Zambia

Zambia

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Zambia is located in southern Africa between the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north and Zimbabwe to the south. The population is approximately 13.8 million people. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt to the northwest. Although the official language is English, many officially recognised regional languages are spoken (Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga, Lozi, Lunda, Kaonde, Luvale, and Chichewa).

The government of Zambia is a republic with a president as chief of state and head of government. The president is elected by popular vote.

In 1924 this territory was under the British Colonial Office. In 1953, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formed from remnants of lands, and boundaries were drawn with no consideration for tribal areas and lands or natural boundaries. The lack of cohesiveness led to constant political turmoil for a long period of time. This Federation dissolved in 1963, and in 1964, what was formerly Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia.

Zambia's economy has depended on copper mining and exports and, therefore, has had strong growth with high copper prices in recent years. Despite the strong copper sector, Zambia is one of the world's poorest countries and still struggles with high poverty rates, with a majority of the population living below the poverty line. Zambia's economy is also impacted by high birth rates and very high incidence of HIV/AIDS. The country has received thousands of refugees fleeing the fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country's strong reliance on the copper and mining sector also makes the economy vulnerable to any fluctuations in the price of copper.

The tourism sector in Zambia is small, but in 2007, the parliament passed a mandate to promote and market Zambia as a tourist destination. Zambia has wildlife parks and also Victoria Falls in the southwest. The Zambezi River contains rare species of fish, and the country has diverse species of birds.

Currency ZMK: Zambian
Language English
Capital Lusaka
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert May 25, 2017 - Typhoid fever in Lusaka, Zambia

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Zambia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Zambia through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Zambia.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Zambia, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Malaria

All areas of Zambia are at risk for malaria, including Lusaka.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is found in Zambia. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks occur in Zambia.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 2)

African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) only occurs in rural Zambia. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Elephantiasis

Filariasis has occurred in Zambia.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Zambia. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in Zambia.

Yellow Fever

This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age or older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever occurs in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika fever has occurred in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Zambia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources my be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age or older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Zambia.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Zambia

Emergency Numbers

999
112 From mobile phones
991
993

Police response, particularly outside major cities, may be delayed due to lack of resources.

Personal Safety

Travellers to Zambia should maintain a high level of personal safety awareness due to the high level of crime in the country. Tourists can be at risk of petty crime, such as pick-pocketing. Valuables, passports, and travel documents should be kept safe and out of sight at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as expensive clothing. Armed muggings can also occur, particularly in urban areas and transportation hubs. Avoid walking alone after dark.

Do not accept food or drink or packages from strangers.

Illegal drug trafficking occurs. Trafficking is defined as possession of more than .5 grams of an illegal substance.

Areas To Avoid

If possible, avoid all travel to areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Angola due to border conflicts and the risk of land mines.

Political Unrest

Sitata reminds travellers to minimize safety risk by avoiding public and political gatherings and demonstrations in any city since even peaceful protests can quickly and unexpectedly become violent.

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