Zambia photo

Zambia Driving Guide

Zambia is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-23 · 9 mins

The Zambezi River, which forms its southern border across from Zimbabwe, is the origin of Zambia’s name. Most of this country’s land is allocated to conservation projects, national parks, and game management areas. With the vast majority of the country remaining wild and unspoiled, Zambia is home to many of Africa's incredible wild mammals and birds. Visiting Zambia is an adventure like no other. Zambia is the best place to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature

Aside from the Zambezi River, Zambia has many spectacular bodies of water. Lake Tanganyika, which is known to be the second deepest natural lake on earth, is located in Zambia. Lake Kariba, a man-made lake, is the second-largest in the world. There are also five vast lakes, seventeen waterfalls, and many wetland areas around Zambia. All of these bodies of water give life to various animal and plant species in Zambia.

How Will This Guide Help You?

Before traveling to a foreign country, it is best to equip yourself with information about that country. This guide provides valuable information about Zambia that will help you plan and enjoy your adventure. The guide includes general knowledge about Zambia, the top destinations you should visit, and things you can do for a long-term stay in the country. Basic driving rules of driving in Zambia are also included. This guide will help you if you plan to go driving in Zambia tourist spots.

General Information

Zambia is the 17th largest country in Africa, with a land area of 752,618 square kilometers. Most of Zambia is uninhabited by humans since many locations in Zambia are considered protected areas for wildlife and conservation. A high concentration of the human population is located in the capital city of Lusaka and the border town of Livingstone. Outside these city centers, wildlife in Zambia thrives. No matter the season, there is always something spectacular to see when you go driving in Zambia.

Geographic Location

Zambia is located in central Southern Africa and is landlocked between the other countries in South Africa. There is Angola on the west, Botswana and Namibia to the southwest, Congo DR on the north and northwest, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Tanzania to the northeast, and Zimbabwe to the south. The Zambezi River is located on the southern border with Zimbabwe.

Most of Zambia is on a high plateau, 1,000 to 1,300 meters above sea level. The plateau is broken by valleys, with the Kafue and Luangwa Rivers among the plateau’s most enormous breaks. There are also beautiful mountains in Zambia, with the mountain ridges reaching up to 7,000 feet high on the eastern border. Adventure seekers go hiking and trekking in these mountains. These outdoor activities give a spectacular view of Zambia from above.

The earth’s surface in Zambia is rich in minerals. For centuries, mining has been conducted in Zambia to extract these mineral rocks. A bulk of the country’s economy depends on mining these crystalline rocks. However, the steady decline of these minerals hit Zambia’s economic growth. The depletion of these minerals has pushed the government to enhance the tourism sector to help with the economy. Zambia is slowly gaining tourist attraction.

Languages Spoken

Home to over 70 tribes, Zambia is a diverse country when it comes to language. The languages spoken in Zambia are Bantu languages. Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga, and Lozi are some of the major dialects spoken in the country. Most locals in Zambia also know how to speak English. The English language is commonly used for business and schooling.

You will not have a hard time communicating with the locals when you are in Zambia since the locals speak English. If you need help during your trip in Zambia, it is easy to approach a local to ask for directions. There won’t be any language barrier, and the locals will easily understand you. Although, it may be helpful to learn some phrases in the local language

Land Area

Zambia has 752,618 square kilometers of land area. In comparison, Zambia is larger than Texas or more than double the size of Germany. Even with a vast land, most of Zambia is unpopulated by humans and remains a wildlife sanctuary. Animals are free to roam the grounds without being disrupted by human settlements. The concentration of the human population in Zambia is in the city centers

The population of Zambia is 17 million, with 72 various ethnic groups. Among this population is a thriving Asian community of around 100,000 individuals. The Asian community is composed primarily of Indian and Chinese, with a few European expatriates. Many have fallen in love with the beauty of Zambia and decided to settle down in the country

History

Crude stone implements that have been found prove that civilization in Zambia began over 3 million years ago. Most civilizations start along rivers or various bodies of water. For Zambia, civilization started along the Zambezi river. Evidence dating back to 25,000 years ago shows the modern man populating Zambia during the middle stone age.

Zambia was under the rule of the United Kingdom in the 1920s and was known as Northern Rhodesia. During this time, there were advances in mining that pushed the development of the country. But the boom ended in 1956, and unrest to become an independent nation began. Under the leadership of Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia gained its independence in 1964. Northern Rhodesia was then renamed Zambia, deriving its name from the Zambezi River

Government

In 1991, the constitution of Zambia changed to reintroduce a multiparty system. Zambia is headed by the president, who is elected every five years. The president of Zambia is head of the state and commander of the armed forces. He appoints the vice president, the chief justice, and the members of the high court. The president and members of the high court rule on the national level in Zambia.

