Official Global Travel Advisories
- Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
- Avoid all cruise ship travel outside Canada until further notice
Mandatory COVID-19 testing
To be allowed to board a flight to Canada, all air passengers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of their scheduled time of departure to Canada. If the traveller has a connecting flight to Canada, the pre-departure test must be conducted within 72 hours of the last direct flight to Canada. This means they may need to schedule a COVID-19 test at their transit city within 72 hours of their direct flight to Canada.
All travellers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, arriving to Canada by land are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours prior to crossing the border into Canada.
Alternatively, travellers can present a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to departure.
More information on measures in place to enter Canada – Government of Canada
Zambia Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health notices (Public Health Agency of Canada).
COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Zambia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Zambia.
Areas bordering Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in areas bordering Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique due to the risk of landmines throughout these areas and due to crime in the areas bordering the DRC.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Areas bordering Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique
Despite Zambia being declared a landmine-free country in 2009, there may still be landmines and unexploded ordinance in areas bordering Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique. Avoid driving off the main roads in these areas.
Given the porous nature of the Zambia–DRC border, instability in the DRC has resulted in carjackings and armed assaults on the Zambian side of the border.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs , particularly in and around bus and railway stations, nightclubs, some shopping areas in Lusaka, Copperbelt towns, other main cities and tourist centres. Vehicle break-ins are common as well. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Serious crimes such as armed muggings, home invasions and sexual assault occur, particularly after dark. The use of “date rape” drugs at bars and restaurants occurs in Lusaka. Thieves sometimes follow people after they withdraw money from ATMs.
- Avoid walking alone after dark
- Avoid showing signs of affluence
- Avoid using ATMs at night and, if possible, have someone accompany you to watch the area during your transaction
- Remain alert to your surroundings and maintain a high level of personal security awareness
- If you suspect you are being followed, go directly to the closest police station or public area
Carjackings are a concern, particularly in urban areas, on the roads to and from Lusaka and on the roads in Copperbelt. Theft often occurs at traffic choke points by thieves reaching through unlocked doors, open windows or unsecured cargo. Keep car doors locked and windows closed at all times.
Police roadblocks are common throughout the country. Police officers can request to see identity documents.
Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Many roads are severely potholed. Traffic accidents occur frequently throughout the country, especially on Lusaka’s Great East Road. Poorly maintained vehicles, dangerous driving habits and stray animals pose risks. Avoid overland travel to rural areas after dark.
As there is no nation-wide emergency service for stranded drivers, you should carry a cellular phone when travelling outside of main cities.
Exercise caution when using public transportation, especially buses, which are often overloaded. Taxi fares are expensive and should be paid in local currency. Do not share taxis with strangers.
Rail service is limited.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Zambia is experiencing water supply shortages.
As a result, local authorities have implemented a nationwide power rationing program since June 2019. Periodic scheduled and unscheduled power outages are likely to persist over the coming months amid continued drought conditions.
General safety information
Illegal drug trafficking occurs on a limited scale. Do not accept packages from strangers or carry parcels if you are unsure of their contents.
Wild animals can pose risks. Observe all park or nature reserve regulations and instructions given by tour guides. Avoid swimming in lakes and rivers due to the presence of crocodiles.
Tourist facilities are limited outside well-known game parks.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign Representatives in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Zambian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Zambia and should have at least 3 blank pages.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must also be in possession of a valid visa. Persons overstaying their visa may be subject to heavy fines, arrest, imprisonment or deportation.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Zambian entry visas can be obtained online through the Zambian Immigration portal. You can also obtain a single- or double-entry tourist visa on arrival in Zambia, payable in U.S. dollars. For more than two entries, you must obtain a visa from a Zambian high commission or embassy prior to arrival. You must obtain a business visa and an employment visa prior to arrival in Zambia if you intend to engage in volunteer activities.
You must obtain an employment visa if you intend to work in Zambia.
Check with the Zambia Department of Immigration for more details on Zambian visas and employment.
You must carry the original or a certified copy of your passport and immigration permit at all times. Certified copies may be obtained from the office that issued the permit or any local police station.
Airport Taxes and Fees
You must pay airport taxes and fees upon departure from Zambia; however, they are usually included in the ticket cost of most international flights. Taxes and fees for domestic flights must be paid at the airport, in cash in local currency.
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease in neighbouring countries you may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening or a health questionnaire at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 22, 2021
- Polio: Advice for travellers - February 4, 2020
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Polio *Proof of vaccination*
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Proof of vaccination:
If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may need to show proof of polio vaccination when you leave the country.
Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination.In Canada, they are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is low potential for yellow fever exposure in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza, Ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing
Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.
Public medical services and facilities are substandard. Government hospitals and clinics often lack staff and supplies. Private clinics are adequate, but evacuation may be required for major medical emergencies.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
The possession of pornographic material is illegal in Zambia. Offenders may be jailed and/or deported.
Photography of military installations is prohibited. Ask permission before photographing individuals.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and/or deportation.
Don’t carry non-prescription medication containing diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, as this ingredient is on the Zambian list of controlled substances. Travellers have been charged with drug trafficking and have been incarcerated.
Prescription medicine should always be carried in the original container along with a copy of the prescription; ensure that both the generic and trade names of the drug are included. A doctor’s note describing why you are taking the medication is also recommended. Failure to do so could result in arrest and imprisonment.
Zambian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face up to life imprisonment.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Zambia.
As of 2016, Zambia legally recognizes dual citizenship. However, this policy has been slow to take effect in practice.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Zambia, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Zambian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance.
You should carry an international driving permit.
Traffic drives on the left.
Vehicles must be equipped with two metallic emergency triangles, and white reflector stickers in front and red reflector stickers in back. Failure to comply may result in heavy fines.
Turning left at a red light is prohibited.
Penalties for drunk driving are severe.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited.
The currency is the Zambian kwacha (ZMW). Traveller’s cheques are not accepted in Zambia. You should carry cash in U.S. dollars, U.K. pounds or South African rand. Major credit cards are accepted in larger supermarkets, restaurants, stores and hotels in large urban centres.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from December to April. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Rural roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services outside of Lusaka. If you are in Lusaka dial:
- police: 991
- medical assistance: 991 or 995
- firefighters: 993
For all other areas, research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the High Commission of Canada in Lusaka has reduced operations to essential and emergency services only, until further notice. The Consular Section is accessible to the public by appointment only.
Lusaka - Office of the High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Office of the High Commission of Canada in Lusaka and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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