Useful Travel Information
Travellers should carry an adequate supply of their prescribed medicines with them although chemists in the major centres carry a wide range of medicines and first aid accessories. There are some emergency chemists open after hours on Sundays in Lusaka.
Medical services are underdeveloped and only in Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone can you find anything resembling western standards. There are a number of small clinics in Lusaka which are better than the general hospitals, but the clinics in the rural areas usually only have the basics.
Medical insurance should be purchased before you leave your own country and should include emergency air evacuation coverage if you’re spending any time in remote parts of the country. There are two medical rescue organisations.
Operational hours are 08:15 to 15:30 hours Mondays through to Fridays and 08:15 to 11:30 hours on Saturdays.
Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card. Most banks have ATM’s which accept Visa cards for cash. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.
It’s best to come into the country with either travellers cheques or Dollars or Pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureaux de Change in the main towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it. Travellers cheques attract a commission when changing to other currencies.
The Zambian currency is the Kwacha and it fluctuates quite regularly. As of Jan 2013, Zambia rebased the currency dividing by 1000.
Kwacha note denominations are K100, K50, K20, K10, and K2
Coins are in denominations of K1 and 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee.
Payments within Zambia can be made in Kwachas only, by law, even if the price is quoted in USD. Foreign currency will not be accepted once you have cleared immigration at the airport.
ATMs are available within Lusaka, Livingstone and other major towns in Zambia. The bigger banks have ATMs which accept Visa but not MasterCard.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted, though no longer commonly used. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US dollars, Euros or Pounds.
Exchange of foreign currency is carried out at authorised banks and bureaux de change. There are many bureaux at the central shopping areas in the main towns.
General is 06am to 18hours daily inclusive weekends and holidays.
- Chirundu border 06am to 22hrs
- Kariba border 06am to 20hrs
- Vic falls border 06am to 22hrs
- Mwami in chipata is 24 hours
- Nakonde is 24 hours
- Katimamulilo 06am to 18hrs
Travelers have a duty to double check these business hrs on each border. All Seasons travel will not be held responsible should there be any changes in business hrs on each border.