Zambia has a provincial government system headed by ministers. The president appoints the ministers for each province of Zambia. These provinces are then divided into districts, with a district council chairman leading each district

Tourism

Tourism in Zambia is growing at a fast pace. From 2006-2010, there was a significant increase in tourists, with over 790,000 foreign travelers visiting Zambia. The hospitality industry has also grown, with up to 940 establishments in 2009 from 500 in 2005. Even at this rate, the competition with the surrounding countries is intense, with Zambia underperforming in comparison. Zambia is still in the race to further develop its tourism sector

With over 34 game management areas and 19 national parks, only 5% is developed for tourism. The government of Zambia is taking action to address the situation. Developing the Northern Tourism Circuit to promote the tourism sector of Zambia is being done by the government. Rehabilitation projects for infrastructures, including airports, roads, and communication facilities, are also a priority to bring in more international tourists. Investments are also a factor to help the tourism in Zambia boom.

IDP FAQs in Zambia

Before driving in a foreign country, it is essential to know what requirements you would need. It is best to have all your documents ready before arriving at your destination. Some countries would require an International Driver’s Permit as a supplementary document for your local driving license. An international driving license may be required when driving and renting a car. Below are some questions answered about an International Driver’s Permit in Zambia.

Is my Driving License Valid in Zambia?

In Zambia, you must have an International Driver’s Permit and your local driver’s license. Recognition for foreign driving licences in Zambia is only given for the other SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries. If your driver’s license is outside of SADC countries, you will have to get a hold of an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Zambia. Police officers in Zambia conduct inspections of valid documents and may check if you have both your local license and an International Driving Permit.

Do I Need an IDP in Zambia?

When driving in Zambia, your local driving licence should be accompanied by an International Driver’s Permit. You must carry your local driving license and your International Driver’s Permit at all times when on the road in Zambia. Remember that the International Driver’s Permit is not a valid replacement for your local driving license. Make sure always to have both your local driver’s license and your International Driver’s Permit. Driving without your local driving license can get you fined.

Can I Apply for an IDP Online?

Applying online for an International Driver’s Permit through the International Driver’s Association is easy. You won’t have to go to an office for an IDP physically. You just need to fill out a form on our application page with your name, address, and contact details. Then upload a photo of your driver’s license and a passport-sized photo of you before settling the payment online. Upon submitting your application, the International Driver’s Association will send you an email update

An IDP valid for one year costs $49 and includes the shipping to your desired location. Although IDA will email a soft copy of your IDP, it is best to have the physical copy before you get to Zambia. The physical copy of your IDP will arrive within a week in the USA and 30 days internationally. Remember to process your IDP ahead of time to ensure it arrives before your trip.

Renting A Car in Zambia

Renting a car in Zambia can be a hassle. There are several factors to consider before renting a car. You have to consider your budget, the road conditions, and the best means of transportation in the country. In Zambia, renting a car is the best option for tourists who want to explore much of the country. By driving in Zambia tourist spots, you get to go at your own pace and call the shots. Commuting outside the major cities in Zambia can be challenging and not accessible.

Car Rental Companies

There are many car rental options in Zambia, local & international car rental companies. Some of the large rental companies like Europcar and Avis Rent-A-Car can be found in the country. You have the opportunity to book online before arriving in Zambia. Booking online is more convenient and comfortable for international travelers. You may also opt to make a walk-in booking upon arrival. It will be easy to find a car rental in Zambia with different vehicle options to suit your budget and adventure type

To avoid the stress, make sure to book a car rental before you arrive in Zambia, especially during summer. The dry season is usually the peak when tourists visit Zambia. Car rental companies may quickly run out of cars to rent out. By booking ahead of time, you skip the line and get to reserve a vehicle of your choice. There may also be a limit for add-ons, like car seats. Booking at the last minute may limit your add-on options.

Documents Required

When renting a car in Zambia, there are a few requirements you must obtain first. You must present your valid local driver’s license, held for a minimum of 2 years. If your local driver’s license is not from a SADC (Southern African Development Community) country, you must have an international drivers permit to accompany your local driving license in Zambia. You will also need to show your passport when renting a car.

Remember always to have your local driver’s license and international driving permit with you when driving in Zambia. It is easy to apply for an international driver’s permit online. Make sure all your documents are valid before your trip to Zambia. Police officers at checkpoints along the roads of Zambia may inspect your papers. Have your documents ready for these inspections.

Vehicle Types

Car rental companies in Zambia offer many different vehicle types. These cars vary from compact cars to SUVs and even buses. A 4WD vehicle is the best fit among all the car options if you plan to rent a car when traveling in Zambia. The 4WD vehicle would be the best type for the roads in Zambia, especially during the rainy season when the roads are most challenging to navigate. Most car companies offer 4WD options to best suit your adventure.

