Travel to Zambia
When to visit
Zambia’s safari destinations are all very seasonal, and best visited during the dry winter months of May to October. Victoria Falls can be visited throughout the year, but it is most impressive over April to September.
Visas and paperwork
US citizens require a visa. Provided their passport is valid for at least another six months, this can be obtained upon arrival at any international airport or overland border.
Did You Know?
Did You Know?
Lower Zambezi is home to the Goba people, pastoralists who fled from their original homeland following the influx of the more militant Matabele in the 1840s. To learn about the traditions and day-to-day life of these welcoming people, drop into Chiawa Cultural Village, a riverside settlement set in a game management area immediately
west of the national park.
At a Glance/Highlights
Zambia’s busiest tourist hub, the mile-wide Victoria Falls is also a springboard for thrilling adventure activities such as bungee jumping, white-water rafting, kayaking and canoeing.
One of Africa’s most alluring and wildest safari destinations, South Luangwa supports impressive concentrations of lion, elephant, buffalo and hippo, and truly excels when it comes to leopard sightings and walking safaris.
The 8,600-square-mile Kafue National Park is the third largest in Africa, and its checklist of 158 mammal species exceeds that of any rival. It’s centerpiece is the vast Busanga Floodplain, which offers great dry-season game viewing.
Lower Zambezi National Park is a rewarding all-round safari destination, but its main attraction is undoubtedly the opportunity to spend several days canoeing along the lush tropical river for which is named.
Best known for the spectacular Victoria Falls, Zambia is also recognized by the cognoscenti as offering some of Africa’s finest wildlife viewing. True, it isn’t as well suited to first-timers or families as Kenya or Tanzania, and it lacks the DIY-amenities that make South Africa and Namibia so popular with self-drivers. But when it comes to offering a raw and immersive bush experience, complete with the opportunity to walk and canoe through the wilds accompanied by vastly knowledgeable guides, Zambia is surely Africa’s most hardcore safari destination.
Most visitors fly into Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, 15 miles northeast of the capital Lusaka, or Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, a similar distance from Victoria Falls. Once in Zambia, distances between points of interest are long, so the easiest way to get around is by air.
Health and safety
The main risk is malaria; it is advisable to take prophylactic drugs and to cover up at night. Crime is seldom an issue outside of major urban areas, most of which see very few tourists. If you need to stay overnight in Lusaka, Livingstone or any other large town, avoid walking around after dark.