The Leading Global Portal for Diplomats!    
    Keep in touch with the community Prepare for your new career Take care of personal affairs Chat with diplomats online      
Home > New Posting > Post Reports
Preface Last Updated: 3/3/2004 7:58 AM

Zambia proclaims itself “The Real Africa,” and the appellation is right on the mark. Zambia features some of the wonders of the world: Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi river, and some of the continent’s finest and least spoiled game parks. The beautiful countryside and pleasant climate are surpassed only by the warmth and friendliness of the Zambian people.

Zambia is a land of great potential, though much of it is yet to be realized. Zambia’s vast expanses of arable soil, its plentiful water, and its near ideal climate should some day make Zambia the breadbasket of southern Africa. For the moment, however, Zambia sometimes cannot feed itself, a circumstance largely the result of policies that discourage agricultural production. Zambia has enormous reserves of copper and cobalt and impressive potential for generating hydro-electricity. Although about three-fourths of the population today live in poverty on less than one dollar a day, the nation has bountiful natural resources, which when developed effectively will bring greater prosperity to the people.

For more than two decades after its 1964 independence, Zambia was a one-party socialist state. In 1991, Zambia became a multi-party democracy, which began the work of dismantling the socialist legacy. Unfortunately, much of privatization and policy reform of the 1990’s was distorted by corruption and, thus, did not unleash the anticipated economic revival. The Zambian Government, with major assistance from the U.S. and other donors, is working today to roll back the evasive climate of corruption.

Zambia’s greatest challenge is HIV/AIDS. Approximately 16% of the adult population nationwide is HIV positive or has AIDS. In some urban areas, the rate may be twice the national average, and the disease is ravaging especially the ranks of the educated middle class. Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the U.S. Government is bringing enormous resources to bear to help Zambia fight and win the war against AIDS, TB and malaria.

Zambia’s beauty and its near ideal climate add to Lusaka’s appeal as a great posting. Families with children will be pleased with the range of educational options available from pre-school to high school. The quality of life continues to improve with shopping malls, supermarkets, a Cineplex, bowling alley, and an ever-increasing range of restaurants. An Embassy commissary makes available needed American specialty foods. Mission housing is spacious, as are the yards, which usually offer a swimming pool.

Zambia may well be “The Real Africa,” and an assignment to Lusaka gives you a comfortable front row seat to experience it.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 3/3/2004 4:18 AM

Zambia, in central southern Africa, is mostly a high plateau, 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level. Lusaka is one of the higher points in the country at 4200 ft. The highest point is Mwanda Peak at 7045ft on the border with Malawi. There are four major valleys: the Zambezi, the Kafue, the Luangwa and the Luapula. Zambia has several large lakes: man-made Kariba in the South, lakes Tanganyika and Mweru in the North, and Lake Bangweulu in the interior.

Zambia is landlocked and has borders with Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It has an area of 290,586 square miles (a little larger than Texas or California plus Nevada). The protruding southeastern area of the DRC nearly bisects Zambia into two major geographic areas. The 90 mile-long corridor in the region known as the Copperbelt contains some of the world’s largest proven copper deposits.

There are nine provinces: Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, North-Western, Southern and Western. The provinces are subdivided into a total of 72 districts.

Zambia lies between 8 and 18 degrees south of the Equator. The pleasant climate rivals that of Southern California, having three seasons: the warm-wet season (December to April), the cool-dry season (May to August) and the hot-dry season (September to November). Humidity is quite low except during the rainy season, and the temperature rarely exceeds 95°F; it can get into the 40s during the winter months (June and July). Summer clothing is worn from mid-August to mid-May. Light woolens are useful in winter (mid-May to mid-August). Generally, summer evenings are cool, and winter days are sunny and warm.

Annual rainfall during the rainy season averages 34 inches. At the season’s beginning and end, showers are brief. During January, however, heavier rains punctuated by thunderstorms often occur.

Zambia’s vegetation is mostly savannah, with areas of tropical grassland and woodland. There are 19 national parks and 32 game management areas. The native fauna is classic big game found in Southern Africa (e.g., leopards and lions). Zambia has a great variety of birds, both resident and migrant, totaling more than 700 species.

Points of interest include Victoria Falls, Luangwa, Kafue, and Lower Zambezi National Parks, and Lake Kariba.

Population Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:40 AM

Zambia’s estimated population in 2004 was 10.4 million. . The vast majority of the population is African. Expatriates, mostly British and South Asian, constitute 1.1% of the population and live mainly in Lusaka and the Copperbelt in northern Zambia. There are about 1,800 Americans living in Zambia, mostly missionaries.

In 2004 the annual rate of population growth was estimated at 1.5%. Life expectancy is under 40; nearly half the population is below the age of 14, and 50% are between 15-64 years. Approximately 16% of the adult population (ages 15 – 49) is HIV-positive. The country is 42% urban, one of the highest rates in Africa.

There are more than 70 Bantu tribes, who speak 70 different languages and dialects, including Bemba, Tonga, Nyanja, Lozi, Luvale, Ndembu (Lundu) and Kaonde. English is the official language. Some tribes are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. Zambia is officially a Christian nation, though traditional beliefs, Islam and Hinduism are also practiced.

The major cities are the capital, Lusaka (population 1,100,000 in 2000)), Kitwe, Ndola, Livingstone, and Chitpata..

As in many African countries, Zambia’s new African elite consists of high government officials and successful business men and women. Next in salary status are other government officials and urban managerial employees. Mineworkers, factory laborers, and clerical and manual employees form a third socio-economic stratum in Lusaka, Livingstone, and the Copperbelt. The labor force totals 4.9 million people. Eighty-five percent of the labor force works in agriculture while the remaining 15% work in industry and commerce. Most Zambians in rural areas are subsistence farmers.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:42 AM

Zambia became a republic upon attaining independence on October 24, 1964. The executive branch is led by the President, who is both the chief of state and the head of government and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The President appoints his cabinet from among the members of the National Assembly. The President appoints the Vice-President as well.

Since Independence, Zambia has twice adopted a new constitution. Under the 1973 constitution, Zambia became a one party state with a strong executive and a unicameral National Assembly. National policy was formulated by the Central Committee of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the sole legal party in Zambia. The cabinet executed the central committee's policy.

In accordance with the intention to formalize UNIP supremacy in the new system, the constitution stipulated that the sole candidate in elections for the office of president was the person selected to be the president of UNIP by the party's general conference. The second-ranking person in the Zambian hierarchy was UNIP's secretary general.

Zambia's first president (1964 to 1991) was Kenneth Kaunda, who led the fight for independence and bridged the rivalries among the country's various regions and ethnic groups. Kaunda claimed to base government on his philosophy of "humanism," which condemned human exploitation and stressed cooperation among people, but not at the expense of the individual. Kaunda believed in a pre-eminent role for the state in the economy. His regime was intolerant of dissent.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. In response to growing popular demand for multiparty democracy, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991. The 1991 constitution enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, established an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to belong to UNIP. The constitution was amended again in 1996 to set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambian-born). The National Assembly comprises 150 directly-elected members, up to 8 presidentially-appointed members, and a speaker. Each of Zambia's nine provinces is administered by an appointed deputy minister.

Growing opposition to UNIP's monopoly on power led to the rise in 1990 of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). The MMD assembled an increasingly impressive group of important Zambians, including prominent UNIP defectors and labor leaders. Zambia's first multiparty elections for Parliament and the Presidency since the 1960s were held on October 31, 1991. MMD candidate Frederick Chiluba resoundingly carried the presidential election over Kenneth Kaunda with 81% of the vote. To add to the MMD landslide, in the parliamentary elections the MMD won 125 of the 150 elected seats and UNIP the remaining 25. However, UNIP swept the Eastern Province, gathering 19 of its seats there.

By the end of Chiluba's first term as President (1996), the MMD's commitment to political reform had faded in the face of reelection demands. A number of prominent former MMD supporters founded opposing parties. Relying on the MMD's overwhelming majority in parliament, President Chiluba pushed through constitutional amendments in May 1996 that in effect eliminated former President Kaunda and other prominent opposition leaders from the 1996 presidential elections. In the presidential and parliamentary elections held in November 1996, Chiluba was reelected, and the MMD won 131 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. Kaunda's UNIP party boycotted the parliamentary polls to protest the exclusion of its leader from the presidential race, alleging in addition that the outcome of the election had been predetermined due to a faulty voter registration exercise.

Despite the UNIP boycott, the elections took place peacefully, and five presidential and more than 600 parliamentary candidates from 11 parties participated. Afterward, however, several opposition parties and nongovernmental organizations declared the elections neither free nor fair. As President Chiluba began his second term in 1997, the opposition continued to reject the results of the election amid international efforts to encourage the MMD and the opposition to resolve their differences through dialogue.

Eleven political parties participated in national elections in 2001. MMD candidate Levy Mwanawasa won the presidency with 29% of the vote. Opposition parties claimed that serious irregularities occurred during the elections and took their grievances to court, but the courts upheld the election with a ruling in 2005. Opposition parties won 82 out of 150 elected parliamentary seats, creating an opposition-dominated parliament for the first time in Zambia's history. Since 2001, however, the MMD has regained a parliamentary majority by winning almost all by-elections held to fill vacant seats.

In 2002, President Mwanawasa launched a campaign against corruption. The ruling party, the opposition and civil society share a strong interest in improving governance in Zambia. For the moment, much attention is focused on efforts to bring to justice those whose corruption undermined Zambia's economy over the past decade, including former President Chiluba and many of his close associates. At the same time, reviews are underway of the Zambian constitution as well as regulations governing the legislature and the electoral process. Parliamentary reform, electoral reform, and revision of the constitution could establish a solid foundation for the rule of law in Zambia.

The Supreme Court is the highest court and the court of appeal; below it are the high court, magistrate's court, and local courts. The President appoints Justices of the Supreme Court. The legal system is based on English common law and customary law.

