Zambia :: Kafue
Category: Places :: Country
TOP ATTRACTION: Kabweluma Falls
TOP ATTRACTION: Kasanka National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Kundalila Falls (Crying Dove)
TOP ATTRACTION: Kapishya Hot Spring
TOP ATTRACTION: Kawaza Cultural Village
TOP ATTRACTION: Lake Kashiba
TOP ATTRACTION: Liuwa Plains National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Lumangwe Falls
TOP ATTRACTION: Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Mwela Rock Art
TOP ATTRACTION: Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Orphanage
TOP ATTRACTION: Kafue National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Kalambo Falls On Kalambo River
TOP ATTRACTION: North Luangwa National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Royal Livingstone Express
TOP ATTRACTION: Sioma Ngwezi National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Source of the Zambezi
TOP ATTRACTION: South Luangwa National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Victoria Falls
TOP ATTRACTION: Lower Zambezi National Park
Zambia has a lot to offer the African explorer. You will encounter interesting backroads, unspoilt wildlife areas, scenic landscapes, amazing waterfalls and some of the last African hardwood forests.
Zambia shares the incredible Victoria Falls as well as Lake Kariba with Zimbabwe. The former is Zambia’s biggest tourist attraction; today’s visitors are as captured by this spectacle as Livingstone was in 1855 when he ‘discovered’ it.
Away from the tourist hub at Livingstone, Zambia offers pristine protected areas. South Luangwa, Kafue and Liuwa Plains are the most popular national parks. The ambiance and game numbers in South Luangwa is extraordinary, while Kafue is one of the biggest national parks in Africa.
Many of the smaller national parks in Zambia also boast beautiful landscapes and prolific birdlife. Large numbers of different bird species have been recorded in Lochinvar and Kasanka, including rarities like Pel’s fishing owl, Pygmy goose, Ross’s loerie, Osprey and Wattled cranes as well as Shoebill storks. A truly astonishing sight is the one million plus fruit bats which roost annually in the swamp forests of Kasanka National Park. Bird lovers should also include nearby Bangweulu Swamps in their itinerary.
Zambia consists of three separate plateaux, each one separated from the next by escarpments which drain the plateaux in the form of spectacular waterfalls. Whilst Victoria Falls is Zambia’s biggest attraction, few people know that the Kalambo Falls is, at 221 m, the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa. Together with Victoria and Kalambo, Kabwelume and Lumangwe rate amongst the best waterfalls in Africa. There also are a number of little-known but beautiful waterfalls which are worth visiting during or shortly after the rainy season (November to April).
Zambia has three major rivers: Kafue, Luangwa and Zambezi. All three are great for fishing and at certain times of the year keen fishermen compete to catch tigerfish. The source of the mighty Zambezi, which runs through six countries on its 2 574 km journey to the Indian Ocean, is to be found in western Zambia.
Other pristine wilderness areas worth visiting include the Mutinondo and Kapishya Hot Spring in the north-east and Luena Flats in the south-west.
When the famous explorer David Livingstone died in Zambia, his heart was removed and buried under a tree at what is today known as the Livingstone Memorial Site – this is one of Zambia’s historical sites well worth a visit.
Even though Zambia’s tourist infrastructure is not as good as that of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, it is an amazing country to explore if you are willing to rough it a little. In general Zambia has either very expensive lodges or rather basic campsites, with very little in-between.
Zambians are very friendly and peaceful people, making Zambia one of the few remaining countries where it’s safe to bush camp. However, out of courtesy, you should always ask permission from the headman of the nearest village who will inevitably direct you to a nice shady spot to put up your tent.
|Best Time to Visit :
|November, the beginning of the rainy season, is the best time to visit Liuwa Plains.
BORDER POST RED TAPE:
When you’re travelling across African borders in a vehicle, certain documents will be required by all countries:
A valid passport, with at least six months remaining validity before expiry. (Double check that it’s stamped with the correct date of entry at immigration when entering the country).
