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Practical information for traveling to Zambia, Victoria Falls

Practical information for traveling to Zambia, Victoria Falls

Practical information for traveling to Zambia, Victoria Falls

Facts about Zambia
  • Population: 12 million
  • Area: 752 614 km2
  • Language: There are 8 languages in Zambia , English, Bemba , Kaonda , Lozi , Lunda , Luvale , Nyanja and Tonga. Over 70 local languages can be found around the country.
  • Capital: Lusaka (1.7 Million)
Background for Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, called in local language: “Mosi – Oa – Tuna” meaning “the smoke that thunders”.

The Falls are one of UNESCO’s ‘ Seven Natural Wonders of the World ‘.

The waterfall is set on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is 1.6 km wide with a drop of 128 m. David Livingstone, who was the first European to see the waterfall in 1855, named it after Queen Victoria.

The creation of the waterfall began 200 million years ago, when most of Southern Africa was subjected to violent volcanic activity that covered most of the area with lava.

As the lava cooled off, cracks remained which were subsequently later filled with softer soil. As the Zambezi river mouth in the Limpopo River was blocked, the Zambezi River flowed out of this lava landscape instead. The flowing waters eroded the softer soil in the cracks and cut deeper into the rock. Over 100,000 years, a number of cracks eroded backwards. The waterfall pulled further back each time, which can be seen on the zigzag shaped gorges of the fall today. Today’s outlook of Victoria Falls is actually the 8th version and certainly not the last.

1. Weather in Zambia

Victoria Falls is situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The area around the waterfall has a subtropical climate with two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season is from around April to mid-November. The season offers mild temperatures, while both the sky and the air are fresh and clear. The coolest time of the year is from May to August, when the nights in particular can feel a little chilly. It does not rain a lot between June and August. From September to November, it is hot, and humidity is generally low.

The dry season is from around mid-November to March. There is relatively little rain, but when it does rain, it is usually heavy showers or thunderstorms. There is a small risk of flooding caused by the rain.

The tables below show how the flow of water at the falls changes throughout the year, as well as provides weather statistics showing the temperatures and rainfall at Victoria Falls.

JAN Slow
FEB The water flow increases
APR Perfect
MAY Highest
JUN Highest
JUL Good
AUG Normal
SEP The water flow drops
OCT Medium
NOV Slow
DEC Slow
Weather statistics for Livingstone: JAN FEB MAY APR MAJ JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 30 30 30 28 26 26 28 33 34 33 30
Average minimum temperature 19 19 18 15 10 7 6 9 14 18 19 19
Rainfall mm 174 141 80 24 6 1 0 1 2 25 70 169


2. Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3. Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another African country.

5. Visa / Passport

Upon entry to Zambia your passport should be valid for six months beyond your stay.
You must also be in possession of a return ticket home or a ticket to another country.

UK citizens need a visa to enter Zambia and we recommend that you purchase it on entry (remember cash!). This is a procedure which takes place at the airport during the point at which you produce your passport to customs. The forms are completed in the customs area and should be a fairly quick process.

The purchase of visas at the border are subject to the following prices (from January 2018 – subject to change):

  • Single Entry : 50 US Dollars – If you only want to visit Zambia.
  • If you’re planning to cross the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it may be worth buying a KAZA UniVisa. This is purchased on your arrival at the airport and the price is 50 USD. A KAZA visa allows entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as unlimited travel between the two countries. It is valid for 30 days and also allows for a day trip to Botswana.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

6. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport.  If you find any mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

7. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

8. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

9. Your luggage

We use many different airlines to Zambia, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

We recommend that you pack your things in soft bags when going on a safari holiday. It’s easier to pack the safari cars with soft bags than suitcases. Hardcase suitcases are particularly difficult to fit in to the safari car. So, if possible, avoid using suitcases with hard edges.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

10. Arrival / Departure

After passing through passport control, you will be greeted by a guide from BUSH TRACKS , which is our representative in Zambia. He will either stand with a sign displaying your name or a sign with our logo, which is a lion’s head. The guide will take you to the hotel and make an appointment with you in relation to when you will be picked up again for your return transfer . This transfer is included in your stay.

11. Currency

The local currency in Zambia is Kwacha (ZMW) and if you want the local currency, we recommend that you exchange once in Zambia rather than at home. If you use ZMW then try to use smaller amounts as the locals almost may struggle to exchange large notes.

We recommend that you use debit cards as they can be used anywhere, also to pay for room bill, additional excursions etc. US dollars can be used as a currency almost everywhere.

On arrival at Livingstone Airport is a Forex, where you can change money should you wish.

At the hotel it is also possible to change from USD to ZMW which has a mini bank (ATM) where you can withdraw ZMW. The hotel accepts payment in pound sterling, South African rand and euro, but prefers US dollars or credit card (VISA, MasterCard and American Express).

12. Tipping

Restaurants and hotels have generally included a charge of 10 percent of the bill. Therefor it is not really expected that you tip in Zambia. If during your stay there has been extraordinarily good treatment, and you wish to reward, it is perfectly acceptable to leave a tip. Both USD and ZMW accepted.

13. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.


14. Time difference

The time in Zambia is one hour ahead of the UK. During the winter months Zambia 2 hours ahead of UK time.

15. Mosquito Net

Mosquitoes appear when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. It is in the evenings, when most people get bitten, so it would be wise to wear long pants and maybe a long-sleeved shirt. It would also be wise to make sure any exposed parts of the body are protected with spray.

16. Luggage which is important to bring
  • Bright summer clothes for safari trips.
  • Nicer clothes for evenings at the hotel and lodge.
  • A good jacket, as it can be cool in the morning and evening.
  • Summer Footwear.
  • Power adaptor with 3-4 sockets – this enables a shaver, trimmer, electric toothbrush and any batteries to be charged via a single adapter.
17. Important items to have in your hand luggage
  • Passports, money, tickets
  • Hat that shields against the sun
  • Sunglasses
  • A mosquito repellant
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Medication you use at home (always in your hand luggage, just in case you lose your suitcase!)
  • Hand Medicine: analgesic, allergy pills, remedy for diarrhea (maybe Imodium), malaria pills, plasters and disinfectant wipes
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Camera and memory cards more than you expect to use, plus battery charger and protective cover for your camera.
  • Shoulder bag with sturdy strap/zips or money belt that has good inside pockets that can be zipped up.
  • A few photocopies of all personal documents such as passports, visas, flight details, travel insurance, vaccination card, international debit cards, (Master Card, Visa credit cards etc.) driving license and any other important documents keeping everything together for possibly sharing with other passengers.
  • Telephone list for immediate blocking of lost debit card and insurance or the like.
  • Any mail addresses for those you wish to send postcards too.
  • Notebook and pens.
  • A good book or something to keep you entertained on the flight.
18. Things to avoid during your trip
  • Do not drink water from the taps – buy bottled water.
  • Keep away from people who cough and sneeze.
  • Never take medicine which is not that of your own. Take caution when buying prescribed medicine. The medicine may not be exactly what it says it is on the packaging.
  • Try to avoid the use of needles at hospitals or clinics (some tourists take their own syringes bought from pharmacies, just for safety reasons)
  • Try and avoid trips to the dentist.
  • Be sure to take care of your own safety at all times.
19. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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