Zambia is safe
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
There are currently warnings against unnecessary tourist trips to Zambia.
Zambia is severely affected by COVID-19.
Cases of the more contagious virus variants of COVID-19 have increased in Zambia, which is why Zambia as a risk area with a particularly high risk of infection (Virus variant area) is classified.
The Zambian Ministry of Health offers current and detailed figures on Facebook and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition to Zambian nationals and persons with permanent residence permits, business travelers, visitors and tourists are also allowed to enter Zambia. All travelers must prove a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72 hours upon arrival. Otherwise, entry will be refused. This does not apply to children under 5 years of age. Travelers with symptoms of COVID-19 and a body temperature of 38 ° C or higher will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and must undergo quarantine at a government facility. Accommodation and meals costs are borne by the traveler.
For travelers without symptoms and with a corresponding negative test, no quarantine is required after entry.
Tourists, visitors and business travelers are encouraged to check themselves for possible COVID-19 symptoms during their stay and to report this to the Zambian authorities if necessary. Quarantine is not required.
Travelers are advised to inquire about the need for a negative PCR test and test certificate with the respective airline before leaving Zambia. As a rule, these are only required when leaving the country if the transit or destination country requires a negative test to be submitted.
Transit and onward travel
All land and air borders are open.
There are currently connections to Germany several times a week with Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and RwandAir. At check-in, the airlines check that the proof of a negative COVID-19 test required upon entry to Zambia is present. It cannot be ruled out that carriage will otherwise be refused. There may be flight cancellations and changes at short notice at any time.
Due to the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance of May 12, 2021 and the classification of Zambia as a virus variant area, when traveling from Zambia to Germany, in addition to the existing registration and test obligation and extended and unconditional quarantine obligation, proof of a negative COVID-19 test in German and English , French, Spanish or Italian language, even if travelers are already fully vaccinated. Airlines and other carriers are otherwise not allowed to take people over the age of six with them.
The underlying PCR test may have been carried out a maximum of 72 hours, and a rapid antigen test in accordance with the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute a maximum of 24 hours before the planned entry.
The ban on transporting people in cross-border rail, bus, ship and air traffic in Zambia does not apply to German nationals and people with residence and right of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, but can lead to changes in the flight plan and reductions in flight connections to and from Germany .
Restrictions in the country
There are currently no restrictions.
Mouth and nose protection is compulsory in public spaces. People with COVID-19 symptoms are obliged to report this to the competent authorities. The usual distance and hygiene rules apply.
The medical facilities provided for the treatment of COVID-19 patients do not meet European standards. Adequate emergency medical care in Zambia is therefore not guaranteed.
- If you need to travel urgently, please contact the responsible Zambian diplomatic mission abroad for information on the current entry requirements and visa requirements.
- Please note the current information from the airlines in good time before you start your journey, e.g. the current information from Ethiopian Airlines on the transport requirements.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information can be found in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Unnecessary travel to the immediate border areas to the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not recommended.
Violent riots cannot be ruled out during demonstrations and politically heated rallies. These will tend to increase because of the elections scheduled for mid-2021. Experience has shown that metropolitan areas (densely populated districts, so-called “compounds”), the arterial roads and the vicinity of universities and shopping centers are particularly affected.
In the immediate border region to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are occasional attacks across the border and minefields continue to be unmarked. These continue to exist in the border areas with Angola and Mozambique.
- Avoid the immediate border area with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and be especially careful in other border areas.
- Find out about the local media.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and handbag theft occur particularly in cities, tourist centers and in public transport and train stations. Armed robberies are mainly concentrated in Lusaka, the cities of the so-called “copper belt”, but can also occur in other tourist centers or on overland routes. Burglaries also occur in upscale hotel rooms in tourist centers and increasingly in good residential areas.
In Lusaka in particular, acts of violence tend to be committed in the early hours of the morning. It is not advisable to move around the streets of the capital after dark.
Credit card fraud has increased in the recent past. When using credit cards such as cash withdrawals or payments, data is tapped and misused. The supply of cash in Zambia is becoming increasingly difficult, as both having a large amount of cash and using a credit card are associated with a particular risk.
The population's trust in the police has fallen sharply. In the event of traffic checks, the police often demand unauthorized payments. She is also often overwhelmed, shows little willingness to work or there is no fuel available for the emergency vehicles. This now leads to the fact that -ggf. also form violent “vigilante groups”.
- Keep money, ID cards, driver's license, flight tickets and other important documents safe, e.g. in the safe.
