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Zambia Facts

Helicopter falls
Zambia general gallery Map of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

  • Overview
  • Visa requirements

Overview | Victoria Falls | General Facts

Land of the legendary African walking safari, earth's biggest waterfall, the wild Zambezi River, breath-taking lakes and wetlands, a profusion of birds, abundant wildlife, and raw, pulsating wilderness, .......all in one friendly country.

Victoria Falls

Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800's as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' - 'the Smoke that Thunders' and in more modern terms as 'the greatest known curtain of falling water', Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as 546 million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge (at the height of the flood season) over a width of nearly two kilometers into a deep gorge over 100 meters below. The wide basalt cliff, over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.

Facing the Falls is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.

One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls.

Quick Facts

  • Banks - Operational hours are 0815 to 1430 hours Mondays through to Fridays and 0815 to 1030 hours on 1st and last Saturdays of the month.
  • Business hours - Government offices are open from 08h00 to 17h00, Monday to Friday. Closed from 13h00 to 14h00.
  • Climate - Zambia has three distinct seasons. December to April: warm and wet, May to August: cool and dry. September to November: hot and dry. Average temperatures in Summer range from 25° C to 35° C and in winter from 6° C to 24° C.
  • Currency - The Kwacha has denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10 000, 20 000 and 50 000 kwacha notes. As of Jan 2004 US$1 = K4800
  • Currency regulations - There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, provided it is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form.
  • Credit Cards - Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card. Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks have ATM's which accept Visa cards for cash.
  • Communications - Postal services are fairly well organised in Zambia and you should have no problem sending or receiving letters. Telegrams are less certain. There are two commercial Internet servers in Lusaka and another on the Copperbelt.
  • Public telephones are available in most public buildings, ie. post offices, and most use tokens. Direct dialing to neighbouring countries requires 4 sets of numbers: first the international prefix 00, then the country code, the city code, then the number.
  • Customs - Travelers may, for their own consumption, import 2.5 litres of duty free beer, wine or spirits and 400 cigarettes or 500gms of tobacco.
  • Departure Tax at airports is US$20 (international) and $5 (domestic), payable in hard currency. Travelers cheques are not acceptable.
  • Duty Free - The following items may be imported into Zambia without incurring customs duty: 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco; One bottle of spirits and wine and 2.5 litres of beer (opened); 1oz bottle of perfume. Note: Souvenirs may be exported without restriction but game trophies such as tooth, bone, horn, shell, claw, skin, hair, feather or other durable items are subject to export permits.
  • Energy - Local current is 220v, 50 cycle AC
  • Language - There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. All media and business is in English and most Zambians speak it fairly well. Bemba is the next most commonly understood language, followed by Nyanja Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe and Tumbuka.
  • Religion - There is freedom of worship in Zambia with over 15 different churches. Christianity is followed by over 60% of the population.
  • Time - Zambia is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, one hour ahead of Central European Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern USA time and ten hours ahead of Western USA time.

Visa requirements Zambia:

All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. There should be sufficient blank pages for any visa as well as for entry stamps upon arrival.

Clients who require visas to enter Zambia must go through the normal customs and immigration desks, clients who do not require visas may go through to the transit desk. As advised by Zambian Tourist information.

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