TRAVEL TIPS

.....TO ZAMBIA
Hi there, if you are reading this then i take it you are planing on a trip to Africa! and if that's the case, I will give you a few tips on absolutely everything. Especially if you are travelling to Zambia (my country) ;-) . This is especially for first time travellers to Africa, you will need to know a few things. You will have the best experience. By the way, DON'T believe everything you see on TV! Africa is not about all the poverty and diseases we keep seeing on the TV, if that's what you thought, then yo are in for a big shock and you will have the best experience imaginable!. And if its not your first time in Africa but it is your first time in Zambia, this is also for you.

First of all, Zambia is one of the topping countries in Africa in terms of tourism and we have experienced lots of incoming tourist over the past few years from all over the world, especially from Europe and America. Because of the many tourist coming into the country everyday, the locals have become so used to seeing tourist and that makes them more friendly and easy to talk to in case you have any questions.

VISAS
Check with the Zambian embassy or consulate in your country to see if you will need a visa to come to Zambia. If you are using an agent, make sure you get all the information that you need concerning your visa.

FLIGHTS AND HOW TO GET AROUND
Zambia is open to many international flights and Air-lines. We have EmiratesEthiopian AirlineKenyan Airways and South African are the major airlines with International connections from and to Zambia. We also have the local airline like the Zambezi Airlines.
Locally, you will have to use buses and taxis to get around.

WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG?
First of all, you will need to have a bag that is easy to carry, like this backpack bag because you will be doing a bit of walking around especially if you are going on a safari. Don't pack too much cloths, you can always buy a t-shirt along the way because Zambia is pretty warm.
your checklist;
-Passport, Visa, travel documents, travel insurance, cash (euro, dollars, pounds), credit cards (they are accepted in most shops, restaurants, hotels in the big cities like Lusaka and other major towns).
-Pocket knife and a sewing kit
-Universal charger
- Camera
-Binoculars if going on a safari
-Alarm clock
-Small day backpack
-As Little cloths as possible
-A flash light
-A mosquito net (we do have some mosquitoes in most parts of Zambia, but most hotels, lodges and campsites will provide you with some nets)
-Books and maps
-First aid Kit
-Insect repellent
-Toiletries
-Sunglasses 
-Some sandals and safari clothing

CURRENCY
The ratio is $1 = K5 ( The rates keep changing, you will have to check before you travel)

SPENDING
Accommodation is between $50 - $750 per night and it also depends on where you will be staying
Food; You can easily get a decent meal for $5 in fast foods but in restaurant you can spend between $7 - $18 and it also depends where you will be eating from. Mostly at "high class" hotels like the Raddison-blu in Lusaka, you will pay atleast more that $12 for a decent meal. VISA cards accepted almost everywhere and there are ATMs almost on all the major streets, filling stations and shopping malls.

SECURITY AND SAFETY
Be cautious of your own safety. Yes, Zambia is one of the safest countries in Africa and has happy and smiley people but don't let these statistics fool you. Just like any other country, there are thieves ans pick-picketers and as a tourist or someone new into the country, you will be an easy target. But don't worry, just be confident when walking around and and don't go in in isolated places alone especially in the city. Make sure you have your belongings in sight all the time. And if you are at staying at a hotel or lodge, have your valuables locked in the safe (normally there is a safe in every room or at the reception).
Ladies
For you my lovely ladies, don't be fooled by most of these young and handsome guys who will most likely be chatting you up in the city. (most of them are after what you have come with...MONEY). Just be careful, you can make friends with them because its easy to do that, but be cautious.
Gentlemen
Be careful with these beautiful and curvy young women in Zambia (believe me, you will find the most beautiful and attractive ladies there). Especially when you go out clubbing or when you go to experience the nightlife. Most of these gorgeous women are "high class and professional prostitutes), some of them even dress up like business-women. (they are after your money or any other valuables you may have on you).
*If you will find someone you want to have some "fun" with...make sure you all CONDOMS on you, please.




DONT'S
1. Don't wear expensive jewellery e.g a watch (this might suggest you have a thick wallet and it might attract the wrong "audience".
2. Don't behave as if you know it all, REMEMBER you are in a foreign developing country and things are differently from your country, Like the saying goes, "when in Rome, do what the Romans do".
3. Don't be anxious or nervous for nothing. people are generally nice and from time to time you will be asked y strangers if you need help with anything.
4. Don't dish out money to every street kid you see (they are everywhere and you might just run out on cash yourself)
5. Don't carry lots of cash on you at any given time
6. Don't smoke on the streets
7. Don't expect speed Internet (and Internet is very expensive 2GB might cost you upto $20)
8. Don't take take pictures of private places especially government buildings without permission.
9. Don't insult the locals (think before you speak).

DOS
1. Do wash your hands before and after a meal
2. Do ask the locals about things you are not sure of (they know better than your travel agent)
3. Do eat local and make friends
4. Do visit the Sunday market and the kabwata cultural village in Lusaka
5. Do give a tip for a good service when you go somewhere. at the restaurant i think there is a policy of 10% (am not too sure) but other places, its upto you. a dollar or two for someone who gives you some valuable information is pretty good. (i don't know how much is too much and how much is too little to tip someone...so go with your instinct).
6. Do read about the Zambia, her people and tourism in general before you go there, i wold recommend this book "Zambia (Bradt Travel Guide Zambia)"
7. Do expect to queue up especially at the bus stations and at the banks.
8. Do help yourself especially if you are invited in the home of a Zambian and you need some water and you can actually see it. grab a cup and help yourself
9. Do make yourself comfortable and be part of the locals especially when you go out to have some fun. Zambians are generally good with hospitality and they will always make you feel at home, participate in their games or social activities.
10. Do use your right hand when giving or receiving something. also when greeting someone.

HEALTHY TIPS
* Get the proper travel vaccines before you travel (visit your Doctor before you travel and make sure you have travel insurance).
*Bring some medications with you that you will probably need.
* As mentioned before, bring a mosquito net and get some anti-malaria vaccinations or medications.
* Zambia is very hot and can be extremely hot sometimes, bring some sunscreen with you to protect your from skin damage.
* Water born diseases (mostly diarrhea) so drink bottled water from supper market
* HIV/AIDS is as present in Zambia as anywhere else in the world. Be smart, love life and use a CONDOM!
* Protect your feet and bring some sandles with you

*YOU ARE WELCOME TO ADD ON YOUR OWN TRAVEL TIPS :-)

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