Aside from enough luggage space, car rentals offer add-ons like GPS and car seats for children. These may come at an additional payment to your rented vehicle. But for a minimum amount, you will get the upgrade you need to be comfortable with your rented car. You may inquire regarding these additions with your chosen car rental company.

Car Rental Cost

The average price of a car rental in Zambia is 84 USD per day. The price may vary depending on the vehicle type and size. A compact car can go as low as 65 USD, while a full-size SUV can cost around 136 USD per day. The most frequently booked vehicles in Zambia are class premium trucks or similar. More than 80% of tourists rent their cars in the city of Lusaka. Keep in mind, especially during the rainy season, that it is best to rent a 4WD vehicle.

Age Requirements

The age requirement for renting a car in Zambia is 21 years old. It is also a requirement that you have had your local driver’s license for over a year. There may be some car rental companies that would not allow car rentals for anyone below 25. For other car rental companies, they may opt to charge extra for drivers below 25 years old.

The age when you can obtain a driving license in Zambia is 18 years old. The best way of how to get a driving license in Zambia is by attending driving schools in Zambia. Getting a driving license applies to those who plan to make Zambia their permanent residence. Professional drivers would need to take a different driving test to work as a driver in Zambia.

Car Insurance Cost

When driving in Zambia, you need to secure car insurance. The car insurance would provide a sense of safety to you when driving the roads of Zambia. Most roads in Zambia are in poor condition and not well maintained. Car insurance would be worth the cost to cover any damages. Depending on the policy you choose, the car insurance may cost around 1,000 USD. Some car rental companies include the car insurance cost in the package.

In case your car rental company does not include the insurance cost in the car package, you may want to get third-party insurance. There are many car insurances available, and choosing the policy package is ultimately up to you.

Car Insurance Policy

Car rental companies in Zambia offer different insurance packages. Depending on the package you get, the insurance policy may include Third Party Liability Protection, Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance, and many more. You may ask your car rental company regarding the best insurance package for your trip to Zambia.

Insurances can cover costs for various damages depending on the coverage. The policy could pay damages on the car rental, roadside assistance, and injuries. Talk to your car rental company and ask them about the different policies they offer. It is best to review the insurance policy that would best fit your drive in Zambia.

zambia photo with roads

The Road Rules in Zambia

Before hitting the road and driving in Zambia, it is essential to know the basic rules of driving in Zambia. Knowing the road rules would prevent accidents or even causing death by dangerous driving in Zambia. To best way to learn about the road rules and the 10 basic rules of driving in Zambia is through the Zambia Highway Code. You can find PDFs online stating the ten basic rules of driving in Zambia.

Important Regulations

Driving in Zambia could be very dangerous. The roads are not in the best condition, and you may encounter erratic drivers. It is best to follow the road rules when driving in Zambia. Failure to follow the road regulations in Zambia may have serious consequences. These consequences include fines, injuries, and even causing death by dangerous driving in Zambia. Below are the essential rules you need to follow at all times when driving in Zambia.

Drunk-Driving

As the leading cause of road accidents worldwide, you should avoid drunk driving at all costs. Like most countries, driving under the influence of alcohol in Zambia is illegal. In Zambia, for every 100ml of blood, there is a limit of 80mg alcohol. If you are caught drinking and driving in Zambia, you could be fined and imprisoned. With the road conditions in Zambia, drunk driving could also have more severe consequences.

If you happen to drink alcohol, you must wait a few hours before driving in Zambia. The Zambia Highway Code recommends not to drive in the morning after drinking the previous evening. You may still be unfit for driving in Zambia since you could be driving under the influence of alcohol

Seatbelt Laws

The law in Zambia requires the use of seatbelts for everyone in a moving vehicle. It is common to see rear-seat passengers not wearing a seatbelt in Zambia. However, for the safety of everyone, it is best to follow the road rules at all times. Wearing a seatbelt may just save you in case of an accident along the unmaintained roads of Zambia.

There are no standard rules set regarding car seats for children under 12 years old. But it is recommended to follow international road guidelines. A child under the age of 12 must have a car seat. If you cannot bring a car seat, you may ask your car rental company if they provide this as an add-on. Car rental companies would usually offer this add-on to your rented car for an additional price.

Use of Phone While Driving

The use of phones while driving in Zambia is illegal. You may only use your phone while driving in Zambia if it is hands-free. However, it is discouraged to use phones even if it is hands-free when on the road. The roads in Zambia can be challenging, requiring the driver’s full attention at all times. If you are caught on a hand-held phone while driving in Zambia, you will be given a ticket by a traffic enforcer or police officer.

