Zambia: Africa's Best-Kept Secret
Before You Go
Travel between the camps will mostly be by small charter aircraft, and road transfers are in 4x4 game viewing vehicles, except within Kafue where we transfer to the camps by helicopter. Wildlife viewing will be in open-sided 4x4 vehicles that offer excellent photographic opportunities, but the drives can be long and over bumpy surfaces. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required.
Most nights on safari are spent in deluxe tented accommodations, designed to the highest standards, with hot and cold running water in the en suite bathroom area. All of the safari camps are built to blend into the environment and have separate lounge and bar areas that offer stunning vistas.
We will be in Zambia at the end of the dry season, when water sources have receded, creating excellent game viewing as wildlife congregates around the available water. Expect high temperatures (90°F) during the day with cooler temperatures (65ºF) at night. Luggage on our bush flights is limited to 44lbs (20kg) total.
Trip Preparation: Gear Up!
Imagine viewing and snapping pictures and video—of Zambia’s incredible wildlife, no less—on your smart phone through any device: binoculars, monoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, and more. This universal adapter makes it easy and is compatible with all popular phones. It’s portable and lightweight, so it goes easily along with you to the country’s three national parks.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. Travel between camps will mostly be by small charter aircraft, and road transfers are in 4x4 game viewing vehicles, except within Kafue where we transfer camps by helicopter. Wildlife viewing will be in open-sided 4x4 vehicles that offer excellent photographic opportunities, but the drives can be long and over bumpy surfaces.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight at least two hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to the final destination allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Please contact Zegrahm at 800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival at your destination city so that we may inform our expedition staff.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates only. If you are arriving prior to the group day and Zegrahm Expeditions has booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, an airport transfer will be provided.
Zambia Airport Departure Taxes
All taxes are the responsibility of each traveler and must be paid in USD or Zambian kwacha (ZMW), the local currency. The amounts below are guidelines only as amounts can fluctuate depending on the rate of exchange on the day of the transaction.
• These taxes must be paid direct at the airport when guests depart from Livingstone Airport, Lusaka Airport, or Mfuwe Airport. Travelers Checks and credit cards are not accepted for this purpose. For passengers flying out of Zambia, an International Airport Departure Tax applies. This is included by most airlines in the cost of your air ticket, but should be confirmed prior to your flight. There is also a Domestic Departure Tax payable direct when departing internally on a flight out of Lusaka, Livingstone and Mfuwe airports.
• Currently, but subject to change, guests should expect to pay a Domestic Charter Flight tax on September 30th upon departing Livingstone enroute for Plains Airstrip and on October 7th when departing Mfuwe airstrip enroute for Royal airstrip. The approximate cost of each departure tax listed is USD $20 per passenger.
If you are handling your own travel arrangements, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
Due to restrictions on the charter flights within this program, baggage is restricted to 44lbs (20 kg) total including camera equipment and hand luggage. If you purchase items en route, you may need to arrange to have the items shipped back in order to remain within these limits. Only soft-sided bags will be accepted – no wheels, frames, or rigid structures can be transported as flexibility of the bag is limited and restricts physical loading into the aircraft.
The maximum dimensions of the soft bags which can be accommodated are as follows: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high and 62 cm (24 inches) long.
These restrictions are in place for your safety. The bush planes used between camps operate within a limited body and luggage weight allowance. Most airfields are at a higher elevation and in warm/hot climates. This, in addition to their physical sizes, reduces their capacity.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We will be in Zambia at the end of the dry season, when water sources have receded, creating excellent game viewing as wildlife congregates around the available water. Expect high temperatures (90°F) during the day with cooler temperatures (65°F) at night.
The following are average high/low temperatures in September and October for selected locations on our itinerary:
As of May 2015 the exchange rate for $1 US dollar (USD) is 7.44 Zambian kwacha (ZMW).
You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, a complete packing list, reading list, and gift certificates—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to your departure.
Electricity in Zambia runs at 230v with three-prong outlets either of the flat or round variety. However, as there is insufficient electricity available at the permanent tented camps to power appliances, we ask that you not take them on safari. There will be facilities for recharging camera and video batteries at the camps. At these locations, you will need to bring a European, round, two-prong adapter and converter if your equipment is not compatible for charging 220v electricity.
