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Country Reports

Zambia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Zambia (population 15 million) is a young country (nearly half the population is under 15) with a relatively calm political environment. Travel to the country does not pose any major risks to travelers. Nonetheless, visitors should take into account the regional situation, which is characterized by a number of unstable neighboring countries.

SECURITY

Zambia is vulnerable to certain security risks by virtue of its location; visitors are advised against traveling to certain regions, including the length of the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bands of armed men remain unchecked by authorities in the area. Travel to the border with Angola in the northwest of the country is also ill-advised due to the presence of landmines.

CRIME

In the rest of the country, travelers should principally be concerned with high crime rates. The country, even though relatively calm and secure, is not immune to urban crime; these situations can quickly become violent. If this occurs, do not offer resistance. As a precaution, avoid traveling on foot after nightfall, whether in rural or urban settings.

SOCIAL UNREST

Protests linked to socioeconomic issues arise periodically. In July 2015, taxi drivers in the city of Livingstone – a tourist destination – protested against a rise in the price of fuel, ending in confrontations between protesters and security forces; some 50 people were arrested. As a precautionary measure, avoid all gatherings throughout the country.

HEALTH

Travelers should be aware that health and medical conditions within the country are less than ideal. Besides being at risk of diarrheal diseases (epidemics of cholera are common between November and April during the rainy season in Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces), travelers also face the risk of contracting malaria throughout the year in the Zambezi Valley (including at Victoria Falls) and from April to May in the rest of the country. A vaccination certificate against yellow fever is compulsory to enter the territory for travelers who have stayed in a country where yellow fever is endemic, or who transited in an airport in a country where the disease is endemic. The vaccine must have been administered at least six days before the arrival in Zambia.

More than ten percent of the Zambian population is infected with hepatitis B and more than 12 percent with HIV; hepatitis A and C are also common. Avoid all contact with fresh water due to the risk of contracting schistosomiasis (particularly in the cities of Lusaka, Mazabuka, and Chililabombwe, as well as in the Gwembe Valley, Lake Kariba, and the southwestern areas of Western province) and never eat rodent meat due to the risk of contracting plague. Furthermore, cases of meningococcal infections, tuberculosis, and rabies are also regularly reported.

NATURAL RISKS

Visitors to Zambia are also vulnerable to risks associated with certain natural hazards. The country is located in an active seismic zone; earthquakes occur from time to time, usually causing moderate damages. Overnight on August 19-20, 2015, an earthquake of a 5.1 magnitude on the Richter scale hit the Luapula river area that separates Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; no casualties were been reported.

During the rainy seasons (October to November and March to May), transportation networks are subject to significant disruptions caused by flooding; many roads are poorly maintained. It is advisable to plan ahead and, if possible, to verify travel itineraries prior to departure.

Climate

Zambia has a tropical climate and three seasons: from May until August temperatures are temperate (10°C to 25°C) and dry; from September to November conditions are hot (20°C to 30°C) and dry; from December to April, conditions are hot (25°C to 32°) and rainy.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +260 Police: 991

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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