Driving at Night

It is not considered illegal to drive at night in Zambia. But you have to be very careful and alert when driving at night. Road markings are not typical on Zambia’s roads, so that the driving situation could be dangerous in the dark. Road lights are minimal in Zambia, and you may have to rely solely on your headlights when driving at night.

When driving at night, make sure to watch out for animals and pedestrians on the road. It is common for animals to cross the road at night, which may take you by surprise. Be careful and always be on the lookout for wildlife. There could also be vehicles without lights and broken down cars without warning triangles during the evening. It is common to see a tree branch on the road in Zambia. A tree branch on the road is usually an indicator of a broken-down truck up ahead.

Know the Zambia Highway Code

Make sure to read the Zambia Highway Code, which states the 10 basic rules of driving in Zambia. These ten basic rules of driving in Zambia can be found on PDFs online. However, the best would be to download the Zambia Highway Code App. The app is straightforward and easy to understand for first-time drivers in Zambia and also a great way to review the road rules. Whichever way you want to read the Highway Code, familiarize yourself with it before arriving in Zambia.

General Standards

When driving in Zambia, it is essential to know the general standards followed by the locals. Understanding the driving standards would better equip you when on the road of Zambia. It is standard to drive on the left-hand side of the road in Zambia. It is common to use either a manual or automatic car in Zambia. Best to go for what you feel most comfortable with. It is crucial to have complete control over the vehicle to avoid unnecessary trouble.

Speed Limits

Drivers are highly encouraged to drive below the maximum speed limit given. Driving at the maximum speed limit could still be dangerous. The speed limit for highways in Zambia is 100 kilometers per hour. In contrast, this speed limit goes down to 50 kilometers per hour for towns. The speed limit may vary depending on your location in Zambia. Watch out for road signs that may indicate a change in speed limit.

An on-the-spot fine is usually given to drivers who are caught speeding in Zambia. If this happens, check if the ticket price is correct and ask for a police officer’s receipt. Tourists gain the attention of police officers in Zambia and are vulnerable to scams. Always be aware of standard fines so as not to be caught in vulnerable situations.

Driving Directions

It could be a tricky situation if you don't know what to do in a roundabout. In Zambia, when approaching a roundabout, always give way to the traffic on the right. At the same time, watch out for the cars that are already on the roundabout. You wouldn’t want to cause traffic by blocking the cars. If you are going to exit the roundabout, turn on your left signal and keep to the left until you can exit the roundabout

Always practice defensive driving in Zambia. Some drivers tend to be erratic. The unpredictability of these drivers can lead to accidents if you are not careful. Make sure to take precautions and check your surroundings if you plan to enter a roundabout or overtake another car.

Traffic Road Signs

To keep safe while on the road in Zambia, you must know the road signs. Traffic road signs guide drivers and keep the road safe for other cars and pedestrians. There are common road signs, direction signs, instruction signs, restriction signs, warning signs, and hazard marker signs in Zambia. Listed below are some of the road signs you may encounter

The most common road signs are similar to those of other countries. Examples of common road signs in Zambia are the following:



● Stop signs

● Yield signs

● Pedestrian signs

● Roundabout signs

● One-way signs



Direction signs help guide drivers towards their destination. Direction signs include:



● Lay-by signs

● Pedestrian crossing signs

● Entry/Exit from built-up area

● Highway direction signs



Instruction signs tell drivers the immediate rules they should follow on the road they are on. These signs are usually blue. Examples of instruction signs are:



● Speed limit signs

● Keep left and keep right signs

● Turn left and turn right signs

● Pedestrian and cyclists signs

● Types of vehicles signs

● Parking and reserved lane signs

Restriction signs inform drivers of the limitations of the road. Some restriction signs are:

● Toll route signs

● Vehicle weight limit signs

● Freeway limit signs

Warning signs alert drivers for what to watch out on the road ahead of them. Warning signs include:



● Junction signs

● Dual-carriageway signs

● Road curve warning signs

● Traffic signs

● Animal signs

● Tunnel and railway sig

Right of Way

When driving in Zambia, knowing the give way rules would limit traffic and arguments with other drivers. On a single-track road that is wide enough for only one vehicle, always give way to the car coming uphill. When this happens, it is best to move your vehicle to the side until the oncoming vehicle has passed. In a roundabout, the cars on the right have the right of way. Most importantly, remember that pedestrians always have the right of way in Zambia

The legal driving age in Zambia is 18 years old. You may be wondering how to get a driving license in Zambia. There are many driving schools in Zambia to learn the rules and regulations of the road. An example is the Belsam driving school in Zambia. You may inquire on their website how much is driving school and how much is a driving license in Zambia. The cost of a license may vary since there are different driving licence categories in Zambia.

