More than 60,000 British nationals visit Zambia each year without any incident. Note that traveling close to the borders with the DRC and other neighboring countries are done at risk to your life due to landmines. Dont travel after dark in Zambia especially in the North Western, Copperbelt, Central and Luapula provinces close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Speak to the British High Commission in Zambia if you are in trouble.
Note that it is important to take travel insurance including medivac insurance and the healthcare system in Zambia is not very good.
If you are going to be using an ATM on your travel then you will take note that Visa is accepted but Mastercard is a problem in Zambia. All the major towns have an ATM system but having a Visa card is much better. Credit card fraud is a problem with cloning so never let your ATM card out of sight. Many companies also charge a 5% levy on the credit card which is against the rules set-out by Visa International but this is how things work in Zambia.
There has been a clampdown on currency since 2012 and only the local (Kwacha) currency is accepted. You can still exchange the currency but you cannot pay your bills or buy goods in a foreign currency. This is illegal and can get you a 10 year prison sentence.
As stated above the medical facilities are horrible in Zambia and you need to ensure that you get proper medical insurance before you travel. The rural areas are the worst affected by this and even basic drugs are not always available. More than 12% of the country has HIV/AIDS and this has become a major problem in the country. In a medical emergency you can dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.
As a British national you need to obtain a Zambian visa before you travel to the country. You can obtain a visa on arrival be it a single or double entry visa however multiple entry visas need to be applied for at their embassy. When you enter Zambia at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport you need to pay by debit or credit card for the Zambian visa. On leaving Zambia, all air passengers must pay a departure tax of US$25. Although this is normally included in the cost of an air ticket you will be asked to pay separately in Zambian Kwacha if it is not.
Local laws and customs
Like anywhere else the possession or use of narcotics, including soft drugs like marijuana, is strictly prohibited. Punishments can be severe and prison conditions are very poor. (British in Prison Abroad). The possession of pornographic material is illegal in Zambia and offenders may be jailed and/or deported. Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia and those caught engaging in homosexual acts can be sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
Safety and security
Armed robberies and vehicle hijackings happen across the country from time to time. There have been recent reports of vehicles being struck by rocks while traveling along Leopard’s Hill Road in Lusaka. The motive appears to be attempted carjacking. Bag snatching, pick pocketing and theft from parked cars are common at some restaurants and internet cafes in downtown areas. Walking after dark, particularly in tourist or down town areas, can be dangerous. In other words — use common sense.
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