- Take only the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- Pay particular attention to your valuables at airports, train stations, on public transport markets and at events.
- Under no circumstances should you resist a robbery
- When driving, lock the doors from the inside and keep the windows closed.
- Do not leave any bags or valuables visible in the vehicle.
- Wait with your vehicle in the direction of travel parallel to the road, ready to escape, until the entrance gate is opened.
- Check your credit card account regularly and be extra careful with withdrawals and payments and never let your cards out of your sight.
- Do not expect too much support from the police and, if necessary, reject unjustified monetary claims or ask for an agreement with your superiors at the office.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not share any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure of yourself personally.
Nature and climate
The climate is tropical.
In the rainy season from December to April, however, landslides and floods occur, which also make roads and bridges impassable and can thus significantly affect travel as well as the electricity and water supply. In the rest of the time, there are increasing periods of drought.
- Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
There is left-hand traffic in Zambia. Many roads are impassable, especially in the rainy season. Be careful with sudden floods, especially on bridges. Roadside checks by the police, which go beyond pure traffic controls, are not only the order of the day on interurban roads but also in inner-city areas. It is strongly advised to always have all personal and vehicle documents with you. Mobile speed cameras are very common on the major highways, but the signs indicating the permitted speed are often not available or contradicting themselves.
Nocturnal cross-country journeys are associated with great risks due to pedestrians running on the lanes, unsecured and / or unlit vehicles, other obstacles and the condition of the road as well as isolated attacks with road blockades and should be avoided at all costs. There is usually no street lighting outside of the cities.
In Zambia, there are regular power outages lasting several hours in all parts of the country. Correspondingly, the functionality is limited in many areas (e.g. lack of lighting, non-existent cooking facilities, no internet use and no possibility of card payment, cell phones usually work, however, a power bank can provide sufficient charge here).
Sports activities / safaris
The adventure sports activities offered mainly at the Victoria Falls around the cities of Livingstone (Zambia) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) naturally involve a risk to life and limb. There is insufficient emergency medical care on site.
Wild animals (especially elephants and hippos, but also buffalo, crocodiles, big cats and snakes) repeatedly injure or kill careless tourists. This also applies to experienced self-drivers. The Zambian national parks are not zoos with barriers but full of wild and dangerous animals that can also be in the camps. Due to the inadequate or non-existent health and rescue structure and the long distances, even less severe injuries can have life-threatening consequences.
- It is essential that you follow the instructions of the organizers such as safari guides or lodge operators.
The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
Homosexual acts are punishable by imprisonment and forced labor from 15 years to life. Zambian ideas about sexual morality differ significantly from those prevalent in Europe.
Offenses against the entry and residence regulations will be punished consistently. Foreigners without a valid visa or without a valid residence permit can expect high fines and / or imprisonment and / or deportation.
Photographing military and other security-relevant facilities, even if they are not always recognizable as such at first glance, as well as of military and police personnel is prohibited and can lead to immediate imprisonment.
It is forbidden to stay in the immediate vicinity of the Presidential Palace (State House). Always ask permission before photographing buildings and people.
The importation, possession and consumption of narcotics, including so-called “soft drugs”, are threatened with heavy penalties, often imprisonment for many years.
Smoking in public places is prohibited by law. Violation can result in fines and / or imprisonment of up to two years.
Prostitution and possession of pornographic material, as well as homosexual acts, are criminal offenses.
Zambian prisons are overcrowded and usually have simple sanitation and inadequate medical and food supplies.
Money / credit cards
The national currency is the Kwacha (ZMW). Banks and exchange offices often only accept US dollars for exchange; the euro has not yet caught on across the board. US dollar banknotes of the series before 1996 ("small heads") are generally not exchanged or accepted. Small bills are often only exchanged at lower rates.
Major companies are increasingly, but not consistently, accepting major credit cards. Transmission errors often occur, so that credit card payments often fail due to the technology. Withdrawing cash, mostly limited amounts, from ATMs is increasingly possible with credit cards, and occasionally also with bank cards.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.
German nationals require a visa to enter Zambia, which can be issued by the Zambian embassy in Berlin, online as an e-Visa or, for a tourist stay, for a fee when entering Zambia ("on arrival").
Visa before entry
Visa for single or double entry and with a validity of up to three months can be applied for at the embassy of Zambia in Berlin.
For day trips from Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) to Livingstone (Zambia) in particular, a day tripper visa is issued, which is valid for 24 hours.
Online Visa (e-Visa)
It is possible to apply for an eVisa.