Renting a car in Zambia requires the driver to be 21 years old or older. There are car rental companies that charge higher for drivers that are below 25 years old. To rent a car in Zambia, you need to present valid documents like your local driver’s license, international driving permit, and passport.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking is highly discouraged in Zambia. If you have to overtake, make sure it is safe for all of those on the road. Check if the road ahead and behind is clear before signaling to overtake. In a two-lane dual carriageway, use the right-hand lane for overtaking. After overtaking, make sure to move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe. If the vehicle ahead of you is overtaking on a single carriageway, wait for them to finish overtaking before you come out to overtake

Driving Side

In Zambia, driving is done on the left-hand side of the road. The driving side may be a bit confusing for tourists who usually drive on the right-hand side. You may opt to practice driving on the left-hand side of the road before arriving in Zambia. Driving on the left-hand side may take a while to get used to. But after some time driving in Zambia, you will get the hang of driving on the left-hand side.

Other Road Rules

Aside from the rules mentioned above, it is essential to know the ten basic rules of driving in Zambia. The ten basic rules are also known as the highway code of Zambia. Established by the Road Transport and Safety Agency, the highway code keeps road users safe. The highway code is taught in the driving schools to ensure that the future drivers of Zambia drive safely. Read below to learn more.

What are the Ten Basic Rules of Driving in Zambia?

You must know the ten basic rules of driving implemented in Zambia before hitting the road. Listed below are the ten basic rules of driving in Zambia under the highway code. To know more about Zambia’s highway code and other road rules, you may visit the Zambia Road Transport and Safety Agency website.

  1. Know the Highway Code very well and put it into practice
  2. Concentrate all the time on your driving to avoid accidents
  3. Interpret the traffic situation correctly before you act
  4. Exercise patience and ‘hang back’ when necessary
  5. Drive with care and give courtesy to other road users
  6. Adapt your speed according to the road and traffic conditions and never exceed the speed limit
  7. Develop your car sense and reduce wear and tear
  8. Use your horn considerately and give proper signals
  9. Be sure your car is roadworthy and know its limitations
  10. Perfect your roadcraft and acknowledge courtesies shown to you by other road users

The Driving Etiquette in Zambia

When driving in Zambia, unavoidable situations can occur while on the road. These can happen when traveling in any country. Knowing the proper driving etiquette in Zambia would help you understand how to handle a particular situation. It is best to be equipped rather than not know what to do when caught in a specific scenario. When you know the driving etiquette, you can avoid getting into trouble with authorities. Below are some guidelines to prevent unwanted consequences

Car Breakdown

Before you start your journey in Zambia, be sure to have water and extra fuel. It may be challenging to come across another town when on the road in Zambia. Bringing extra fuel and enough water would ensure you won’t get stranded in the remote section of Zambia. Also, make sure to note emergency contact numbers so you have someone to contact if anything happens.

In case of a car breakdown, contact your car rental company to ask for assistance. If possible, move your car to the side of the road to give way to other vehicles. Your car rental company may offer to replace the broken down car. If there are any damages, your car insurance policy should be able to cover them

Police Stops

It is common for police officers to stop drivers in Zambia. Foreigners tend to catch the attention of traffic enforcers. Always have your documents ready for inspection. You should have your local driver’s license, an international driver’s permit, necessary vehicle documents, and proof of insurance

Police officers may issue tickets and ask for payments on the spot. When this happens, make sure to ask for a receipt. It is best to check if they are charging you fairly. Police may tend to take advantage of foreigners and demand more than the actual fine. If you are caught in this situation, discuss the matter politely with the officer.

Asking Directions

When in a foreign country, you may be unfamiliar with how to go from one destination to the next. Relying on GPS may not be the best option, especially if there is no cellular data in the area. You may opt to ask for directions from someone who knows the location well.

Asking directions in Zambia is relatively easy since most locals speak English. When asking for advice, make sure to pull over first to the side of the road and come to a complete stop. You may choose to remain in your car or step out when asking for directions. Be polite when getting the attention of locals. People in Zambia will always be willing to help, whether you ask for advice or have a car breakdown. Don’t be shy to reach out and ask for help

Checkpoints

Outside of city centers in Zambia, it is common to stop at a checkpoint. Guards at a checkpoint will usually take a look at your documents. Have your local driver’s license and your international driver’s permit for Zambia ready for inspection. Do not worry! Officers are friendly and would usually check your documents and let you go. Always respond to officials in a friendly manner

A vehicle inspection may also happen sometimes at checkpoints. The officers just want to make sure that the car is in good condition to be used on the roads of Zambia. Always keep your vehicle clean and tidy in case you come across a checkpoint.

Other Tips

Aside from the driving situations mentioned above, it is crucial to know what to do in an accident when you are in Zambia. Getting into an accident can be severe, and being prepared would equip you to handle the situation. Read below to see what you should do when an accident occurs in Zambia

What Do I Do In Case of an Accident?