Zambia is a member of the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA) (, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (ADB), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank-IBRD), and EEC/ACP (European Economic Community/African Caribbean and Pacific Group) Lomé Convention. COMESA Headquarters are in Lusaka.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 4/11/2005 7:10 AM

Artistic and intellectual activity in Lusaka is developing. The Lusaka Music Society offers several professional performances annually. The Visual Arts Council with offices in the Henry Tayali Center holds exhibitions of Zambian painters and sculptors. The Lusaka Playhouse holds theatrical productions a few times a year. The Lusaka National Museum has a permanent exhibition of Zambian history and of the Independence Movement and a large exhibit on African witchcraft and Zambian culture and history. The lower level of the museum features Zambian contemporary art. The nation’s best museums are the Livingstone Museum in Southern Province, Mbala’s Moto-Moto Museum in Northern Province, and the Choma Museum on the road to Livingstone. Several craft markets are found in Lusaka.

Zambia requires 7 years of compulsory education, but attendance is less than 50% of those eligible for grades 1 to 7. Fewer than 20% of primary school graduates are admitted into secondary schools. The literacy rate is 75%.

The University of Zambia (, founded in 1966, serves just over 5,000 students and is the educational center of Lusaka. The university maintains a library, sponsors lectures and seminars, and hosts cultural events of variable quality.

Copperbelt University, established first as a regional branch of the University of Zambia in 1977 and opened as a separate institution in 1989, includes the Schools of Business, Environmental Studies, and Technology. It serves around 1,600 students. Fourteen teachers’ training colleges, the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce, and five other primarily vocational-technical schools complete the picture of Zambian tertiary educational institutions.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 6/1/2005 6:47 AM

Zambia’s economy declined steadily from the 1970s until 2000. The fall in copper prices that began in the mid-1970's undermined the ability of first-President Kenneth Kaunda's socialist state (1964-1991) to provide social services, and led to the accumulation of massive external debt. Corruption during the later years of second-President Frederick Chiluba's tenure (1991-2001) eroded gains from market-oriented reforms in the early 1990's.

As a consequence of these developments, over two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty today, and the gross domestic product amounts to little more than one dollar per person per day. The inflation rate dropped to about 17% in 2004, the lowest rate in many years.. Zambia has experienced economic growth for six consecutive years, but the investment climate is not sufficiently favorable to generate the 7 to 8% growth rates required to reduce Zambia's poverty significantly. Despite substantial donor support (donors provide almost as much assistance to Zambia as the government raises in tax and customs revenue), Zambia suffers from chronic budget deficits.

HIV/AIDS is the nation's greatest challenge, with approximately 16% prevalence among the adult population (ages 15-49). HIV/AIDS will continue to ravage Zambian economic, political, cultural and social development for the foreseeable future.

Zambia is one of sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. About 42% of the country's 10 million people are concentrated in a few urban areas along the major transportation corridors; rural areas are under-populated and millions of acres of arable land are vacant. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. Social indicators are low, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (under 40 years), maternal mortality (729 per 100,000 live births), and infant mortality (95 per 1,000 live births).

The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry. Although the government seeks to diversify the economy from mineral production to agriculture, the copper industry remains critically important to Zambia's economy. After a decades-long decline in output due to lack of investment and, more recently, low copper prices and uncertainty over privatization, copper production has begun to increase; output reached 398,000 tons in 2004, up from 228,000 in 1998. The mining sector accounted for 18% of Zambia's GDP and 67% of foreign exchange earnings in 2004.

The agriculture sector represented 23% of GDP in 2003. Maize (corn) is the principal cash crop as well as the staple food. Other important crops include soybeans, cotton, sugar, sunflower seeds, wheat, sorghum, millet, cassava, coffee, tobacco and various vegetable and fruit crops. Floriculture is a rapid growth sector, and agricultural nontraditional exports account for a growing share of foreign exchange receipts. Zambia has the potential for significantly increasing its agricultural output; currently, only a small fraction of its arable land is cultivated. In the past, the agriculture sector suffered from low producer prices, difficulties in availability and distribution of credit and inputs, and shortage of foreign exchange.

Principal exports include copper, cobalt, lead, zinc, and tobacco. Main export destinations are South Africa, the U.K. Tanzania, Malawi and Japan. Imports include crude oil, chemicals, machinery, and foodstuffs. Main import origins are South Africa, China, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Major industries are copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, and fertilizers. Although Zambia is eligible for duty free access to U.S. markets under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Zambia exports little directly to the United States.. Zambia's floating exchange rate and open capital markets have provided useful discipline, while at the same time allowing continued diversification of Zambia's export sector, growth in the tourist industry, and procurement of inputs for growing businesses.


Automobiles Last Updated: 6/1/2005 6:51 AM

A private vehicle is essential in Lusaka, an area of 325 square miles. Embassy personnel live 3 to 4 miles from the Chancery and some families have a second car. Traffic moves on the left. Although right-hand-drive cars are not mandatory, they are recommended. Diplomats may import left-hand-drive cars. The city’s main roadways meet at various roundabouts or traffic circles that initially can be confusing.

Diplomatic staff are entitled to import two vehicles duty free at any time during their tour. Administrative and technical staff are allowed to import only one vehicle duty free per tour, which must be delivered to Zambia during the first six months at Post.

Cars can be sold to Zambians or diplomats. If sold to another diplomat, it must be re-cleared through Customs amending the name of the importer to the new owner. A vehicle has to have been in Zambia for 5 years before it can be sold free from duty. If the vehicle is sold to a non-diplomat before the 5-year period, pro-rated duty and VAT for the remaining period must be paid before the sale can be final.

Japanese cars dominate the local market. Lusaka now has American Jeep, Land Rover, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mitsubishi, DaeWoo, Isuzu (GM), Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW dealerships with limited stock. Spare parts for American model cars are not available in Zambia. Most families do not bring American automobiles to post, but instead buy a new or used car from South Africa, Botswana, Europe, or Japan. If you ship an automobile, use Durban, South Africa, rather than Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as the port of entry. Dar es Salaam is often congested, and pilferage there is common.

Anyone importing a car should also bring oil filters, air filters, gas filters, brake fluid, engine oil, fan belts, injector cleaner fluid, spark plugs, PCV valves, wiper blades, etc. Spare parts here are all imported, very expensive, and rarely in stock. If you do bring a vehicle with fuel injector, you must purchase fuel injector cleaner. Since it is a liquid, you cannot pouch it to Post and will have to ship it with your unaccompanied air baggage or household effects (HHE). Alarm system and/or gearshift locks are worthwhile due to Zambia’s high incidence of car theft. CB radios are not allowed.

The Commissary sells tax -free leaded gasoline (petrol) and diesel fuel. Non-duty free leaded gasoline (petrol) and diesel fuel is widely available throughout Zambia. Unleaded gasoline is available in Lusaka and is slowly being introduced in other parts of Zambia. Paved roads lead from Lusaka to the Copperbelt, Chirundu (on the Zimbabwean border towards Harare), Livingstone/Victoria Falls, Tunduma (on the Tanzanian border), Mongu to the West, and the Malawi border. Dirt or gravel roads connect the capital with other parts of the country. Paved roads are generally in fair to poor condition and often are pockmarked with potholes. Road travel should only be undertaken during daylight hours because of the dangers posed by poor road markings and the unworthy road conditions of most local vehicles.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary only in the most remote areas and off the all-weather roads during the rainy season. Outdoor enthusiasts or explorers should consider purchasing a four-wheel-drive vehicle, common among the diplomatic and expatriate community. Most popular are Toyota Land Cruisers, Range Rovers, Land Rovers, and Mitsubishi. Right-hand drive, American Jeep Cherokees are also available, and increasing in popularity.

Local Transportation Last Updated: 6/1/2005 6:52 AM

Local buses are generally unsuitable and unsafe for commuter travel. There are several local car rental services, but they are expensive. AVIS and Hertz are available at the airport and at Holiday Inn (Avis) and Intercontinental (Hertz) Hotels. TDY personnel and consultants use taxis stationed at the major hotels or through Dial-a-cab service.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 6/1/2005 6:54 AM

Lusaka has an underutilized international airport with a capacity to park 12 large aircraft. International passenger as well as cargo planes take off at Lusaka. There is no direct air service from Lusaka to the continental U.S. International airlines flying into Lusaka include South African Airways, British Airways, Air Zimbabwe, Air Malawi, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines. Johannesburg, two hours flying time away, is the closest hub for worldwide flight connections and the most frequently used European/Continental U.S. transit point. Zambian Airways and Airwaves are the only regularly scheduled domestic airlines. Smaller airports are in Ndola, Kitwe, Mfuwe and Livingstone. Private charter companies may be found in Lusaka.

Zambian Railways offers domestic passenger service; however, few foreigners make use of this service. The TAZARA Railway operates to Dar es Salaam five days a week, twice as an express. At 36 hours one way, the trip is long but fascinating for those who do not expect Western train standards. First class approximates European Second Class coaches. At the southern end of the line, Zambian Railways ties into the Zimbabwean rail system, which connects with the Mozambique railway coming from the Indian Ocean port of Beria and with the South African railway system. “Luxury” inter-city bus service is also available to major points in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and through to Johannesburg.

Mission employees generally drive to popular tourist attractions such as Lake Kariba (3 hours), Kafue National Park (5 to 8 hours travel to lodging sites) and Victoria Falls (6 hours) with the surrounding game parks in Botswana and Zimbabwe. On longer vacation periods, you can drive to Johannesburg in two days or Cape Town in 3 days. Air travel is popular to regional destinations in, among others, South Africa, Namibia, and Mauritius.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 6/1/2005 6:58 AM

All American Embassy personnel have residential telephones, some with tone compatible lines. Monthly rental and local call charges are minimal and are based on time and distance in the form of metered units, which allow more time per unit for local calls and progressively less time per unit for trunk calls according to the distance covered. Local service is adequate, though service disruptions are frequent, especially during the rainy season.