Extending Your Stay
Interested in extending your stay? Speak with one of our Expedition Advisors to find out how easy it is for you to stay an extra night or two. Or, our Private Travel department is available to design customized extended stays for individuals, families, and groups of friends—the same horizon-broadening adventures and life-changing experiences as our group expedition, but on a flexible, intimate, and personalized scale. Call 800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 for more information.
International arrivals and departures are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Livingstone and Lusaka/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
A yellow fever vaccination is not required for entry into Zambia. However, South Africa considers Zambia a ‘low risk’ destination. If you are entering or transiting through South Africa at any time after your safari, you may need to show proof of inoculation to the South African authorities on arrival. This would come in the form of a certificate of inoculation or yellow card that you get from your health care provider. You must be inoculated a minimum of 10 days prior to entering South Africa from Zambia. Travelers with specific contraindication to the yellow fever vaccine should request and travel with a waiver from their physician before departing their home city. Without proof of inoculation or a waiver, you can be delayed for observation or even denied entry into South Africa. Exemptions against having to show proof against the yellow fever vaccine include transiting through South Africa but not leaving the authorized transit area.
Yellow fever vaccinations, valid for 10 years, must be given at official centers designated by your state’s health departments. The International Certificate of Vaccination must be validated by the center that administers the vaccine and carried with you on your trip. Your local or state health department can provide information regarding the locations and hours of yellow fever vaccination centers.
No other vaccinations are required for this expedition at this time.
Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended for travelers to southern Africa and Chloroquine resistant P. falciparum has been reported. Malaria is widespread, but with a few basic precautions it is easy to avoid.
Insect bites can be a problem, and we urge you to bring an adequate supply of both insect repellent and bite relief products.
Protect yourself against the heat and the strong sun. Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid over exposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of your expedition includes $100,000 in emergency evacuation and $25,000 in medical expense. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include emergency contact information, including phone and fax numbers as well as email addresses. Please bear in mind that communication can be very difficult at times. Most safari camps do not offer telephone, fax, e-mail, or radio service except in emergencies.
Should your family need to reach you, they will contact our local operator who will get messages to the camp as soon as possible. It is highly unlikely you will have cell service during this departure. IRIDUM phones have been known to work on occasion but not reliably.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00a.m.||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00a.m.||New York, NY (EDT)|
Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form included with the Pre-Departure packet, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight, natural fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and personal tastes and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available, and by using it you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing. Please note for cultural reasons some of the camps you will be visiting do not launder undergarments. In these cases, there will be laundry soap in your tent for hand washing.
Rugged, lightweight, comfortable, and casual clothing that can be layered is most suitable. Bring light materials (denim is discouraged). You will be traveling during the end of the dry season and should expect the occasional shower. A lightweight jacket will be needed for mornings and evenings.
Dress in the safari camps and in the lodges is casual and informal. Your clothes for safari should be in neutral, muted colors such as tan, khaki, and bush green. Navy blue and black can attract insects, and bright colors like white, orange, and red should be avoided, as they alert wildlife to our presence and can cause them to shy away. Camouflage-patterned clothing is not allowed as it is associated with the military; your hat should also be neutral colored.
For protection against insect bites, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are useful as well. Bring along insect repellent with a high concentration of DEET. You may also consider permethrin spray, which can be applied directly on to your clothing before departure and lasts up to three washings, or clothing with insect-repellent already bonded to the fabric, such as Buzz Off clothing.
Prepare yourself for hot weather, strong sun, and cool mornings and evenings. Bring adequate sun protective clothing and gear. Wear hats and use sun block as we will be out for extended periods of time. Comfortable walking or jogging shoes or lightweight hiking boots are suitable. You may welcome a change to more casual shoes for evenings. Thongs or sports sandals, such as Tevas, can double as slippers. You may also want to pack a swimsuit, as some of our lodging will have swimming pools.
You will receive a complete Packing List with your Pre-Departure Packet, approximately five months prior to departure.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for four months after you return home, through February 11, 2016. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum one blank page per country visited available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages if necessary. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
Visas are required of U.S. nationals for entry into Zambia. The cost of the visa is approximately U.S. $50 and can be obtained upon arrival. Please use bills no larger than $20.
If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the expedition, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
PLEASE NOTE: Nationals of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
• 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
• 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
• 60 through 119 days prior to departure: 50% of expedition fare
• 1 through 59 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. Gift certificates to our Zegrahm Store and Longitude Books will offer you the opportunity to purchase items from our store along with books or maps suggested in the highly recommended titles sent. The certificates will be sent in your Pre-Departure Packet approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificates for more details.