A certified copy of the vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver. It is advisable to have extra copies.
A letter of authority from the registered owner if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle.
If the vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle registration papers.
A yellow fever certificate. Some countries in Africa are endemic yellow fever countries. You will need a yellow fever certificate if you’ve come from such a country.
Also check which vaccinations are required for the countries you intend to visit and carry proof of these.
If you plan an extended trip through Southern Africa, it will be worth your while to get a Carnet de Passage. If you don’t have a Carnet you will need to obtain a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) on arrival at each border post. There usually is a fee payable. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland only require a Carnet for vehicles entering from outside the Southern African Common Customs Area. However, upon entering South Africa, drivers of vehicles registered in neighbouring countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) can register their vehicles with customs and get a permit free of charge which allows them access for six months.
Although only Namibia, South Africa and Zambia require proof of vehicle insurance, it’s best to travel fully insured. Double check that your insurance will cover you in all the countries you intend visiting.
All vehicles must display their international licence plate country code (bold block letters in uppercase on a small white oval plate or sticker) near the number plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Third-Party Insurance: Zambia accepts COMESA Third Party Insurance. Unfortunately you can only buy COMESA insurance in Zambia. If you don’t have COMESA insurance you will have to buy the local insurance on arrival at the border.
In addition to Third Party Insurance, the following fees are payable: Carbon tax as well as Council tax.
Customs: Border post officials have the right to search or inspect your vehicle for illegal imports, contraband or imported items which exceed allowable limits. While this right is not often exercised, you should remember that they’re perfectly entitled to perform such searches; getting angry or indignant about it isn’t going to make things better.
Have a list of all your valuable electronic equipment (with serial numbers) available and declare them
Restricted goods: Live animals require a health certificate along with proof of complete and valid inoculations. Endangered species and any products, or parts thereof, as outlined by CITES can only be imported with CITES permission. Medication. Hunting weapons permitted if authorised by Ministry of Interior.
Prohibited goods: Counterfeit money and goods; Pornographic material; Any form of narcotics, habit-forming drugs and related substances; Military firearms, ammunition, explosives and dangerous weapons; Endangered species of plant, live animals and their products are prohibited under CITES; Cultural artefacts and other objects of cultural importance; Henna; Palm tree and any products thereof.
You will need some Zambian kwacha to pay for cross-border charges and unfortunately the only place to obtain this is from money vendors at the border. Exchange just enough money to get yourself through the border and then go to a forex in the nearest town or withdraw cash from an ATM. It is advisable to carry USD to exchange or pay for accommodation.
You should always carry some local currency as you can only pay cash for fuel. Also, certain countries charge a road levy tax which is payable in cash.
DRIVING IN ZAMBIA:
Drive on the left side of the road and adhere to British driving rules. Zambian roads are unpredictable; even though the main routes are paved, they can sometimes have bad potholes. Secondary, unpaved roads vary considerably in condition from one rainy season to the next. Expect most gravel secondary roads to be slow-going.
During the rainy season many of the roads are flooded and slippery. Watch out for black cotton soil – this is hard clay when dry but soft and slippery when wet. When attempting any roads in the floodplains always get local advice on the latest road conditions and alternative routes. If in doubt, rather use all-weather roads. A 4WD vehicle with low-range gearing is strongly recommended when driving off the major roads.
Distance in Zambia can be deceiving. Your average speed, even on main tar roads, will be slow due to pedestrians and animals wandering onto the road as well as bicycles, buses and heavily-laden trucks holding you up. Allow plenty of time when you plan your trip.
The general speed limit on major roads is 100 km/h and in towns or villages,50 or 60 km/h. You should be very observant of speed signs and slow down immediately as there often are speed traps shortly after such signs. It is best to pay spot fines immediately, even though you legally have five days to pay. Ask for a receipt.
