FAST FACTS - Malawi     FAST FACTS - Zambia      
Population  12,620,219(2008)


Capital city Lusaka

Population: 1,084,703
Official language: English
There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. All media and business is in English and most Zambians speak it fairly well. Bemba is the next most commonly understood language, followed by Nyanja Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe and Tumbuka.
There is freedom of worship in Zambia with over 15 different churches. Christianity is followed by over 60% of the population.
Life Expectancy

45  (2008)


GDP PPP per capita

Gross Domestic Product at purchasing power parity per capita. (Per person yearly income)

$1297 (2009 World Bank)

As a comparison the U.S. is $46,436. So Zambia is an extremely poor country.

Literacy Rate 15 - 24 yr olds


Metric System 


Local current is 230v, 50 Hz cycle AC
Daily brown outs are common but most hotels and public places have generators.
Outlets in Zambia generally accept 3 types of plug. Come prepared with all three adaptors as not all outlets are in every accommodation.



To verify this electrical information click

http://www.international- electrical-supplies.com/ zambia-plug-adapters.html 


You will most likely also need a voltage converter as US appliances run on 110 Volts and Zambia has 220 Volts.  Some US appliances have a switch to change the voltage to 220. If this is the case on your apliance then you will only need an adaptor.

For  time and weather in Lusaka click here
Zambia has three distinct seasons.
December to April:
Warm and wet
May to August:
Cool and dry.
September to November:
Hot and dry.
Average temperatures in Summer
range from 25° C /77°F  to
35°C / 95°F
and in winter they range from
6° C /43° F to 24° C /°F 75 .
Average temperature in August when we will be there is:
No rain 


Take these and get arrested !


The above over-the-counter American drugs are illegal in Zambia and you could be arrested if they find them in your possession (at the airport). See next paragraph for details.


Medical supplies

Travelers should carry their prescription drugs and medications in the original labeled containers, as well as the written prescription from their physician. Travelers who cannot get a doctor’s note for their over-the-counter medications may wish to leave them behind or risk possible arrest.

Certain over-the-counter medications such as the anti-histamine Benadryl and Solarcaine,  may not be brought in to the country.  A complete list of controlled substances banned in Zambia is on the Zambia Drug Enforcement web site. Unfortunately their PDF document is not showing properly so here is the list I got off their website in 2009.   See  criminal penalties for more information about over-the-counter medications.


Chemists / Pharmacies

Travellers should carry an adequate supply of their prescribed medicines with them although chemists in the major centres now carry a wide range of medicines and first aid accessories. There are some emergency chemists open after hours or Sundays in Lusaka.

Medical Insurance

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether the policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see

medical insurance overseas 




Currency   Kwacha (ZK)

The Kwacha has denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10 000, 20 000 and

50 000 kwacha notes.


For exchange rateclick here - US$ to Zambian Kwacha

On Oct 14, 2010 the US $1 was 4572 Kwacha.

The US dollar has been losing value and may go down more before we leave.


Exchanging U.S. dollars in Zambia

You will receive a higher exchange rate for your American dollars if they are $50 and $100 bills.  The exchange rate for $10's and $20's is lower.

(Bring $50's & $100's)


To withdraw money from Bank of America in Lusaka there is an ATM fee of $5.00 per transaction. A visa debit card should work on any visa enabled ATM in Zambia. 


GMT +2 hours
Zambians refer to time on the 24 hour system. Eg 6 pm is 1800.

Banking hours

Mon - Fri: 0815 to 1430 hours 

Sat:   0815 to 1030 hours on 1st and last  Saturdays of the month.
Some banks also operate on Saturday mornings.


Business Hours
Private sector
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm
Government offices:
Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Saturday: Government closed but the commercial sector opens in the morning until 1:00pm.

Credit Cards

Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card.  Standard Chartered, Stanbic and Barclays Banks have ATM's which accept Visa cards for cash.


Driving and roads

Zambians drive on the left side of the road. Zambia is notorious for potholes and road signs are few.  




Information sources for this page




U.S. State Dept information about Zambia


World Health Organization 


World Bank