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Zambia is a developing country in southern Africa. Tourist facilities outside of the capital, Lusaka, Livingstone (Victoria Falls), and well-known game parks are not fully developed. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Zambia for additional information.



Image of Zambia
Country Name: Zambia
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Lusaka
Boundary Countries:

Angola, Democractic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Lusaka, Livingstone, Chipata, Kabwe, Solwezi, Kitwe, Ndola, Kasama, Mpulungu, Mufulira, Kapiri Mposhi, Mongu

Country Size: 752,614 sq km
Population: 11,669,534



English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages


Currency: Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)
Predominant Religions:

Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%


National Holidays: Independence day, 24 October (1964)
Economic Status:

Zambia's economy has experienced modest growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-07 between 5-6% per year. Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth. Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade.



Zambian National Defense Force (ZNDF): Zambian Army, Zambian Air Force, National Service

U.S. citizens are advised to exercise caution when traveling in northern Luapula Province and in areas of the Northern Province adjacent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although a cease-fire is currently in effect, the DRC is not yet stable and uncontrolled militias operate in the eastern DRC. In the past, armed gunmen have occasionally attacked vehicles near the DRC-Zambian border. Land mines and unexploded ordnance along the western, southern, and eastern borders make off-road travel to those areas potentially hazardous. For these reasons, the U.S. Embassy discourages travelers from driving off-road or on remote little-used tracks near the borders with DRC and Angola. American citizens who must drive in these areas are encouraged to drive in convoy and to carry satellite telephones. U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.


US Presence:
U.S. Embassy in Lusaka
Eastern end of Kabulonga Road
Ibex Hill
Lusaka, Zambia
Phone: +260 (0) 211-357-000
Document Requirements:

A passport and visa are required.  A visa may be obtained in advance at a Zambian Embassy or Consulate or at the port of entry.  The fee is $50 for a single-entry visa, $80 for a three-year, multiple-entry visa, or $20 for a day-trip visa (typically issued to tourists visiting Victoria Falls from a neighboring country).  Please try to bring exact change whenever practical.  At the time of entry, the immigration officer will stamp your passport with the permitted length of stay.  Typically, an immigration officer will admit an American citizen for the exact number of days they request, up to a maximum of thirty days.  Visitors with indefinite departure plans may want to request admission for thirty days on arrival in the country. Visitors who wish to stay longer than their initial period of entry may visit an immigration office to obtain no more than two thirty-day extensions (for a total time of 90 days).  Zambian Immigration officials insist that visitors carry the original or a certified copy of their passport and immigration permit at all times.  Certified copies must be obtained from the immigration office that issued the permit.  American citizens should closely follow immigration guidelines, including visa requirements for travel to Zambia.

In recent months, a number of American citizens have encountered difficulties with Zambian Immigration officials as a result of their volunteer activities in Zambia.  Americans who wish to engage in voluntary service in Zambia, even on a short-term basis, are reminded that they must enter Zambia on a business visa.  Business visas may be obtained by presenting a letter of invitation from the organization that is sponsoring the volunteer.  Americans who engage in volunteer activities on a tourist visa are subject to fines and removal by the Zambian Department of Immigration.

All Americans, except resident diplomats, must pay an airport departure tax which is collected in U.S. dollars.  Airlines include this tax in the cost of the ticket; however, passengers will need to verify that this tax has been paid at the airport.  The passenger will receive a “no-fee” receipt reflecting this payment.

Visit the Embassy of Zambia website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Zambia.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  107, Airports w/paved runways:  9
Lusaka Airport, Zambia, National Airports Corporation Ltd, PO Box 30175, 10101 Lusaka International Airport, ZAMBIA
Tel: +260 (0)1 271044, +260 (0)1 271313
Fax: (Head Office MD) +260 (0)1 224777, (Airport Services) +260 (0)1 271292
Email: naclmd@zamnet.zmwww.nacl.co.zm
Website: www.lun.aero  or
Livingstone Airport, Zambia, PO Box 60199, Livingstone, ZAMBIA
Tel: +260 (0)3 324235


Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found.

Vehicle thefts, burglaries, and armed robbery occur throughout the country. Carjacking remains an ongoing problem, especially in Lusaka and other major cities. Carjackers generally employ a strategy of blocking the back of one’s car when the car is waiting to pass through a security gate into a residence or other facility. It is recommended to drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times and remain vigilant when entering or exiting one’s residence.
Foreign tourists have frequently been the target of small-scale financial scams involving bogus “fees” to be paid to various Zambian officials and groups. The embassy cautions travelers to make sure that they receive an official, Government of Zambia receipt for any fines and duties paid. Often, travelers will be told that the official does not have a receipt book or that this type of fine is not receipted. Polite, but firm insistence on a Zambian Government receipt will often result in these fines disappearing.


U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. Zambian police do not provide the U.S. Embassy with timely notification of the arrest of American citizens. If you are detained, you should insist on your right to contact a U.S. consular officer.

Zambia recently enacted a ban on smoking in any public place.  A “public place” is defined as any building, premise, conveyance or other place to which the public has access.  The penalty for this infraction is a fine or up to two years' imprisonment.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  100.96 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 38.59 years (male 38.49/female 38.7)


Immunization Indicators:

Required: None

Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies,
 Boosters: MMR, DPT
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Zambia and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.


Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria risk area in Zambia: All
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Zambia, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in Central Africa. African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) has increased in Africa and its increase in travelers has been noted since 2000.  Most had exposures in Tanzania and Kenya, reflecting common tourist routes.  Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)
Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Government hospitals and clinics are often understaffed and lack supplies. Private medical clinics in major cities can provide reasonable care in many cases, but major medical emergencies usually require medical evacuation to South Africa, Europe, or the United States. Basic medical care outside of major cities is extremely limited. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Travelers should carry their prescription drugs and medications in original labeled containers, as well as the written prescription from their physician. (See “Criminal Penalties” section.)


Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 2
Referrals: 10
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks.  Outbreaks have occurred since 2000 in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania.  Ituri Distric (Oriental Province) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports about 1,000 caes per year and was the site of an outbreak in 2006.

Polio outbreaks were reported in several previously polio-free countries in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa beginning in 2003.  Polio is still endemic in Nigeria.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Other risks to travelers to Central, East, and West African countries include typhoid (a large outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2004-2005) and paratyphoid fever, amebiasis, and brucellosis.

Communications Info:

 Calling Code:  +260    
Internet code:  zm



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