|Preface Last Updated: 3/3/2004
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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) (www.comesa.int),
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 (www.unza.zm), 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 (email@example.com),
Telecel (www.telecel.com) and Zamtel (www.zamtel.zm).
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
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
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:
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:
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
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
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
Embassy of the United States of America
P.O. Box 31617
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
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 (www.WorldSpace.com or in the U.S. call
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 (www.times.co.zm}
Daily Mail – Government owned (www.daily-mail.co.zm)
Sunday Mail - Part of the Daily Mail (http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/sunday/today/front.htm)
Financial Mail – Part of the Daily Mail
The Post – privately owned and fairly independent (www.post.com.zm)
National Mirror – Weekly
The Monitor – (http://www.oneworld.org/afronet/monitor.htm)
Lowdown – Monthly magazine (www.lowdown.co.zm)
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 (www.britcoun.org/zambia) operate libraries. Books are
limited to American and British subject matter, respectively. The
American International School of Lusaka (AISL) has a fine children’s
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
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
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
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
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 and AIDS
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
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
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
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
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
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
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: http://zambia.usembassy.gov.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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: http://www.usaid.gov/zm/.
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.
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: http://zambia.usembassy.gov/.
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)
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
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
Please note that the Embassy does not provide pool chemicals.
These can be purchased through the commissary as well as on the
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
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
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 (www.pj.dk) and
online grocers, such as www.netgrocers.com.
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
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
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
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.
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%
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
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
The school can be contacted at 260-1-260509, 260510, or 260543;
by fax at 260-1-252225 or 260538; or by email at email@example.com;
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
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,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; website http://www.lics.sch.zm/.
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
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
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
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 (www.zambiatourism.com).
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
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
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
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
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
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 (LunguTP@state.gov
): 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
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,
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
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
Andersson, Per-Ake, Bigsten, Arne and Persson, Hakan. Foreign
Aid, Debt and Growth in Zambia (Research Report, 112). Nordiska
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
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
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.
CountryWatch.com, 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
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
http://zambia.usembassy.gov/ - The United States Mission to
http://www.state.gov/ - Department of State, home page (annual
Human Rights Report and other reports relating to Zambia)
http://www.boz.zm - Bank of Zambia
http://www.zambia.co.zm - National homepage of Zambia
http://www.africa-insites.com - African Travel and Business
www.times.co.zm ~ The Times of Zambia – Government owned
www.daily-mail.co.zm, ~ Daily Mail – Government owned newspaper
http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/sunday/today/front.htm ~ Sunday Mail
- Part of the Daily Mail
www.post.com.zm ~ The Post – privately owned and fairly
http://www.comesa.int/about/ ~ Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA)
http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft0779n6dt/ Crehan, Katie. The
Fractured Community, Landscapes Power and Gender in Rural Zambia.
Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1997.
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/africa/zambia.html - Human Rights Watch,
http://www.albany.edu/~lb527/LOZ.html - Languages of Zambia.
Created by Dr. Lee S. Bickmore, Dept. of Anthropology, University at
Albany (SUNY), Albany, New York.
http://www.sadcpf.org/ - Southern African Development Community (SADC)
http://www.usaid.gov.zm/ - 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