After the online application and payment, a Visa Approval Letter is issued, which has to be printed out and presented upon entry, after which the visa is stamped or stuck into the passport directly at the airport.
Particularly interesting is the so-called KAZA visa for 50 US dollars, which entitles you to enter Zimbabwe and multiple re-entries to Zambia (e.g. for trips to Namibia and Botswana). This is only available on the e-Visa platform.
Private companies also offer this service on the Internet and often cleverly disguise the considerable additional fees they are demanding of up to 100 euros per visa.
There have also been isolated cases in which airlines insisted on submitting a visa before departure, so that the e-visa procedure cannot be recommended without restrictions so far.
- Make sure you only apply for eVisa on the official website of the Zambian immigration authority.
- If necessary, inquirewith your airline to find out whether the eVisa is recognized.
Visa on entry ("on arrival")
If the visa is applied for directly upon entry, the fees must be paid in US dollars in cash. Change is usually not available. Payment by card is possible, but not guaranteed. When entering the country, the return or onward flight ticket is often required. Immediately upon receipt, you should check whether the correct visa has been issued.
Multiple entries are not issued at the airport, but can be applied for at the local immigration office after entry.
Length of stay
The period of validity stated on a visa obtained before entry is the period of use of the visa. This means that the (possibly first) entry must take place within the specified period, usually three months.
The duration of the permitted stay of usually 30 days is only determined by the immigration authorities upon entry and documented by stamps in the passport.
The period for which visitors can stay in Zambia within a period of twelve months may not exceed 90 days (tourists and visitors) / 30 days (business travelers) in accordance with the relevant Zambian regulations.
Cases have become known in which foreign visitors were refused entry on grounds that exceeded 90 days despite having a visa issued by a Zambian embassy for this trip.
Depending on the individual case, a residence permit for longer stays can be issued by the locally responsible offices of the immigration authorities.
Offenses against the entry and residence regulations are consistently punished by the Zambian immigration authorities. Foreigners without a valid visa or without a valid residence permit can expect high fines and / or imprisonment and / or deportation.
- It is essential that you adhere to the permitted length of stay.
- When crossing the border by land, make sure that the entry has been documented in the passport (entry stamp) and for how long the stay is permitted.
- Always carry your passport with visa and / or entry stamp and, if applicable, the separate residence and work permit with you.
There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.
There is no limit to the import and export of local currency and other currencies, but a declaration must be made from US $ 5,000.
The export of parts of wildlife trophies from Zambia is prohibited. The export ban not only includes tusks or horns, but also found objects from the national parks that are often viewed as tourist souvenirs, such as B. skeletal or tooth parts of dead wild animals. Anyone found at the airport or at the border posts with such objects must expect arrest and subsequent legal proceedings (fines). Any export requires a permit from the Zambian wildlife protection authority ZAWA.
To import pets, an import permit from the Department of Research & Specialist Services in Lusaka is required, which is issued on the basis of a current health certificate and evidence of a rabies vaccination that is at least 30 days and a maximum of 12 months old.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area or staying more than twelve hours in transit through a yellow fever area, all persons over the age of one year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination.
After visiting the country, the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe do not require proof of vaccination. The same applies to the onward journey to South Africa.
Travelers under four weeks of travel time should have full poliomyelitis (polio) vaccination with booster vaccinations every ten years. Residents and long-term travelers over four weeks are recommended to have a booster vaccination four weeks to twelve months before departure, see information sheet on poliomyelitis.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A and polio are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and meningococcal disease (ACWY).
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anophelesMosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous one in particular is Malaria tropica often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see Malaria leaflet.
- If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see the doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.
In the entire country, including the cities, there is a high risk of malaria, primarily for the dangerous tropical malaria, see Standing Committee on Travel Medicine (StAR) of the DTG.
To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts).
- Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body, in the evening and at night (malaria).
- If necessary, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.
Depending on the travel profile, in addition to the necessary exposure prophylaxis, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is also useful. Various prescription drugs (e.g. atovaquone proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine) are available on the German market for this purpose.
- Discuss the choice of medication and its personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medication with a tropical medicine or travel medicine specialist before taking it.
- It is recommended that you bring sufficient supplies with you.
HIV / AIDS
HIV / AIDS infections are a relevant problem in Zambia. There is a high risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions.
- Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.
Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene, most diarrheal diseases and also cholera (see below) can be avoided. Therefore, to protect your health, please observe the following basic information:
- Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
- If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you're out and about.
- If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
- Cook or peel food yourself.
- Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
- Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
- If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.
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