Direct dialing connects Zambia to the U.S. and other locations in the world, but can be extremely expensive. International calls are charged in units of one-minute duration. A call to the U.S. costs about $2.10 per minute. Off-peak rates on international calls have a 75% discount from the normal rate. Off-peak times are Monday to Friday from 18:00 to 07:00 hours, Friday 18:00 through Monday 07:00, including Public Holidays. The Embassy has a satellite phone link (IVG) to the U.S. that enables calls to be made as if originated in Washington D.C. Personal calls are permitted on the IVG line after business hours. A telephone credit card enables the caller to use this service to call long distance from Washington D.C. Callback services such as All World Phone Company, World Wide Telecom USA, and Global Callback Solutions can be used.

Cellular Telephones: There are several cellular telephone service providers in Zambia. North American single or dual band cellphones will not work in Zambia. European dual band cellphones usually work here. Tri-band cellphones work in Zambia. Employees who plan on bringing a cellphone to Zambia should check with the manufacturer or dealer to see if the phone will actually work in Zambia. Cellphones are readily available locally, though they may be more expensive than in the US or Europe. Service is generally reliable in Lusaka but networks are often oversubscribed and capacity limited. Cellular telephone coverage does not extend throughout Zambia. The three most commonly used service providers are Celtel (, Telecel ( and Zamtel (

Note for AT&T Wireless Digital GSM Customers: Celtel's international roaming service has been extended to include AT&T Wireless across the USA. Customers of AT&T Wireless in the USA will be able to roam when visiting Zambia. To do this you will either need to have a Tri-band phone or just bring your SIM card with you and put it into a locally supplied phone for use whilst in Zambia.

Internet Last Updated: 7/6/2005 11:02 AM

Zambia has e-mail and full Internet access. Currently, there are several Internet service providers in Lusaka. The most commonly used are:




Microlink Technologies Ltd.



Internet access can be slow and unreliable though AfricConnect wireless has recently become available. Users are often unable to connect because the lines are busy, particularly during peak hours. Once online, a user may have his/her connection disrupted without warning, or the server may become overwhelmed and simply cease to function.

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:03 AM

Letters, packages, and magazines from the U.S. arrive by air two times a week by diplomatic pouches from Washington D.C. Average transit time is 10 to 14 days. Due to pouch limitations, no package may weigh more than 40 pounds or exceed 28 inches in length or 62 inches in length and girth combined. Insurance and registration services normally provided through the U.S. Postal System are not available for items sent via the State Department pouch.

The following articles are prohibited for pouch shipment: alcoholic beverages, ammunition, animals or animal products (e.g., skins), any items for resale, bulk supplies of any nature, caustics, controlled substances, corrosives, currency, explosives, aerosols, firearms, flammable-type films, glass containers, incendiary materials, liquids, magnetic materials, narcotics, negotiable instruments, plants, poisons, and radioactive substances.

Liquid prescription medicines may be sent through the pouch. Clearly mark parcels containing such items “prescription medicine” in the lower left-hand corner of the address pattern. Prescription medicine containers should not exceed 6 ounces, and only one 6-ounce container is allowed per parcel.

Personnel may use the U.S.-bound pouch for letter mail, cassette tapes, photographic film for development, and used videotapes. Personnel may also send packages containing apparel, shoes, or other goods, when such material is being returned to a store or manufacturer for exchange or refund. Clearly mark these parcels as “returned merchandise” in the lower left-hand corner of the address pattern. Used videotapes can be sent as packages of up to one pound, labeled “used videotape.”

The pouch address for all official mail is as follows:

Full Name
Department of State
2310 Lusaka Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-2310

The pouch address for all personal mail, including parcels, magazines, and newspapers is as follows:

Full Name
2310 Lusaka Place
Dulles, VA 20189-2310

Do not include any reference to the US Government or any U.S. department or agency when using this address.

Packages handled by express mail services such as United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express, and DHL may also be sent to the pouch address.

U.S. citizen AID contractors and/or those U.S. citizens performing AID-financed functions under specific support grants or cooperative agreements with AID are authorized to use the diplomatic pouch for envelope letter mail only. They are not authorized to receive merchandise, parcels, magazines, newspapers, videotapes, or books.

US-bound pouch mail service goes out every Tuesday and Thursday. First Class US-bound mail service goes out every Friday via DHL, except when it is a holiday. Mail arrives on Monday and Thursday.

International letter mail is fairly reliable with a transit time of 10 to 14 days to or from the U.S. Receipt of parcels through the international mail system is generally reliable but may take 2 to 3 months from the U.S. The Embassy’s international address is as follows:

Full Name
Embassy of the United States of America
P.O. Box 31617
Lusaka, Zambia

Use P.O. Box 34821 for USAID and P. O. Box 50707 for Peace Corps.
Postal rates in the Zambian mail system are Kw1,500 for a 100gr letter to a domestic destination. A letter (10-20gr) mailed to the U.S. costs Kw2,200; mail to Europe Kw1,800; to Southern African Development Community Kw 1,500; and to other African countries Kw1,700.
There are several courier services in Lusaka, including DHL and Federal Express, as well as some local services.

Radio and TV Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:02 AM

The government-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) runs three radio stations and has TV transmitters in all nine provinces. There are seven newscasts for both Government Radio and TV. Programs are broadcast in English and seven local languages. There are 13 private radio stations and one Government radio and TV, two private pay TV and one private Christian TV. The local television station offers a mixture of locally produced programs and old British and US sit-coms, and drama.

Lusaka receives four FM commercial radio stations including the BBC World Service in English. WorldSpace Satellite Radio, providing a number of programming options, including NPR, is available. Equipment may be purchased locally and program options subscribed to via the internet ( or in the U.S. call 1-888-206-9901).

American NTSC TVs will only work when watching NTSC videotapes. Most people find it worthwhile to purchase a multi-system or PAL television. These are readily available locally, though they may be more expensive than in the US or Europe. Many employees subscribe to the South African satellite TV/Radio service (DSTV/MultiChoice). DSTV packages include a variety of movie and news channels (CNN, BBC, Skynews), as well as cartoons, sports (including ESPN), specialty (History, Discovery, National Geographic, BBC Prime, Series), music (MTV, VH-1) and radio (Classical, Rock, Jazz, World). Hookup fees are approximately USD400 and that includes the initial satellite and decoder rental. Monthly subscription costs about USD 60 to USD80, depending on the type of subscriber package.

Video and DVD Rental and Retail Services

The Commissary has a video and DVD rental facility. All videotapes are NTSC; all rental DVDs are Zone 1 (American DVDs). Local video shops including Blockbusters Videos, a South African franchise, use the PAL system (for VHS). New DVD releases are readily available throughout Lusaka, however, these are Zone 2 DVDs that cannot play on American Zone 1 DVD players. Given the different systems in use in Zambia, it is strongly recommended that you bring a multi-system or PAL system TV and VCR and multi-zone DVD player.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:05 AM

The principal newspapers are:

The Times of Zambia – Government owned (}

Daily Mail – Government owned (

Sunday Mail - Part of the Daily Mail (

Financial Mail – Part of the Daily Mail

The Post – privately owned and fairly independent (

National Mirror – Weekly

The Monitor – (

Lowdown – Monthly magazine (

Most families rely on magazine subscriptions sent through the pouch; magazines normally arrive 10 to 14 days after publication.

Lusaka has several commercial bookstores with respectable selections, though prices are high. Foreign newspapers and magazines (mostly from South Africa and Great Britain) can be purchased locally at bookstores and hotels. CLO maintains a modest library on the Chancery grounds with books and magazines available for checkout. The Public Affairs Section of the Embassy and the British Council ( operate libraries. Books are limited to American and British subject matter, respectively. The American International School of Lusaka (AISL) has a fine children’s library.

The Embassy publishes a weekly newsletter, “Kachere”, which contains community news, announcements, and advertisements.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:07 AM

The Embassy Health Unit is on the Embassy compound. The Health Unit is open from Monday through Thursday from 0900 to 1700 and on Friday from 0900 to 1230. The provision of medical services by the Embassy is limited to United States Direct Hire employees and U.S. Personal Services Contractors assigned overseas and their eligible family members. An experienced American registered nurse staffs the Health Unit. There are periodic visits from medical doctors stationed with the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.

The Health Unit provides preventive, routine, and emergency health care, including immunizations and dispensary services. The Embassy also has a contract with a private clinic for medical backup, after-hours service and X-ray facilities. This private clinic has three physicians on staff.

In Zambia most hospitals and outpatient clinics are government subsidized, and care is provided at relatively low cost. Unfortunately, these clinics and hospitals are far below American standards, poorly staffed, with virtually no medicine available, and with limited testing capabilities. Due to inadequate local hospital service, all serious illnesses, pregnancies, and sophisticated tests require medical evacuation to Johannesburg. Most pregnant women are medevaced to the U.S. or Europe for delivery.

Local dental facilities are adequate for routine care, such as fillings and cleaning, but complete any special treatment (e.g., crowns, periodontal, or oral surgery procedures) before coming to post. Many residents take advantage of an American trained Zimbabwean orthodontist who visits Lusaka every 4-6 weeks to offer orthodontic care.

Several opticians practice in Lusaka, but glasses are expensive. Purchase contact lenses and glasses (including extra pairs) before arrival in the country. Bring eye prescriptions with you in case you need emergency replacement. Bring any cleaning solution and equipment for contact lenses with you, since you will not be able to find these in Lusaka.

Medicines found in local pharmacies are usually produced in the U. K., South Africa, or India-the latter reportedly does not meet high quality standards. The Health Unit has a well-stocked pharmacy for treatment of most acute problems. If you take any medicine routinely for any chronic medical condition, be sure to bring adequate supplies with you or arrange to have more shipped through the pouch.