On major roads all villages and towns will have speed humps in order to slow down the traffic. These normally are preceded by a road sign or smaller humps. Slow down immediately as the big speed humps will damage your vehicle if you drive too fast. Also watch out for pedestrians, bicycles and domestic animals in the vicinity of villages and towns.
Bicycles are by far the most popular mode of transport in Zambia, they’re even used to taxi people and animals around. Although cyclists will generally give way to vehicles on the road, these bikes often carry excessive loads and are therefore rather unstable.
You are not allowed to overtake on a bridge or at an intersection. On some roads certain large potholes have become permanent features and locals know when to slow down, so if the car in front of you is slowing down think twice about overtaking it.
Zambian road users generally are considerate, except for drivers in Lusaka where the traffic is congested and everyone is in a hurry.
If you want to use your footage commercially, you have to obtain a permit in advance. Zambia requires permits for recreational drone use as well. These have to be acquired at least 30 days before you enter the country. It is best to check with the aviation authority of the country/countries you plan to visit.
Fuel is available in all major towns but be aware that smaller towns may often experience shortages. Always fill up where you can and carry some additional fuel if you don’t have a long-range fuel tank.
South African citizens who return to SA are not allowed to bring fuel in containers through the border without paying import duty. Even though officials don’t always check, it’s best to empty the fuel containers into your vehicle’s tank before crossing the border. There is no issue with the fuel carried in built-in long-range fuel tanks.
Note that all fuel in Zambia is now low sulphur diesel - 500ppm.
GMT+2 Central Africa Time.
Nationals of the following countries do not require visas: Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australian Antarctic Territory, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Falkland Islands and Dependencies, Fiji, Gibraltar, Grenada, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Islands, Romania Ross Dependency, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Turks and Caicos Island, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe.
Nationals of the countries below must apply for a visa prior to arriving in Zambia. You can apply online for an eVisa at https://eservices.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/app/services/Visa.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papa New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri-Lanka, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
All other nationals are eligible for visas on arrival.
Travellers who plan on visiting both Zambia and Zimbabwe can apply online for a KAZA UNIVISA. This visa allows tourists use this one visa to visit both countries multiple times. The visa is valid for up to 30 days in any given period of 12 months, as long as the holder remains within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers those who visit Botswana for day-trips through Kazungula Border.
Currently, the KAZA UNIVISA can only be used and is only available at Victoria Falls and Kazungula border posts, as well as Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airports in Zambia and Harare and Victoria Falls International Airports in Zimbabwe.
You are advised not to drive at night!
Local Zambian drivers use a few signals of which visitors should be aware:
Warning: They will make extensive use of their hazard lights when there is danger or an obstruction ahead or even when slowing down to a control point. You may want to also follow this rule to avoid someone driving into you from the back.
Overtaking: When approaching a slower vehicle from behind, the driver of this vehicle may give you some idea of what is up ahead. If he uses his right indicator you should not overtake as he could be warning you about oncoming traffic or he could be indicating that he wants to turn right or is going to overtake the vehicle in front of him. If he indicates with his left indicator it may mean that it is safe for you to overtake, but always check for yourself before you do.
Branches in the road: If you see branches in the road (especially freshly cut) it signals that a vehicle has broken down on the road, so slow down immediately. However, sometimes the branches are not removed after the obstruction was cleared.
Red cone or oil drum in the road: this signals a police check point. Switch on your hazards and slow down and be ready to stop and answer any questions or produce your driver’s licence and vehicle documents. Even though police stops are frequent, the Zambian police do not aim to extort money from tourists.
Lusaka is a big and sprawling city with heavy traffic. Plan your stay in Lusaka so you enter or exit at the correct side of the city. On the eastern side of the city where the airport is you can stay at Pioneer Camp, which is just outside the city. On the south-western side of the city you should rather stay at Eureka Camp. There are shopping malls on both sides of the city. Allow extra time if you have to drive through the city during the week.
If you want to explore Zambia’s spectacular waterfalls, get the guide book published by Quentin Allen and Ilse Mwanza.
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