Accidents can happen anytime, no matter where you are. When faced with an accident in Zambia, the best thing to do is call the police. While waiting for authorities to arrive on the scene, take photographs of the accident and get contacts of the witnesses. Make sure not to move anything on the scene before the police arrive. Once the authorities are present, let them know what happened. You may need a report from the police to show to your car rental and insurance company

Driving Conditions in Zambia

Driving conditions vary in different countries. Before driving in a foreign country, it is essential to know the driving conditions of that destination. When driving in Zambia, the driving conditions can be challenging. Knowing what to expect on the road will help you prepare for your trip better. Besides helping you mentally prepare, packing the right equipment is vital for your driving adventure in Zambia.

Accident Statistics

In 2019, there were a total of 1,746 fatalities due to road traffic accidents in Zambia. During that same year, there was a total record of more than 30,000 car accidents. Zambia officials aim to lower that number and are finding ways to minimize road accidents. Excessive speeding and drunk driving are two of the leading causes of accidents every year in Zambia. Most road accidents happen in the capital city of Lusaka.

In 2019, there were a total of 1,746 fatalities due to road traffic accidents in Zambia. During that same year, there was a total record of more than 30,000 car accidents. Zambia officials aim to lower that number and are finding ways to minimize road accidents. Excessive speeding and drunk driving are two of the leading causes of accidents every year in Zambia. Most road accidents happen in the capital city of Lusaka.

Common Vehicles

Sedans and SUVs are the standard vehicles you will find in Zambia. Locals usually have 4WD cars that are equipped for the road and weather conditions in Zambia. When driving during the rainy season, the use of 4WD vehicles is necessary. Since most roads in Zambia are not paved, the rains may wipe out the dirt roads. No paved roads would be hard to maneuver in the rough terrain if your car is not a 4WD.

In Zambia, second-hand vehicles are a typical purchase among locals. A pre-owned car would indicate that the vehicle can handle the rough roads of Zambia. If you plan to move to Zambia and purchase a vehicle, always check if it has the correct documentation. You would also have to get a local driver’s license in Zambia. Among the classes of driving licence in Zambia, local drivers may have the class B driving licence in Zambia

Toll Roads

Most countries have toll roads that make it easier to travel from one destination to the next. However, for Zambia, there aren’t any toll roads yet. Most of the streets outside of the cities are not paved. Dirt roads are more common in Zambia, which require a higher amount of concentration. During the rainy seasons, these dirt roads tend to be washed away. The government of Zambia is still working on developing roads and highways to serve locals and tourists better.

Road Situations

The roads of Zambia are challenging and can be very tricky. Dirt roads are frequently covered in potholes. When the rainy season comes, the waters could wash away the road paths, leaving no road trail. The rains may even make some of the roads impassable. You have to be very careful when driving during the wet season.

Pedestrians and animals crossing anywhere is a common occurrence in the streets of Zambia. Since there are hardly any paved roads with designated locations for pedestrians to cross, locals tend to pass anywhere along the route. While animals are unaware of what roads are and walk as they please. Be sure to have your complete attention on the road to avoid accidents.

Since Zambia is a remote destination, cellular signals can get lost in different areas of the country. When driving in Zambia, do not rely on GPS for directions. Instead, have a physical map or download one to help navigate the routes in Zambia.

Driving Culture

The driving culture varies among countries. There are some countries where driving is a breeze. However, the driving situation can be very challenging in Zambia. When on the road, defensive driving is best applied to avoid accidents. There are many erratic drivers in Zambia, which can be a recipe for disaster when added to the dangerous road conditions. With the lack of road signs, driving in Zambia can be difficult for first-time drivers

To address the road problems in Zambia, a number of driving schools offer classes and pdf references to their students. By teaching the road rules at an early age, Zambia aims to minimize road accidents every year. Truck driving schools in Zambia have also opened up to equip professional drivers better

Things To Do in Zambia

Going on a road trip adventure in Zambia is one for the books. Driving as a tourist is fun, but how about driving as a resident in Zambia? There are a few things to consider before deciding to move permanently in the country. How much is a driving license in Zambia? What are the types of driving licence in Zambia? How much is driving school in Zambia? These are some of the questions you should ask before finalizing your decision.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists can drive in Zambia for as long as the necessary documents are acquired. You must carry your local driver’s license and an international driver’s permit. If you have a driver’s license from one of the SADC countries, you don’t need to have an IDP. For all countries outside SADC, an international driver’s permit is required. Remember that the IDP is just a supplementary document for your local driver’s license, and you should be carrying both at all times.