Veterinary services are available and fairly reliable.

Community Health Last Updated: 3/3/2004 7:19 AM

The sanitation level in Lusaka is fair. City tap water is not potable. All residences have a water distiller, hot and cold running water and modern plumbing systems. Some residences have wells, but since well water often mixes with city water, it is not potable. Distilled and local water lacks fluoride. The Embassy Health Unit stocks some fluoride drops and tablets, but you should bring your own supply of fluoride supplements to post. Diarrheal diseases are endemic, but should not affect the U.S. community when only safe water is drunk and proper food handling and hand washing are practiced. The Health Unit has handout instructions regarding these subjects. Mildew can be a problem during the rainy season. Zambia also has the Putsi fly (also known as the Tumbu fly), an insect that lays eggs in damp cloth (such as clothing hanging on a clothes line and fabric covered lawn furniture). The Putsi larvae can burrow under one's skin causing painful and unsightly boils. The Health Unit advises Mission members not to hang any damp clothing, including wet bathing suits, outside during the rainy season when the Putsi fly is prevalent. You should use a clothes dryer or iron clothes carefully.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:11 AM

Automobile accidents probably present the greatest risk to personnel. Therefore, it is particularly important to wear seatbelts and to have car seats for infants and small children. The condition of other motor vehicles on the road ranges from reasonable to quite poor, so defensive driving is very important. Avoid night driving whenever possible, as most roads are without streetlights, and many cars do not have proper headlights and taillights.

Malaria is a constantly changing and challenging disease. Check with M/MED before leaving for post and with the Health Unit soon after arrival at post for the latest information. Malaria is endemic, and all personnel should begin to take malaria prophylaxis prior to arrival at post. Other measures, such as bed nets and mosquito repellants to prevent mosquito bites are very important.

Consider all bodies of water (lakes, rivers, ponds) to be infested with Bilharzia. Anyone swimming, wading, or using these waters will be at risk for developing Bilharzia. Use only treated pools for swimming.

No specific vaccinations are required for entry into Zambia; however, documentation of Yellow Fever vaccination (valid for 10 years) is necessary if you are entering from an endemic area. Immunizations for typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, rabies, hepatitis A and B, polio, and meningitis before your arrival in Zambia are strongly recommended.

Wear protective clothing to protect against snakebites, especially for travel in rural areas. The Health Unit keeps all necessary snake antivenom in stock.

The Health Unit has first-aid kits and extensively equipped "Up Country Kits" available for travel in rural areas. Some well-staffed hospitals with limited medical supplies exist in the rural areas, but the distances between them are often great.


HIV prevalence in Zambia is 16% of the adult population (ages 15-49). The prevalence in urban areas is considerably higher than in rural areas. HIV/AIDS continues to be a large and difficult health problem in Zambia despite many Government- and donor-sponsored programs to supply information and encourage preventive measures. The death rate due to AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses is escalating.
Since HIV/AIDS is not casually transmitted, this situation should pose minimal risk to Americans posted here, providing they engage in safe sexual practices. To reduce the need for locally procured blood, the Health Unit maintains a "walking blood bank." The Health Unit also checks periodically any local clinic and dental clinic to which the Embassy might refer American personnel, with special emphasis on sterilization of equipment and single use of all disposable items. All incoming personnel receive a special briefing from the Health Unit following arrival.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 6/1/2005 7:13 AM

Employment opportunities for spouses and other dependents exist. The Embassy makes a concerted effort to employ qualified eligible family members for a variety of positions. Positions exist in the Consular Section, Human Resources, Management, Systems, General Services, Facilities Maintenance and the Political/Economic Office. Dependents interested in employment with the Mission may submit an application to the Embassy Human Resources Office.

Full-time and substitute teaching positions sometimes are available at the American International School (AIS). Teaching positions are occasionally available in the other local international schools. AIS pays staff in dollars; some of the other international schools pay all or a portion of the salary in Zambian Kwacha.

Work permits are required for employment in private sector or parastatal organizations. There is a bilateral work agreement between the Government of Zambia and the U.S., but Mission dependents have had difficulty processing permits to work in the local economy.

American Embassy - Lusaka

Post City Last Updated: 3/3/2004 4:45 AM

Lusaka, with a population of over one million, lies 4,200 feet above sea level and spreads across a rolling plain. Parts of the city are well planned and landscaped. Several wide boulevards planted with trees and shrubs divide the city into sections. In the most affluent residential areas, comfortable ranch-style houses preside over wide lawns and gardens. In other parts, the City Council has constructed substantial modest-income housing. Many locals live in compounds which are congested and poorly served by water and other utilities. Lusaka’s International Airport is 25 kms from the center. Cairo Road is the city center’s main street and it runs roughly north-south. From this road, running east, there are several boulevards that lead to the Government Area, the ‘Diplomatic Triangle,’ and the residential suburbs.

Lusaka has three hotels of international standard and several lodges/guest houses.

Lusaka has two modern shopping complexes, Manda Hill and Arcades, located within one kilometer of each other. The two complexes combined house approximately 90 retail shops, including two large South African-based supermarkets (Shoprite and Spar), GAME (a Walmart-type store), bookshops, Blockbusters Video, clothing and jewelry stores, drycleaners, baby shop, music shop and furniture stores. Arcades has a five-screen cinema complex and Lusaka’s only bowling alley. There are smaller shopping areas scattered throughout the city, some specializing in textiles, others in crafts, etc.

Shopping in bulk can be done at three outlets: Proto, Cold Chain and Shoprite Wholesale Outlet. The stores are located 2-3km outside of Lusaka.

Security Last Updated: 6/9/2005 3:12 AM

Crime is by far the most serious threat facing Americans in Zambia. The Department of State rates the threat of crime as critical. Most crime is petty in nature; gratuitous violence is not common in Zambia. However, recently Zambia has experienced an alarming increase in more violent crimes such as muggings, carjackings, home invasions, armed assault and homicide. These crimes are usually committed by gangs rather than individuals and almost always involve the use of firearms.

As with all posts, the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka is concerned about the threat of transnational terrorism. Zambia is located in close proximity to East Africa, where terrorist organizations that wish to harm Americans are known to operate. Recent increases in law enforcement activity directed at these organizations in East Africa have increased the likelihood that they could seek to operate elsewhere. Zambia’s long porous borders and the relative inability of its law enforcement agencies to counter the threat make it an attractive alternative.

The Regional Security Office is dedicated to making your tour in Zambia a safe one. The RSO recommends that all Americans practice good security procedures while in Zambia. All permanently assigned employees will receive an extensive, Post-specific security briefing within two weeks of arrival. Employees who will be TDY for more than a week are also briefed. Briefings are also available for dependents and private American citizens upon request. With the use of good common sense precautions, the RSO is sure that you can have a safe an enjoyable stay in Zambia.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:11 AM

U.S. Mission offices are spread among various locations in Lusaka.

The Embassy
The Embassy, located at the corner of Independence and United Nations Avenues, is in an area known as the "Diplomatic Triangle," about 1.5 miles from Cairo Road and near most government ministries. The Embassy telephone is 260-1-250-955, ext. 2221; after-hours telephone number is 260-1-252-250, ext 2221 or 260-1-852; the fax number is 260-1-252-225; Internet website: Business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

The two-story Chancery building houses the offices of the Ambassador, the DCM, as well as those of the Political/ Economic, Consular, Management, Regional Security, Defense Attaché Office, and Communications Sections. The chancery compound also includes the Centers for Disease Control, Community Liaison, Financial Management, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and Human Resources offices, the Health Unit, the GSO motor pool, an exercise room, conference room, canteen, petrol pumps, commissary, and the travel office.

Chancery offices have air-conditioning. Adequate parking is available in the Embassy parking lot for permit holders.

Lusaka is a low-volume consular post. There are two consular officers and three consular assistants. The section offers all consular services (visas, applications for U.S. passports, notarials, and consular assistance to American citizens). Lusaka processed about 4,600 nonimmigrant visas and 150 immigrant visas in FY 04. There are about 1,300 American citizens registered with the Embassy, most of whom are missionaries.

The Community Liaison Office is an important resource for employees and their family members. The CLO Coordinator offers new employees and their families personal contact at Post before arrival.

Public Affairs Section

The Public Affairs Section operates the American Center in the COMESA Building, located on Ben Bella Road in downtown Lusaka, approximately three miles from the Embassy. The telephone is 260-1-227-993/4; the fax number is 260-1-226-523; and the e-mail address is

It houses the Information Resource Center (Martin Luther King Library), an auditorium, and a gallery. Staffing consists of the Public Affairs Officer, Public Diplomacy Officer, Education Advisor and 11 Zambian employees.

The Information Resource Center is moving toward electronic outreach, but still maintains nearly 2000 books and 375 documentary videotapes in addition to its on-line and CD-ROM resources. Members include government officials, teachers, students, and business people. The auditorium hosts television interactives, lectures and seminars, while the gallery features exhibits and cultural activities. Mission families are welcome to join the library and take part in activities. The Public Affairs Section administers the overseas exchange activities under the Fulbright, Humphrey, and International Visitor programs. It also offers educational advising for Zambians wishing to enter U.S. educational institutions. The media section facilitates media coverage of Mission activities and supplies broadcast material to local radio and TV stations. The news publication, The Washington Line, is delivered daily to 94 subscribers.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID is located at 351 Independence Avenue, just a few blocks away from the Embassy. The telephone number is 260-1-254303/6; the fax number is 260-1-254532. The web site is: Business hours are the same as the Chancery's. A director heads the agency, supported by seven USDHs, eight US/TCN PSCs/Fellows and 74 FSNs. The United States has a substantial foreign assistance program in Zambia. Through the USAID, the U.S. government provided over one hundred million dollars in assistance to Zambia in 2004. USAID assistance is focused in five areas (as noted below) and is being implemented in partnership with the Zambian Government, the Zambian private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), as well as U.S. private organizations and other partners:

· Increased Private Sector Competitiveness
· Improved Quality of Basic Education for More School-Aged Children
· Improved Health Status of Zambians
· Government Held More Accountable
· Reduced impact of HIV/AIDS Through Multi-sectoral Response

In addition, 28 institutional contractors and grantees work with the Zambian Government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations on USAID-funded contracts and grants in agriculture, education, health/HIV/AIDS, and democracy and governance.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps office is located at 71A &B Kabulonga Rd, approximately four miles from the Embassy. The telephone number is 260-1-260-377; the fax number is 260-1-260-685. Website:
Approximately 150 volunteers live and work in eight of Zambia’s nine Provinces. A staff of 30 based in Lusaka and a training staff of 20 based at the training center in Mwekera support them.

