Zambia Travel Borders Officially Open
But what about tourist visas?
Zambia travel is open to foreign nationals, however, according to the US Embassy in Zambia, the Government of Zambia has suspended all tourist visas until further notice. Travelers arriving with a visitor visa or applying for a visitor visa on arrival for non-essential purposes will not be permitted entry despite Zambian borders being officially open.
eTN has seen a press release response on social media to this travel information on tourist visas signed by Mr. Namati H. Nshinka, Public Relations Officer of the Zambia Department of Immigration. The information eTN obtained was researched from the U.S. Embassy Lusaka Zamiba website. Here, we provide Mr. Nshinka’s response dated September 23, 2020 entitled:
CLARIFICATION ON THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RELATED TRAVEL GUIDE FOR ZAMBIA:
The Department of Immigration wishes to set the record straight on travel restrictions and
requirements for persons wishing to come to Zambia for various purposes. Contrary to alarming
reports trending on some social media platforms, to the effect that the Government has halted
the issuance of all tourist visas until further notice, suspended the issuance of visas on arrival and
is only permitting entry to essential travellers, there has been no change to Zambia’s current visa
regime and all types of travellers are free to visit Zambia. Therefore, depending on the traveller’s
nationality, he/she may enter Zambia without a visa, obtain the visa on arrival or from a
Zambian Mission abroad or apply for an e-Visa.
However, travellers are required to observe COVID-19 safety and prevention measures prior to
their travel, on arrival and during their stay in the country, as guided by the Ministry of Health.
For instance, tourists and business visitors must be in possession of a negative SARS CoV2 PCR
test, conducted within the previous 14 days.
All Zambian nationals and returning Residents who do not have symptoms will observe
mandatory 14 day quarantine at home. This also covers those holding certificates of status as
established residents, investor’s, employment and spouse permit holders.
Comprehensive guidelines covering key topics such as visas, arrival procedures at the airports,
Safety Guidelines for the tourism industry and Airport Preventive Measures are available on our
The Department wishes to urge the travelling public to verify any COVID-19 related travel
information with Government Institutions mandated to provide such information, to avoid
being misled and even inconvenienced in case they fail to meet the prevailing entry requirements.
Our website has a dedicated page for COVID-19 related travel information, which is regularly
updated with the latest COVID-19 travel related information.
eTN’s article continues…
Entrance to Zambia through non-tourist visas or permits is subject to approval from the Ministry of Health following a health screening at the port of entry. All travelers coming into Zambia will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR test result. The test should have been conducted within the previous 14 days prior of arrival to Zambia. Travelers who do not meet this requirement will not be allowed into Zambia.
A passport and visa are required to enter Zambia. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival and have at least 3 blank pages upon each entry. Travelers transiting other countries on the way to Zambia, particularly South Africa, should refer to their Country Information pages for additional blank page requirements.
Zambia has implemented limited screening upon arrival at the international airport in Lusaka. The screening includes using no-touch thermometers (“thermo-scanners”) to check body temperature and asking travelers to complete a travel health questionnaire.
The Government of Zambia is enforcing mandatory 14-day quarantine, testing, and regular monitoring at their residence or preferred place of stay for persons entering Zambia.
Persons arriving are no longer required to quarantine at a government-designated facility but must communicate to Ministry of Health officials where they intend to reside and provide accurate contact information for regular follow-ups.
This includes those entering Zambia at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) and all other Zambian international airports, as well as land borders.
Symptomatic individuals will be tested for COVIS-19 (SARS-Cov-2) at the airports and will be required to enter isolation protocol at a Zambian government facility.
Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, as well as between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone. Airlines currently flying into Zambia are Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, Kenya Airways, and Emirates. Proflight Zambia is operating limited domestic flights.