Work as a Driver

There are job opportunities in Zambia to work as a driver. Some of the latest driving jobs in Zambia include positions for personal drivers up to truck drivers. There are different driving licence categories in Zambia, depending on the work you will take. The types of driving licence in Zambia vary for professional drivers.

If you plan to work as a truck driver, a class B driving licence in Zambia would not be enough. It is best to learn from the best truck driving schools in Zambia. Belsam driving school is one such school in Zambia that is also a truck driving school. Belsam teaches for the different classes of driving licence in Zambia

It is best to research what would be the best truck driving school in Zambia for you. Finding one may be a problem with the number of driving schools in Zambia. Learning through PDF and manuals won't be enough to know how to drive on the roads of Zambia. Applying to a driving school would help you be a better driver. The driving schools would have you practice driving an actual car to prepare you for the rough roads.

Work as a Travel Guide

An exciting travel guide job in Zambia is safari guides. Safari guides join tourists as they explore the animal safaris of Zambia. As a safari guide, you will get to take adventures in amazing African game parks and search for animals in the wild. You will learn about the different wildlife and bird species of Zambia. And best of all, you will live in the great outdoors

For you to be a professional safari guide, you must learn details about the geography and animals of the safari. A certification is needed for safari companies to consider hiring you. Of course, as one of the latest driving jobs in Zambia, a safari guide must know how to drive a 4x4, bush navigation, and first aid.

Apply for Residency

Zambia may grant permanent residence to a foreigner who has had an employment permit for ten years, a dependant of a valid residence permit holder, a holder of an investor’s permit for three years, and other qualifications.

To apply for residency, you must submit documents depending on your qualifications for permanent residence. Documents needed may include a cover letter to the Director-General of Immigration, a certified copy of your birth certificate, a recent passport photograph, a contract of employment, or a title of lease agreement. You may refer to Zambia’s Department of Immigration for the complete requirements

Top Destinations in Zambia

Zambia is home to some of the world's most impressive natural sites. From amazing safaris to many beautiful waterfalls and rivers, Zambia is the perfect place for an adventure. Zambia is considered to be one of the best safari destinations with abundant wildlife and bird species. You will not run out of things to do and see in Zambia. It is one place you won’t get enough of and will want to keep coming back to.

Zambezi River photo

Zambezi River

The Zambezi river is home to Victoria Falls, which is the most famous tourist destination in Zambia. But the Zambezi River boasts of more natural wonders besides the Victoria Falls. Known to be the 4th longest river in Africa, the Zambezi River flows across six countries. You can find many animals like hippopotamus, crocodiles, and monitor lizards along the river. There are a great deal of bird and fish species, too. The river also provides hydroelectric power for Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, continue to T4.
  2. Take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto T4.
  3. At the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit to continue on T4.
  4. Make a left turn onto Kamloops Road.
  5. Turn right, then turn left onto Nangwenya Road.
  6. Turn left onto Addis Ababa Drive.
  7. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Chikwa Road.
  8. At the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit and continue onto Independence Avenue.
  9. Then take the 1st exit onto Kafue Road/T2 at the next roundabout.
  10. For the next two roundabouts, take the 2nd exit to stay on Kafue Road/T2.
  11. Turn right onto T1 and continue on T1 until you’ve reached your destination in Livingstone

Things to Do

There are countless things to do in the Zambezi River. Most activities are for adventure seekers, but there are also activities for tourists who want to take it easy and relax. Whatever type of traveler you are, the Zambezi River has a lot to offer. Below are some of the most exciting activities you may want to try when visiting the Zambezi River.

  1. View the Victoria Falls

    Named after the Queen of Great Britain, the Victoria falls spans more than 1,600 meters with a height of 108 meters. It is located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, spreading 500 kilometers along their borders. Victoria Falls is famous for its grandeur and the perpetual mist that covers the falls. Some say that the best way to view this massive falls is by helicopter ride. Maybe you will even get to see a rainbow from that aerial point of view.
  2. Go white-water rafting

    With 23 white-water rapids along the cliffs, the Zambezi River offers an adventure-filled white-water rafting experience on the Batoka Gorge. This extreme water ride is a must for adrenaline junkies. You have the option to do half a day or two full days of white-water rafting. If you opt for two full days, you will get to camp out at night and sleep under a million stars. If you visit from June to February, the wet season, all 23 rapids are open for rafting.
  3. Try out bungee jumping

    You may have tried out bungee jumping, but bungee jumping at the Zambezi River is on another whole new level. It is like no other bungee jumping experience. Jumping from the height of 111 meters, adventure seekers go headfirst, falling into the great Zambezi river below. This bungee jumping experience is located at one of the highest commercial bridges between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  4. Camp out and canoe by the river