Current Peace Corps program include:

· The Community Action for Health Project (CAHP) complements the Zambian government’s effort to decentralize health care services to the community level. Volunteers work primarily to empower the village level Neighborhood Health Committees. Preventive health care is the committee’s primary emphasis, including HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention and reducing food and water contamination.

· Rural Aquaculture Project (RAP) volunteers work in close collaboration with the Department of Fisheries to improve and expand fish culture activities in rural farming communities to increase food security and provide cash incomes for fish farmers.

· Linking Income, Food and Environment (LIFE) project promotes the conservation of wildlife to enhance and sustain the economic benefits of tourism. Target populations are those living in Game Management Areas that adjoin national parks. Volunteer efforts are directed to local infrastructure capacity building, environmental education, and livelihood security to create alternatives to poaching wildlife and planting crops in national parks.

· Learning at Taongo Market (LTM) provides learning opportunities for the most disadvantaged children in Zambian society though Interactive Radio Instruction. Orphans and other children unable to participate in a traditional classroom setting are able to gain basic life survival skills in rural communities.

· HIV/AIDS volunteers are working with NGO’s on HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Presently eight Crisis Corps Volunteers are serving in the HIV/AIDS’ effort. All of these Volunteers are working under the terms of an MOU with several different NGOs. The first full cycle of Trainees/Volunteers began their nine-week training in May 2005. These volunteers will be placed in rural villages beginning August 2005.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:41 AM

Newly arrived personnel are moved directly into their permanent housing if at all possible. If the housing is not ready for occupation, the employee and his/her family may have to spend a short time in TDY quarters. The Embassy provides basic furniture and Welcome Kits on loan until the employee's household effects (HHE) arrive.

Permanent Housing Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:42 AM

The U.S. Government owns 18 dwellings and provides furnished quarters to all U.S. Government employees. Those who do not receive U.S. Government-owned quarters are assigned a leased house commensurate with family size and rank. Most houses have a small swimming pool and pleasant garden, some have fireplaces, and a few have a hard-surface tennis court. Homes are within a 10-15 minutes drive of the Embassy. All houses are enclosed with high security walls and have 24-hour guard protection.

Furnishings Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:13 AM

All employees are provided with the basic furnishings and equipment listed below. In addition to basic furnishings, the Ambassador’s and DCM’s residences are supplied with official china, glassware, silverware, and some table and bed linens.

Living Room: Sofa, easy chairs, coffee table, end tables, bookcases, lamps, rug, draperies, and fireplace equipment.

Dining Room: Dining table and side chairs, buffet, china cabinet, rug, and draperies.

Bedroom: Queen or twin beds, chest of drawers, mirror, night tables, lamps, desk (normally one per household), side chairs, rugs, and draperies. Air conditioners and ceiling fans are usually provided for each occupied bedroom and guest room.

Kitchen: Refrigerator, electric cooking range, washer and dryer, freezer, microwave oven, water distiller, and kitchen cabinets, as required.

Miscellaneous: Vacuum cleaner, floor polisher, portable electric space heaters, transformers, fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and some basic gardening tools. Embassy houses have split unit air conditioners/heaters. Some have window unit air conditioners.

Please note that the Embassy does not provide pool chemicals. These can be purchased through the commissary as well as on the local market.

CLO sends out lists of suggestions for airfreight and HHE shipments. Bcause furnished quarters are provided, employees may ship only limited HHE. The Embassy does not have the capability to store furniture that is replaced by personal furniture. Most manufactured products are imported and can be more expensive than similar products in the United States. Radios, stereo equipment, appliances, CDs, DVDs, and videotapes often sell for nearly triple U.S. or European prices. Sporting goods, clothing, baby equipment, such as high chairs and strollers, are relatively expensive. Include kitchen utensils, flatware, and dishes in your shipment.

Most entertainment in Zambia takes place in the home. Consider bringing a multi-zone DVD player; a multi-system videocassette player and TV (NTSC/PAL); a stereo; equipment for sports, camping and hobbies; binoculars for game parks; games; and picnic equipment such as Thermos jugs and camp iceboxes. Life jackets for children are impossible to find in Zambia. Many people bring a small barbecue for entertaining. Local BBQs can be made and purchased, as well. Charcoal briquettes are readily available at the Commissary and in the local market. Propane is available locally, though as the fittings for the tanks are not interchangeable, employees are discouraged from bringing a gas-fired BBQ obtained in the U.S. Bring china and glassware, and personal decorating items, such as pictures and vases, Christmas decorations, books, a good short wave or satellite radio, and favorite lamps and small rugs. Attractive items can be bought in local arts and crafts markets. In addition, special cosmetics, medicines, first-aid supplies, home-office supplies, bicycles and children toys are useful. Bring sufficient warm clothes, blankets and comforters, as winter nights in Lusaka can be cold.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:44 AM

Electric current in Zambia is 240v-50-cycle, single phase, AC. Power is generally dependable, although power failures occur and the power is subject to fluctuations that can cause damage to sensitive appliances. Sockets fit plugs with three-square pins. All residences are provided with generators. The Embassy provides one or two transformers of up to 1600w. You should bring an Uninterrupted Power System (UPS) which functions on 50 cycles with you for any electronic equipment you wish to protect. UPSs that function on 60 cycles will be damaged by 50-cycle electricity. In addition to the UPS, Embassy employees often use surge protectors with computer and other electronic equipment.

American 110v Compact Disc and tape players can be used with a transformer. High wattage appliances, such as irons and toasters, do not last as long or function as well when used with transformers. Appliances with 60-cycle motors will operate on 50-cycle current, but they will overheat, thereby sharply reducing the life expectancy of the motor.

Food Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:16 AM

A fairly wide variety of fresh produce is available seasonally in local markets, such as tropical fruits, oranges, apples, pineapples, strawberries, grapefruit, and lemons. Vegetables abound: potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, green beans, peas, broccoli, garlic, celery, beets, green and red peppers, cucumbers, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pumpkins, and squash. Some shops offer Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts. Sweet potatoes, yams and one or two varieties of white potato are available. Seasonal availability for most vegetables determine price, which can vary considerably.

Home gardens are popular. Virtually all households employ a gardener. With care, vegetables can be grown year round. The best season is between June and October. Seeds are available locally to supplement those brought from home. Some Embassy gardens have avocado, mango, pawpaw (papaya), citrus, and other fruit trees.

Pasteurized milk is available and is considered safe to use, although it tends to go sour quickly after purchase. UHT (long-life milk treated with ultraviolet rays) is available. Skim and low fat milk is available. Some dairy products are not available, such as specialty cheeses. Eggs are available, but not graded, cleaned or refrigerated. There are three bakeries that sell assorted breads such as whole grain, milk bread, and multigrain bread.

On the local economy, one can generally buy everyday foods such as sugar, jam, coffee, tea, condiments and spices (curry powder, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg). There are several major supermarkets that stock baking supplies, beans and grains, canned and frozen vegetables, breakfast cereals (imported from South Africa), rice and pasta (imported), household and cleaning products. Keep in mind that these are made in Zambia, South Africa, or Zimbabwe and may not be the same as American products. Local purchases often cost more than their US counterparts, and quality may vary.

Lusaka is approximately 4200 feet above sea level, and this requires adapting some recipes for high altitude cooking.

Lusaka butcher shops sell good quality chicken, beef and pork, including sausages and bacon, at reasonable prices. Most fish is frozen and imported, and availability varies. Available baby food is imported from South Africa; the Commissary does not stock it. Although disposable diapers are imported from South Africa, not all sizes are available. Dietetic and diabetic foods are not generally stocked, so it would be advisable to ship them from the U.S.

The American Mission Community Association (AMCA) operates a small commissary located on the Embassy compound. The commissary stocks a variety of products including beef, pork, chicken, sugar, frozen vegetables, ice cream, some dairy products, and pool supplies. Beer, wine, and liquor are imported from South Africa. Orders are placed several times each year from the U. S. supplier for basic and specialty items, which include cookies, candies, chips, cereal, baking products, canned goods, spices, coffee, toiletries, pet food, liquor, household laundry and cleaning supplies, and other items. Prices are somewhat higher than in the U.S. due to transportation charges. Members can request case lot special orders at the time both the South Africa and U.S. orders are placed. AMCA also operates a video and DVD rental library, school bus service to the American International School, and American Express Travelers Checks. Commissary bills can be paid at the check out counter, charged against a prepaid positive balance or paid by U.S. dollar check at the end of each month.

It is possible to mail order from Peter Justesen ( and online grocers, such as

Clothing Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:18 AM

Summer clothing is worn much of the year. Moderate-weight clothing is necessary during the cooler winter months. Remember the seasons are the reverse of those in the U.S. Lusaka nighttime temperatures can get as low as 40°F to 50°F from mid-May to mid-August. Employees and families arriving from heat-wave Washington D.C. are advised to pack some light wool-blend clothing in their suitcases. The rainy season (November to April) requires lightweight raincoats (rain boots for children) and umbrellas. Include a good supply of clothes in your shipment. Local shops are not reliable sources due to sporadic availability, poor quality, and high prices.

