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Zambia is the 10th largest market in Africa, by count of weekly seats on airlines, with South African Airways operating the most flights and Emirates the second most (this will give you a good idea already of your options). The only direct flights from South Africa to Zambia are with SAA from Johannesburg to Lusaka & Ndola; and with British Airways Comair to Livingstone (to access Victoria Falls). South African Airways flies a mix of Embraer, Airbus A319s and B737-800s - so there is a chance of a smaller plane experience - if you don't like that, make sure that you select a flight with the A319s or B737s.
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From Cape Town
When to Go
21 January 2014. Fastjet plans on launching domestic flights in Zambia. At the momen you can fly from Johannesburg to Lusaka via Dar es Salaam with fastjet, but it's likely that you'll be able to operate direct flights once they set up shop in Zambia. This is likely to hurt SAA on that route as well (flights into Africa are where it makes the biggest margins). SAA are making losses as it is - this will exacerbate them. Maybe time for Mango Airlines to start Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam and Lusaka flights, to combat fastjet's move. South African Airways has a little time to play with, as it's likely to take fastjet some 6 months to get its Air Operators Certificate in Zambia.
Should tourist activities attract the same rate of VAT as other goods and services? In Zambia VAT is generally 16%, but tourist activities have been VAT exempt and had a rate of 0%. This changed on 1 January 2014 when the VAT rate on tourist activities & packages was increased to 16%. Tourist activies include bungee jumping and game viewing. Unsurprisingly, there has only been negative about the tax.
11 December 2013. A bilateral air services agreement between South Africa & Zambia, is concluded. The countries agreed to setting up an agreement based on an "unlimited frequency of flights" between the 2 countries.
Johannesburg to Lusaka flights (JNB-LUN) with South African Airways (direct), fastjet (via Dar es Salaam), BA/Emirates (via Harare), Air Botswana (via Gaborone), Air Namibia (via Windhoek), Kenya Airways (via Nairobi) or Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa).
Johannesburg to Ndola flights (JNB-NLA) with Interair (direct), SA Airlink (direct), Kenya Airways (via Nairobi), or Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa).
Johannesburg to Livingstone flights (JNB-LVI) with British Airways Comair (direct) or South African Airways (direct).
Cape Town to Lusaka flights (CPT-LUN) with South African Airways (via Johannesburg), BA/Airlink (via Johannesburg) or Air Namibia (via Windhoek).
Cape Town to Ndola flights (CPT-NLA) with SAA (via Johannesburg).
Cape Town to Livingstone flights (CPT-LVI) with Kulula/BA (via Johannesburg), South African Airways (via Johannesburg) or BA Comair (via Johannesburg)
Durban to Lusaka flights (DUR-LUN) with SA Express (direct).
Durban to Ndola flights (DUR-NLA) with SAA (via Johannesburg).
Durban to Livingstone flights (DUR-LVI) with Kulula/BA (via Johannesburg), South African Airways (via Johannesburg) or British Airways Comair (via Johannesburg)
The only airline operating domestic flights in Zambia is Proflight Zambia, but fastjet also want in on the action, and are busy applying for an Air Operators Certificate.
Visa requirements for South African citizens to enter Zambia include:
Two passport-sized photos
Invitation letter from Zambia
Return air ticket or copy of car registration
Two copies of all completed visa application forms
It's possible the requirements have changed since this was written, so for the latest up to date requirements, visit the High Commission of the Republic of Zambia or contact them at 012-326-1854 or email@example.com. Their physical address in South Africa is Zambia House, 570 Ziervoel Avenue, Arcadia, Pretoria. The Zambian High Commission is closed on South African and Zambian public holidays.
South African High Commission in Zambia
Keep these contact details handy in case you lose your passport, or something happens in Zambia requiring embassy assistance.
Physical address: 26D Cheetah Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number : + 26-0211-26-0999
The currency used in Zambia is the kwacha.
Bemba is the most widely spoken with English being the most common second language.
Places of interest in Zambia include:
Victoria Falls is a truly breathtaking waterfall. The Zambezi River (a full 2km wide) falls more than 328ft. For the best view take a walk across the footbridge though those who are afraid of heights need not apply. Extreme sports lovers can try bungee jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, and more. You can even try swimming to the edge of the falls. The nearby town of Livingstone is popular with backpackers.
Lower Zambezi National Park is the best place to spot wildlife. This 4200 sq km park boasts gorgeous flood plain and languorous rivers that are perfect for boat trips and spotting elephants, zebras, buffalos, leopards, lions, cheetahs, and over 400 bird species. The southwestern area is the more accessible and the best for spotting animals.
Lake Kariba is an angler’s paradise. For those who aren’t into fishing, the views and amazing sunsets more than compensate. Add in the boating and water sports activities and you have a holiday destination that’s perfect for relaxing and soaking in the sun. Good accommodation can be found here, from fancy lodges to small chalets.
Kafue National Park is the largest park in Africa and it offers the best of the best—brilliant bird watching, large mammals, and a variety of landscapes. It’s crisscrossed with river systems that offer sightings of buffalo herds, eagles, leopards, and more. You can also track lions on foot here with a great chance of success.
Zambia has three seasons and when you choose to visit depends on your priorities. The dry season from mid-April to August has cold nightly temperatures but boasts lush landscape. The hot season from September to mid-November is ideal for wildlife spotting. The wet season from mid-November to mid-April is the best time for bird watching.
You may either want to time your visit to Zambia to coincide with a public holiday and join in the fun, or avoid the date so as to avoid additional travel costs (and possible crowds):
12 March (Youth Day)
1 May (Labour Day)
25 May (African Freedom Day)
24 October (Independence Day)
Floating Public Holidays:
Authors of content on this page : Bronwyn Kienapple & Rob Baker