visa: Please have a look at this list to see if you need to apply for a visa before travelling.
Please also consult the Zambian Embassy or Consulate for any updates before departure, especially when travelling with children.
Independence: 24 October 1964 from Britain
Religion: Christian 85%, Muslim 5%, Other 5%, No religious beliefs 5%
Souvenirs: Zambian curios are a display of the skill and workmanship that goes into the making of arts and crafts by Zambian craftsmen from all corners of the country. Zambian handicrafts includes pottery, metalworking, sleeping mats (reed mats), basketry, jewellery, African printed fabrics, and African batiks, also known as chitenge.
Agricultural products: Crops (corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco, groundnuts, paprika, sorghum, wheat, rice), livestock and fisheries.
Main Industries: Copper mining and processing, construction, emerald mining, beverages, food, textiles, chemicals, fertilizer, and horticulture
Best time to visit: The dry season runs from May to October and is when to go to Zambia for the best game viewing along with pleasantly mild daytime temperatures (although September and October get extremely hot). The rainy season (December to April) is commonly called the “Green Season” as the bush is beautifully thick and green. This however makes game viewing less easy as the vegetation is so dense plus many animals move away from dry season water sources – note also when planning your Zambia safari that some lodges close during the rainy season due to flooding.