Bring a sufficient supply of shoes, as those locally manufactured are of poor quality. Imported shoes are rarely available and are expensive. Fabric shops offer a variety of cotton, rayon, and polyester fabrics suitable for clothing and home furnishings. Items such as zippers, buttons, thread, elastic, and other notions are available in limited quantities. Therefore, you should bring specialized sewing notions from home, as well as needles, bobbins, and other sewing machine necessities.

Men Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:45 AM

Men customarily wear lightweight tropical worsted suits at the office and official functions. During the hot summer months, many men wear slacks with a shirt and tie. Although rarely required, both white and black dinner jackets are sometimes worn (usually at the Marine Ball). Tails and formal daytime attire are not needed. For restaurant dining and unofficial events, sports shirts and slacks (without ties) are acceptable. Golfers who prefer to wear shorts are required to wear knee-high socks.

Women Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:46 AM

Women wear short-sleeved or sleeveless cotton, linen, or lightweight fabric dresses, cotton or linen skirts, or tailored trousers and blouses for the office. Sweaters or lightweight jackets are also needed during the winter months. Informal long and short dresses are normally worn to cocktail parties and dinners. For barbecues, poolside, and patio parties, women often wear long or short sundresses, jeans, slacks, skirts, pantsuits, or shorts with casual tops, depending on the season and time of day. For cooler evenings, sweaters and lightweight wraps or shawls may be required.

Children Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:47 AM

Bring a good supply of all children’s lightweight summer clothing, swimwear, tennis and sandal-type shoes, and sweaters. Children wear mostly cotton dresses, shorts, jeans and T-shirts. Mission personnel also purchase children’s clothing and footwear from the U.S. through catalogs.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:18 AM

Locally produced or imported South African brand-name deodorants, toiletries, cosmetics, feminine supplies, medicines and over-the-counter drug items, diapers, laundry detergents, cleansers, paper supplies, and other common households items are readily available on the local market. While U.S. brands are not generally available locally, the commissary makes every effort to stock and sell many of these items. CLO sends newly assigned personnel comprehensive lists of scarce or expensive goods and suggested airfreight and HHE, as well as merchandise stocked by the commissary.

Basic Services Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:50 AM

The Embassy offers normal maintenance and repair of U.S. Government-owned and –leased housing. Lusaka has a few qualified automobile mechanics, but they are expensive. Repairs must often be repeated. Spare parts for American-specification vehicles are almost impossible to find locally. Spare parts for vehicles manufactured for the Southern African market are usually available but, again, are expensive. Bring automobile tools, instruction manuals, spare parts, and tires, if you are shipping a vehicle to Zambia.

People who have found good tailors and dressmakers in Lusaka are happy to recommend them to newcomers. Many tailors and dressmakers can copy ready-made garments and follow printed patterns. Drycleaners are usually reliable. Most families have house servants to do their laundry and house cleaning. Haircuts, perms, manicures, pedicures and massages are available, but you might want to ship your own supplies of shampoo, home permanent, coloring, other hair care products, and nail polish.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:51 AM

Domestic help is readily available and relatively cheap, but well-trained servants, especially cooks, are hard to find. CLO maintains a file of available workers who have been recommended. The need for servants depends on the employee’s official position and family size. A senior officer with a family might employ a cook, general housekeeper, gardener, and nursemaid for small children. Single personnel usually employ one household servant.

There are no across the board practices in regards to domestic help and Zambian law does not regulate it either. There are no fixed hours for domestic staff. The usual full-time hours are 40-50 hours per week. It is common practice to give one and a half day off a week, Saturday afternoon and Sunday. It is recommended that you document all agreements, payments and conditions of service and obtain written receipts from the employee.

Average based salaries are subject to negotiation between the employer and the employee. Mission employees should contact the CLO for general guidelines.

It is advisable to register your employees in local private clinics. The Health Unit encourages physical examination for all domestic workers.

Most employers provide uniforms for their staff. Gardeners are provided an overall and rubber boots. Some employers add fringe benefits such as rations.

All employers are required to contribute each month to the Zambian National Pension Scheme Authority (similar to Social Security) for each domestic. The employer must contribute 5% of the worker’s salary and the employee must do the same. Most Embassy houses include living quarters for the house servant and his or her family. Zambian families average six children.

The CLO includes a document on Domestic Help in the Welcome Kit.

All Embassy homes have 24-hour guard service provided under the Embassy security guard contract.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:04 AM

Religions represented in Zambia include, but are not limited to, the following: Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baha’i, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Science, Church of Christ, Greek Orthodox, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, and various independent Pentecostal denominations. There is a small Jewish community, which gathers at holidays.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:21 AM
The American International School of Lusaka (AIS or AISL) welcomes children from 2 to 18 years of age. Since its establishment in 1986, the school has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing an education of the highest quality. With a student body of approximately 400 students, the school is accredited internationally by the European Council of International Schools (U.K.), the International Baccalaureate Organization (Switzerland) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (U.S.). The school attracts students from a wide range of nationalities, including approximately 40% European, 20% North American, 30% African, and 10% Australasian.

The truly international nature at AIS is reflected in the school's curriculum and programs. AIS is one of a handful of schools in Africa that are authorized to deliver all three of the International Baccalaureate Organization programs: the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma.
The Primary School offers the PYP for students from 2 to 11 years old. The inquiry-based program provides a solid foundation of intellectual exploration and personal development that will be fundamental for students as they pursue their education at AIS and beyond. The MYP, a program for students aged 11 to 16, is designed to ensure that each child reaches his/her full physical, mental, emotional, and social potential. Upon completion of the MYP, successful candidates are awarded an MYP Certificate and Record of Achievement. The AIS program culminates in the IB Diploma, a prestigious 2-year pre-university program recognized by colleges in over 100 countries worldwide.

The staff and administration at AIS are committed to the development of students who will take their places, confidently and ably, in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. AIS produces students who value human diversity and are able to communicate effectively in multi-cultural situations. In addition, the school consciously promotes the culture, people and environment of its host country, Zambia.

Small class sizes, well provisioned resources and highly trained, dedicated and compassionate teachers ensure that AIS students are given the individualized attention that they need and deserve. The school employs a special education department that works closely with teachers and parents to develop programs and strategies for students experiencing non-acute educational difficulties or who need to develop their English language skills. Through the use of specialists in French, Spanish, music, information technology, physical education, art, and media resources, students engage in a range of activities designed to help them better understand themselves and their world. Students are offered an extensive range of after-school activities in areas such as the arts, sports, and information technology. The school employs a full-time guidance counsellor who works with students through a developmental guidance program, in addition to seeing students individually and in small groups. The counsellor is also available as a consultant to staff and parents.

The school's purpose-built campus, which provides a safe and healthy environment for learning, is located a short drive from the center of Lusaka. Covering 25 beautifully landscaped acres, AIS features spacious classrooms; a large and well stocked library media centre; a computer centre with state of the art equipment and internet access; specialized classrooms for art, music and science; as well as sports facilities including playing fields, an athletic track, tennis courts, swimming pools, a covered playing court and changing/shower rooms. The school also operates a snack shop that offers students and parents a range of foods, including a daily hot lunch.

The school can be contacted at 260-1-260509, 260510, or 260543; by fax at 260-1-252225 or 260538; or by email at; website:

The International School of Lusaka has students from over 50 different nationalities. The teaching staff consists of professional educators from 15 countries. A Board of Governors, nine of whom are elected by the ISL Association, oversees the School. The Association is composed of the parents of the students attending ISL and the professional teaching staff. The Superintendent, who is supported by the Primary School Principal, the Secondary School Principal and the Business Manager, directs the administration of the school.

The Primary School Program (Nursery up to Grade 6) follows a Standard English Language medium program. Curriculum materials are mostly from the United Kingdom and the United States. There are comprehensive internal systems for monitoring individual progress with external checks, such as the NFER (National
Foundation of Educational Research) multi-skills mathematics and language tests administered at appropriate grade levels. Specialists include English-as-a-Second Language Teachers, and a Primary Resource Teacher.

The Secondary School Program offers a broad international curriculum in Forms 1-3 (Grades 7-9). The United Kingdom-based International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a two-year curriculum offered for Forms 4 and 5 (Grades 10-11). There is a separate English-as-a-Second Language Program for those who require it before entering the main school program, and the School Counselor is available to assist with university admissions and standardized testing. The International Baccalaureate, or IB, which is arguably the premier college preparatory program in the world, has been offered since the 1996 school year. ISL is the permanent test center in Zambia for all American CEEB tests: SAT, TOEFL, GRE.

Lusaka International Community School (LICS) is an international school situated in Roma within easy driving distance of Kabulonga. The school is divided into three sections: The Early Learning Center (2 – 4 year olds); the Junior School (Reception, 4 –5 year olds through Year 6, the 10 – 11 year olds): and Secondary School (Years 7 – 11, 11 – 16 year olds). The school serves the international community seeking educational continuity with schools elsewhere in the world. The starting point for LICS’ curriculum is the United Kingdom’s educational system. LICS complements this foundation with elements from international programmes where they are seen to offer advantages to our students. The LICS secondary school curriculum culminates in the International GCSE.

LICS is a secular, non-political, non-profit-making school owned by the parents. LICS encourages the widest possible involvement of all nationalities and creeds and promotes respect for and pride in Zambia, our host nation. LICS seeks to meet the academic, physical, pastoral and social needs of our students.

The campus is very pleasant and green with lawns, shrubs and mature trees. There are 25 classrooms (including 2 science labs and a networked computer facility), the attractive Early Learning Centre, a covered sports area, 2 swimming pools, a sports field, a library, a tuck shop and administrative facilities.

In 2004, the number of students reached 350 and is expected to keep on growing. LICS students come from the four corners of the world and represent more than 40 nationalities, of which the largest groups are Zambian and British. Many of our families are based long-term in Zambia which gives the school population a significant stability. LICS also welcomes the children of parents in Zambia for a shorter time and ensures continuity when they join and again when they leave to other schools around the world.

