Zambia Warnings and Dangers
The landlocked African country of Zambia is famous for its savannah wildlife and safaris, and the stunning Victoria Falls. It’s important to note, though that there are warnings and dangers from both man and beast to take heed of in the land of the ‘Smoke that Thunders.’
Respect the Wildlife
Going out on a safari in one of Zambia’s National Parks to admire the wildlife may seem like a nostalgic dream, but be aware that it’s not a theme park ride. The African wilds are a truly rugged place and the animals who live there should be respected as such. Crocodiles, lions, and hyenas are obviously deadly when provoked, but the lesser-known hippos and monkeys can also be dangerous. Hippos, in particular, have jaws with incredible crushing force, can be easily agitated, and kill about two thousand people each year. It is advised to stay away from the deep water with hippos. And don’t feed the animals! Doing so will only make it worse.
Infection Rates and Vaccines
Be sure you’re up-to-date on all vaccinations before you travel. You may not want to arrive in Zambia without having proper proof of yellow fever vaccination, or you could be held up at the border until they give you one. Be wary of the cleanliness of their medical supplies, as the current HIV infection rate in Zambia is 20%.
Visa and Currency Exchange Considerations
While some local government sources claim that no visa is required to travel to and from Zambia, others have reported having to pay fines for not having one. Your best bet to avoid this issue is to have a visa with you at all times and to make sure it is current while you’re traveling.
If you plan to exchange currency, consider bringing larger bills with you. Visitors have reported receiving almost 400 fewer kwacha per dollar in some places when they exchanged their 10 and 20 U.S. dollar bills. Watch out for swapping your home country bills with kwacha bills too worn to be legible.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Zambia.