    Not up for a wild-water rafting adventure? If you are a chill traveler, you may opt to go canoeing along the Zambezi river. Canoeing is a great way to see the amazing animals that thrive on the waters of the river bank. You may spot elephants, hippos, and different species of birds. Combining canoeing with camping out under the stars at night is a great outdoor adventure.
Lusaka City photo

Lusaka City

As the capital of Zambia, Lusaka city is a thriving economic hub with more than 2 million residents. With plenty of different places to explore, Lusaka is a melting pot that shows Zambia’s incredible history and culture.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, head south and turn right to exit the airport.
  2. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto T4.
  3. Take the 2nd exit to stay on T4 at the next roundabout.
  4. Upon coming at a roundabout, take the 4th exit to stay on T4.
  5. Continue on T4 until you arrive in Lusaka City

Things to Do:

As the melting pot of Zambia, Lusaka City offers many different activities and places to explore. Visiting Zambia’s capital may give you insight into the heritage and culture of the country. Below are a few things you must do when visiting Lusaka City.

  1. Go on a food trip

    Lusaka city is the perfect place to try out the different cuisines offered in Zambia. You can find unique flavors and recipes in the various restaurants all over the city. While eating, you will have the chance to admire the different architecture and interior designs of restaurants. There are many known hangout spots for tourists to meet fellow travelers and exchange adventure stories.
  2. Visit the Elephant nursery

    Right outside the capital city of Lusaka is the Lilayi Elephant Nursery. The nursery is an easy drive from the city center and is a great place to visit elephants if you don’t get that chance in the wild. This elephant nursery caters to orphaned elephants from the Kafue National Park. At the nursery, you will be able to watch the baby elephants during lunchtime feeding. These elephants are rehabilitated in the nursery before setting them free into the wild.
  3. Shop for hand-made souvenirs

    Before heading back to your home country, you might want to shop for souvenirs. The best time to shop for souvenirs is during the Sunday crafts market at the Arcades Shopping Centre in Lusaka City. Here you will find one-of-a-kind crafts and artworks. Bargaining with sellers is acceptable to get the best deal. If you cannot catch the Sunday market, the Town Centre Market or Lusaka City Market is another option for tourists.
  4. Tour the National Museum

    To learn more about the heritage of Zambia, you have to visit the National Museum in Lusaka City. The national museum shows the history of Zambia through elaborate displays. You will learn about the humble beginnings of Zambia and get to see how it developed into the beautiful country it is today. The national museum also displays contemporary art. The various exhibits showcase the talents of different artists from Zambia. If you need a break from all the adventure, taking a chill tour around the National Museum would be perfect.
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia Photo

South Luangwa National Park

Founded in 1972, the South Luangwa National Park is considered “one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries” globally. South Luangwa National Park has a wide variety of wildlife, with over 400 bird species and 60 different animal species. The concept of “walking safari” originated in this National Park. If you had enough time to visit one safari, South Luangwa National Park should be a top option

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Mfuwe International Airport, turn right and continue straight onto D104.
  2. Make a slight right, then turn left onto 05 Route.
  3. Continue straight until you reach South Luangwa National Park.

Things to Do:

The South Luangwa National Park is a great place to immerse yourself in nature. There are many things to do in the park. Spending one day would not be enough to experience what the safari has to offer fully. The dry season is the best time to visit the South Luangwa National Park. During the dry season, animals stay by the Luangwa River banks to cool down and hydrate. Read below to know some activities you can do at the Park.

  1. Do the walking safari tour

    Walking safaris have been the best way to tour South Luangwa National Park since the 1950s. You may chance upon wildcats and big mammals that are free to roam the park. It is an entirely different experience than viewing animals in a zoo. With no cages and fences, you may see giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, and many more wild animals. Safari guides will even teach you how to track animals in the wild. A wildlife walk would cost an average of 50 USD.
  2. Go bird watching

    With over 400 different bird species, many bird watchers come to South Luangwa National Park. The bird species vary from endemic species to migratory birds. Hundreds of waterbirds can be spotted at the shallow lagoons near the end of the dry season. Besides spotting different colorful bird species, you may view the various techniques birds have when hunting for fish.
  3. Drive at night

    In South Luangwa National Park, night drives are a great way to see everything come alive at night. Seeing the safari in the morning is one thing, but witnessing it come to life at night is a whole other experience. You will get the chance to see lions, leopards, and other nocturnal animals begin their day. If you plan to go on a night drive, it is best to have a safari guide with you.
  4. Visit the Local Village


    The local village of Kawaza is located outside the South Luangwa National Park. The village has won community project awards. Here you can see the culture of the Kunda tribe. You will get to experience the day-to-day tribe activities and even sleep in a typical thatch hut. The villagers are very welcoming and accommodating to tourists. Staying at the Kawaza Village will give you a taste of the authentic and simple life in Africa.

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