The school can be contacted by telephone/fax at 2601 292447; or by email at; website

A few other schools in Lusaka, including Babaob College and the Fench School enroll children of expatriates.

Away From Post Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:22 AM
Currently, an away-from-post education allowance is available for grades 11 –12.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:30 AM

Zambia’s most popular spectator sport is soccer. Throughout the country, teams compete in various leagues.

There are facilities available both in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt for cricket, field hockey, golf, tennis, squash, bowling (on the greens), and swimming. An American-style bowling alley is available at the Arcades Shopping Mall. The Municipal Council operates an Olympic-sized public swimming pool in Lusaka near the International School. The Lusaka Club maintains several clay tennis courts, a billiards room, and squash courts. It also sponsors soccer, cricket, field hockey, badminton, squash and tennis teams.

Golf is quite popular in Zambia among both expatriates and Zambians. Three golf clubs in Lusaka have courses: the Lusaka Golf Club and the Chainama Hills Club (both 18 holes) and the Chilanga Golf Club (9 holes). U.S. Mission personnel are welcome at all three, and initiation fees and annual dues are reasonable. A polo club sponsors periodic horse shows. There is a Hash House Harriers Club, as well. The labyrinth of dirt and gravel roads surrounding Lusaka offers exciting bicycling opportunities. A multi-speed mountain bike is best. Bring your bike, helmet, and all spares and supplies.

Sporting equipment is available locally, but the supply is limited and erratic, so employees are encouraged to bring or ship all needed items. All sports items cost more than in the U.S. Golfers and tennis players should bring clubs, racquets, balls (high altitude for tennis), shoes and golf gloves and tees. Zambia boasts vast wildlife resources, and hunting is popular. Hunting licenses for small wildlife are inexpensive, but difficult to obtain. Licenses for large wildlife are expensive and more difficult to obtain. A hunting safari can be costly, but photos safaris are quite reasonable.

Foreigners and Zambians alike enjoy fishing, and many Zambians depend on fish as their chief protein source. About 35 miles from Lusaka is the Kafue River, which offers fair-to-good angling for bream, barbell (a type of catfish), and a variety of largemouth perch. Also, within 30 miles of Lusaka are many small manmade ponds that offer bream and barbell. Although fishing is generally possible throughout the year, the best time is between April and November. The Zambezi River offers perhaps the best tiger fishing grounds in Africa. Kasaba Bay on Lake Tanganyika is renowned for its Nile Perch and “nkupi” (yellow-bellied bream). Lake Kariba also provides good fishing. Fishing gear is available locally though the selection can be limited. Bringing your favorite gear is advisable.

Horseback riding is popular and several stables are available to Mission members. The Lusaka Gymkhana Club and the Lusaka Pony Club sponsor periodic horse shows. At the Lusaka Polo and Hunt Club, polo is played every week from March to October. Membership fees and dues for these clubs are reasonable. Polocrosse has a large, active following. The cost of purchasing and stabling horses in Lusaka is less than in the U.S. Limited tack and riding apparel are available locally. Riding instruction is available, although the quality varies.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:32 AM

s a tourist center, Lusaka is ideally situated. It lies at the junction of the main highways to the north, east, south, and west. Lusaka has an international airport with convenient air links to the tourist attractions of Luangwa Valley and Victoria Falls. Zambia’s natural heritage offers unequaled opportunities for the tourist to view waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and vast wildlife sanctuaries. In recent years, the Zambia National Tourist Board has made a determined effort to improve tourist facilities (

Victoria Falls, known by its ancient name of “Mosi-O-Tunya” (“The Smoke that Thunders”), is a must stop for all visitors to Zambia. The falls (a mile wide and twice as high as Niagara) are 295 miles, or a 6-hour drive, from Lusaka near the border town of Livingstone. Accommodations range in cost and comfort from the 5-star Royal Livingstone and 3-star Zambezi Sun to rustic cottages. Just outside of Livingstone is a small national park with 1,300 varieties of animals, reptiles, and birds, including elephant, giraffe, zebra, black rhino, antelope, warthog, and bush pig. Other attractions near Victoria Falls are the National Museum that houses many cultural and anthropological exhibits (re-opening March 2004); the Maramba Cultural Village; bungee jumping and whitewater rafting trips.

Zambian wildlife viewing, walking safaris and hunting safaris are unparalleled. South Luangwa National Park is outstanding. Kafue National Park, the second largest national park in Africa, offers conducted walking or Land Rover safaris, where visitors can get quite close to most wildlife. Luangwa and Kafue have inexpensive self-catering cottages with kitchens, as well as numerous full-service lodges. Each park is approachable by road, but visitors to Luangwa usually prefer to fly because of the long distance (400 miles northeast of Lusaka) and poor roads.

Lake Tanganyika is accessible by road but it is nearly 700 miles from Lusaka. Lake Kariba, conveniently situated 93 miles south of the capital, is a favorite weekend resort for Lusaka residents. The area offers boating, fishing, and swimming (in swimming pools). Another option at Lake Kariba is spending your time on a houseboat cruising the lake.

Close to Lusaka, there are a few getaways within a one-hour drive or less.

An employee assigned for a 2-year tour of duty on Lusaka is authorized one R&R trip. A 3-year tour allows two such trips. The designated relief point is London. Being centrally situated in Southern Africa, visitors and residents in Lusaka can conveniently visit neighboring Zimbabwe (if the security situation permits), Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. See those countries’ post reports and consular information sheets for details of tourist attractions and current security situations.

Entertainment Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:31 AM

Most Americans entertain in their homes. Send a video system (preferably multi-system VHS) or DVD (preferably a multi-zone DVD player) and a library of films. There is a new five-screen multiplex cinema that shows current movies.

There are many societies, clubs and organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Zambian Ornithological Society (hosts monthly bird walks), Wild Geese Society (open to anyone with Irish ancestry), the Hellenic Society, the Caledonian Society (for those of Scottish descent), and the Lusaka Bridge Club (plays a duplicate once a week).

Lusaka restaurants are in the moderate price range, are generally good quality, and feature a growing range of cuisines. The Intercontinental Hotel has a coffee shop, a barbecue grill, and two restaurants. The Pamodzi Hotel also has a coffee shop, an la carte restaurant, and a poolside snack bar. The Holiday Inn has a restaurant and McGinty’s Pub. Other restaurants offering lunch and dinner are the following: Arabian Nights (Pakistani/Steak); , Marlin, Cattlemen’s, The Brown Frog (Steak/Creole); Diana’s (Korean); Piccolo and Rhapsody’s (European/Californian); Ghandi’s (Vegetarian); Chang Sung, Dong Fang, Golden Chopsticks and Sichuan (Chinese); Mogul, Muskaan, and Dil (Indian); Chit Chat, Le Bistro, and Gerritz (café); Fra Gigi (Italian); O’Hagan’s (Irish Pub);; Green Ethiopian (Ethiopian); Le Triumph Dolphin (seafood and Creole); Ocean Basket (Seafood); Black Knight Pizzeria, Debonair’s; Pizza Inn (pizza); and Steers, Nando’s Chicken , Chicken-Inn (fast food).

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:33 AM
Most socializing takes place at people’s home. CLO offers social activities such as hail-and-farewell and monthly wine and cheese parties. The Marines occasionally serve “Burgers Out Back” at the Embassy canteen (The Shima Shack) and CLO organizes local vendors’ showings at these times. The Marine Ball is the social highlight for the American community. The American/Canadian Women’s Club (ACWC) is open to all American and Canadian women and to wives of American and Canadian men. Activities include monthly afternoon meetings, featuring guest speakers and refreshments. The club hosts social events, special holiday events for children, and fundraising events.

The Diplomatic Spouses Association of Lusaka is open to the spouses of all personnel in Zambia who are attached to diplomatic or international missions. Meetings are held once a month. Assorted programs follow a short general meeting on a variety of cultural topics. The Association sponsors English conversation, tennis, bridge, cooking, and golf groups. It hosts an annual formal ball in October.

International Contacts Last Updated: 3/3/2004 6:58 AM
Official representatives of approximately 35 nations and over 40 international agencies are accredited to Zambia. Another source of international contacts is the expatriate community: professors, doctors, engineers, missionaries, and other professionals who come to Zambia from around the world to assist in development projects. Also present are many international business visitors interested in the copper industry, government contracts, and development opportunities.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 3/3/2004 7:00 AM

As in most developing African countries, protocol is informal in Zambia. Entertainment is usually small informal cocktails or dinner parties. The dress for these occasions is usually coat and tie for men and cocktail dress for women.

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:34 AM

The Ambassador, DCM, PAO and USAID Director attend numerous social events. Other Mission officers have fewer representational responsibilities. Embassy officers from all sections often host business lunches either at restaurants or in their homes.

Courtesy calls are made among senior officials of the diplomatic missions. Business cards and invitations can be printed at the Embassy or locally, but better quality business cards are available in the U.S.

Special Information Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:12 AM

Post Orientation Program

Upon arrival a newcomer receives a Welcome Kit containing information on Zambia. Employees and their adult dependents also attend formal orientation programs and administrative and security briefings on post procedures and policies.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:13 AM

U.S. Government employees generally travel from Washington, Atlanta or New York to Johannesburg to Lusaka. Alternate routings are available through European connecting points, usually London or Amsterdam, for onward travel to Lusaka. To the maximum extent possible, U.S. Government personnel are required to fly American-flag airlines where service is available (per 6 FAM 134). Since flight schedules and Department of State travel regulations change frequently, all travelers should consult with the their agency's designated Travel Management Center or with their agency's Transportation Office to ensure that their routing is in compliance with the Fly America Act and other applicable regulations.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 3/3/2004 7:02 AM

The Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act of 1965 govern the administration of customs and duties for Embassy and USAID officers.

