In my Africa tour, after Kenya and Tanzania; my final destination was Zambia which is located on the South of the continent. Zambia is a landlocked country bordered by Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, DR Congo, Malawi and Mozambique. I found it somehow expensive country in my Africa tour.
Visa to Zambia
I selected Zambia because of visa approval online which I obtained many days before the tour. I applied for evisa online, and after 3 weeks, I received an email with approval letter which stated that I would get visa on arrival at the airport, and that I should pay the $50 USD fee at the airport.
After coming by air to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), the immigration experience turned into a nightmare. there were only three lady immigration officers who were dealing the passengers. one of them was processing western people who didn’t require a visa to Zambia, while the other two females were dealing with Indian, Chinese and Pakistanis etc who had visa approval letter.
The lady was asking unnecessary and irrelevant questions again and again, and took more than an hour to clear one passenger. for example she asked me to show hotel booking, which I presented to her, then she asked me how much per night did you book this? and what’s the phone number of the hotel (which was clearly written). anyways, after a whole hassle, she finally let me in.
Flights are hell expensive in Africa
I came from Tanzania to Zambia via flight, the journey was just two hours but this air ticket cost me around $180 which was hell expensive for that short flight. I can get a ticket in Southeast Asia for $40 for a two hours flight. so I’ll recommend to make an itinerary in Africa which involve more road trips than by air. the roads are not of the best standards, but still safe to travel.
Accommodation in Lusaka
I had only two days stay in Lusaka, and as a solo traveler, I always book a hostel when I see private room is expensive. and this was the case in Lusaka (Zambia). A private room was more than $50, and a hostel bed space was $10 per night. I booked a hostel near city center which is called “Lusaka Backpackers”. that was a great hostel and value for money. it was like a palace. I always use Agoda.com for booking hotels/hostels. and sometimes I use AirBNB to book private accommodation.
How Expensive is Lusaka?
A taxi ride in the city will cost you around $5 to $10 (2KM to 5KM). food will cost same $5 to $10 depending on your choice of meal, it can be higher. but fast food and local food generally cost this amount. I bought a local SIM card with 1 GB internet data which cost me $5 (but the internet didn’t work). A short tour to a national park in Lusaka will cost around $50 including entry fees to that park (my experience).
What’s Special in Lusaka?
There is nothing special in Lusaka, if you really like to explore Zambia then go to other parts of the country. search on Google and find top adventurer places that can best suit your choice. However, I choose to visit capitals in order to find how expensive is it and how is the culture of that country. the security, infrastructure and many other things combine I usually find in the capital of that particular country.
And my travels always depend on the number of days I’m staying in a particular country, if I’m staying for only two days (which was the case in Zambia) then I only can explore the capital city. if I’m staying for a week or more then I try to visit at least three different destinations. in case of Zambia’s capital Lusaka, it was not a good experience at all.
The first bad impression I got at the airport, then I found out that I can’t record video in the city center which I wanted to. the taxi driver strictly advised me to not record video in city center in order to avoid arrest by the police. and lastly, it was hell expensive. Lusaka has nothing special. go to other places.
Also, watch the videos I made during my visit to Lusaka, Zambia