Passage Last Updated: 3/3/2004 7:02 AM

Travelers, including Foreign Service personnel, temporary duty personnel, consultants, experts, and any official or nonofficial visitors, must obtain Zambian visas. These visas can be obtained at the port of entry, but formalities are simplified if the visa is obtained before arrival in Zambia. All travelers should also have a South African visa in the event medical travel to South Africa should be necessary; South African visas are not required for tourism.

Pets Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:35 AM

If you are bringing a pet to Zambia, you must apply for an Import Permit by providing three weeks before the pet's arrival the following information to the Embassy’s Expeditor at GSO ( ): the animal’s breed, date of birth, sex, and arrival details. Make sure that you request the Embassy to send (or fax) the completed import permit to you well before your departure for post. You will need to present this permit to the airline before it will issue your pet a ticket or even make a reservation. In addition to the import certificate, you will need a valid rabies certificate and a certificate of good health signed by a veterinarian of the country of origin of travel that has been issued immediately before the pet’s departure. If your pet cannot travel simultaneously with a family member, copies of these documents must accompany the animal. There is no quarantine in Zambia.

If possible, avoid transiting through South Africa, as the regulations are cumbersome and may delay your pet’s arrival.

The rules concerning pet travel are stringent. For example, pets have not been permitted to travel from Washington D.C. during “heat alerts” – when temperatures stay above 85°F. So it is a good idea to line up a boarding kennel near the airport of departure and to plan financially for such a contingency.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:15 AM

U.S. Government personnel assigned to Zambia must receive approval from the Chief of Mission before importing any firearms or ammunition. Write to the Management Officer well before your departure to permit time for a reply. Requests to bring rifles, shotguns, and ammunition must include the serial number and type of game for which it will be used. Hunting and fishing licenses can be obtained from the local police for a fee.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:17 AM

Currency, Banking and Weights and Measures

Zambia uses a decimal currency. The kwacha (which means “dawn”) is the main currency unit. Currency notes come in the following denominations: 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, and 20.

Zambia follows the metric system for weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:18 AM

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property


A Zambian driver’s license is required. You must have a valid U.S. driver’s license to obtain a Zambian drivers license. Accredited Embassy personnel are exempt from taking a full Zambian driving test. The Post will assist newly arrived personnel in obtaining a license.

Zambian third party automobile insurance is mandatory, and personnel are strongly advised to purchase an additional comprehensive policy in the U.S. Locally purchased third-party insurance is inexpensive.

The Post’s rules concerning the sale of personal property and automobiles are strictly enforced and are available to staff members on arrival. All sales must have prior authorization. You may not sell any item, including a motor vehicle, for an amount in excess of the original price plus any taxes and/or custom fees imposed on the item, unless you sign a statement guaranteeing that the profits will be donated to a recognized charity. The total amount of Zambian kwacha that can be converted through reverse accommodation into U.S. dollars is limited to the proceeds of sale of motor vehicles. Any additional amount varies depending on how long the employee has been in Zambia.


Banking facilities in Lusaka are satisfactory. A number of major banks operate in Lusaka, including Barclay’s Bank of Zambia and Standard Chartered Bank, which both offer individual accounts. Citibank – has an office in Lusaka, but its services are largely limited to commercial accounts. ATM machines are available in Lusaka and other major towns.

Citibank provides accommodation exchange for official personnel on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the Embassy and on Wednesday at USAID. Americans stationed in Lusaka should maintain a checking account in the U.S. Although it is possible, most American find no need to open accounts in local banks.

Travelers cheques are easily cashed at banks and hotels, but not at all shops. AMCA sells dollar-denominated travelers cheques to American personnel. A number of hotels, shops, and restaurants in Zambia and surrounding countries accept American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and other credit cards. In the larger towns and tourist resorts it is quite easy to use American currency.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 6/1/2005 8:39 AM

Recommended Reading

Andersson, Per-Ake, Bigsten, Arne and Persson, Hakan. Foreign Aid, Debt and Growth in Zambia (Research Report, 112). Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2001.

Bayles, Carolyn (Editor), Bujra, Janet (Editor). AIDS, Sexuality and Gender in Africa: The Struggle Continues. UCL Press, 2000. The book draws on first hand research and in-depth investigations carried out by a team of researchers from Britain, Zambia and Tanzania, and focuses on the gender aspect of the struggle against AIDS.

Brown, Ernest Douglas. Lozi (Heritage Library of African Peoples. Southern Africa). Rosen Publishing Group, 1997

Dooley, Brendan and Plewman, Nicholas. African Adventurer's Guide to Zambia. Southern Book Pub of South Africa, 2000.

Fuller, Alexandra. Let’s Not Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. Random House 2001.

Gerrard, John W. Africa Calling: A Medical Missionary in Zambia and Kenya. Palgrave, 2001.

Grotpeter, John J., et al. Historical Dictionary of Zambia (Second Edition). Scarecrow Press, 1998.

Hansen, Karen Tranberg. Salaula: The World of Second-hand Clothing and Zambia. University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Hansen, Karen Tranberg. Keeping House in Lusaka. Columbia Univ Pr., 1996. This book pens a window on the experiences of urban people living through one of Africa's most dramatic economic declines in the postcolonial era by focusing on such broad themes as household dynamics, gender politics, and informal economy in Mtendere. The author argues that African urbanism is not purely a product of colonialism but a result of a wide variety of influences both local and foreign.

Holmes, Timothy. Zambia (Cultures of the World). 2nd edition. Benchmark Books, 1998. Illustrated with numerous color photos, texts cover topics such as geography, history, government, language, arts, and festivals. Informative chapters include discussion about ethnic groups, rites of passage, family life, sports, etiquette, and human rights.

Ihonvbere, Julius O. Economic Crisis, Civil Society, and Democratization: The Case of Zambia. Africa World Press Inc., 1997. In this, "the first major book on post-UNIP Zambia," the author chronicles the efforts of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in Zambia since 1991 to consolidate democracy and rebuild a civil society-despite fierce competition by the ousted United National Independence Party (UNIP) and ongoing efforts at intervention by Western financial donors/lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Kelly, Robert, et al. Zambia Country Review 2000., 1999. Each Country Review includes an overview of key demographic and geographic information as well as regional and country maps. Government and political information includes an overview of the historical and socio-cultural conditions, government organization, current political conditions, and a list of current leaders, including a biography of the head of government/state. Economic information is presented in statistical tables on macroeconomic trends and key economic sectors. Foreign investment conditions are also covered along with a listing of key enterprises. Also included is a summary of current environmental issues, natural hazards, and international environmental agreements.

Lamb, Christina. The Africa House: The true story of an Englishman gentleman and his African dream. Viking, 1999.

MacMillan, Hugh and Shapiro, Frank. Zion in Africa: The Jews of Zambia. I B Tauris & Co Ltd, 1999.

Laure, Jason. Zambia (Enchantment of the World). Children's Press, 1996.

McIntyre, Chris. Zambia. 2nd Edition. Globe Pequot Press 2000. In this second edition of Zambia: The Bradt Travel Guide, author Chris McIntyre has fully updated every aspect of travel in a country which is still scarcely touched by tourism, from accommodation and national parks to transport and adventurous activities. Indispensable both as a planning tool and as a traveling companion. (3rd edition due for release July 2004).

Mpuku, Herrick C., Ed. Contemporary Issues in Socio-Economic Reform in Zambia. Avebury, 1997.

Nag, Prithvish. Population, Settlement, and Development in Zambia. South Asia Books, 1990.

Owens, Delia and Owens, Mark (Contributor). The Eye of the Elephant: An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness. Ticknor & Fields, 1993. In a remote Zambian valley where elephants gracefully wandered into camp to eat fruit from the trees, the authors of the best selling Cry of the Kalahari discovered a new wilderness Eden. But peace was short-lived when they were drawn into a struggle that threatened their lives.

Plewman, Nicholas et al. Visitors' Guide to Zambia: How to Get There, What to See, Where to Stay (Visitors' Guides). Southern Book Pub of South Africa, 1998.

Saasa, Oliver and Carlsson, Jerker. The Aid Relationship in Zambia: A Conflict Scenario. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1996.

USA International Business Publications. Zambia Country Study Guide (World Country Study Guide Library). 2 Ed., Vol. 1 International Business Publications, USA, 2000. This study guide contains basic information on economy, government, business, history and geography, climate, traditions, people, places to visit. Includes basic statistics, information on the most important business contacts and business travel.

Vaughan, Richard (Editor), Murphy, Ian (Photographer). Zambia. University Press of America; 2000.

Van Donge, Jan Kees. Zambia (World Bibliographical Series). 2nd Rev edition. Abc-Clio, 2001. Out of print.

Web Sites on Zambia - The United States Mission to Zambia - Department of State, home page (annual Human Rights Report and other reports relating to Zambia) - Bank of Zambia - National homepage of Zambia - African Travel and Business ~ The Times of Zambia – Government owned newspaper, ~ Daily Mail – Government owned newspaper ~ Sunday Mail - Part of the Daily Mail ~ The Post – privately owned and fairly independent newspaper ~ Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Crehan, Katie. The Fractured Community, Landscapes Power and Gender in Rural Zambia. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1997. - Human Rights Watch, Zambia - Languages of Zambia. Created by Dr. Lee S. Bickmore, Dept. of Anthropology, University at Albany (SUNY), Albany, New York. - Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum - USAID site on Zambia

Local Holidays Last Updated: 3/3/2004 5:29 AM

Following are the local holidays observed in Zambia. Although most facilities are closed, air services are not affected.

New Year's Day January 1
Youth Day March 12
Good Friday Friday before Easter
Holy Saturday Saturday before Easter
Easter Monday Monday after Easter
Labor Day May 1
African Freedom Day May 25
Heroes Day First Monday in July
Unity Day First Tuesday in July
Farmer's Day First Monday in August
Independence Day October 24
Christmas Day December 25

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
Share |