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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Zambia

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Zambia. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING AND LEAVING ZAMBIA: British and American passport holders need a visa to enter Zambia. The easiest way is to obtain a e-visa online (https://eservices.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/home). You may also obtain a visa upon arrival. There is a US$25 departure tax leaving Zamiba, which is usually included in airline ticket prices.

It is always a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport and air ticket with you when travelling abroad.  They can prove invaluable in helping you get replacements if your originals are lost or stolen.  Obviously, you should keep the photocopies in a separate bag to the originals.

MAP AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view a map of Zambia in the University of Texas series here. You can review the U.S. Department of State background notes on Zambia here.

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend a malaria preventative and suggest up-to-date inoculations against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, polio and yellow fever. It might also be worth checking that you are adequately protected against tetanus. As some of these inoculations cannot be given concurrently you should contact your doctor straight away and obtain his advice about when to start your treatment.

For malaria prevention, please talk to your doctor or public health or travel health clinic about which drug is best for you. The CDC currently recommends one of the following antimalarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam®), doxycycline, or Malarone®. You can review the latest CDC advisories here.

Please note that all health information provided here is gleaned by WINGS from online resources devoted to traveler’s health. It is essential that you consult with your own physician for up-to-date professional advice.

CLIMATE: Expected to be warm throughout with some rain.

PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE: The first thing to realise about this tour is that in order to cover the full range of habitats there is a fair amount of driving involved and although a lot of time is spent in the vehicles to cover the large distances between localities, there will be ample exercise on the non-travel days, though this will be far from strenuous.  There are some very early starts on this tour.  These are usually because of the need to be on site at dawn or shortly after to take advantage of the early morning bird activity.  On a number of days we will have packed breakfasts and lunches. 

When we have had a particularly early start, we will try to have a break in the middle of the day, which is often a quiet period for birds anyway.  On most days, apart from the days we do some owling, we will finish in good time to allow an hour or so for washing and changing before the checklist and evening meal.  The tour is not a strenuous one, though there are some nice long walks, and anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness will be able to take part fully in the tour. 

ACCOMMODATION: Hotels and lodges in Zambia vary from adequate to very good. We will spend some time in smaller camps where facilities may be limited. Food is excellent, plentiful and usually very European, although hot and spicy food is available at some centers. Some lodging may not have mosquito netting so it’s a good idea to bring along your own net, just in case.

  • Mutanda Nature Lodge consists of 8 rooms in total, which can be used as singles or doubles. The rooms are no-frills but comfortable with queen-size beds and air conditioning. The toilets are en-suite and shower and sink have hot and cold water.
  • Kalwelwe Lodge consists of 5 double tents and 3 smaller 3 x 3 meter bow tents as singles. This is the most basic lodging and has a shared, outdoor shower block (private stalls of course). Beds are cots with “camping mattresses”. 
  • Gwabi Lodge** has chalets that are well furnished with comfortable beds and air conditioning. They are all en suite with large walk in showers.
  • Masuku Lodge** has six attractive, no-frills thatched chalets, with twin or double beds, all en-suite facilities. Each chalet has a veranda.
  • Kafue River Lodge** has en suite chalets, each with two queen beds, a fireplace, freestanding bath, outdoor shower and teak decking. The entire lodge is run on solar power.

** Single rooms may not be available at Kafue River Lodge, Gwabi Lodge, and Masuku Lodge depending on group size and make-up. Kafue is the most limited for space.

Hotels in Lusaka and Livingstone are more standard hotels with typical amenities.

WIFI: is available in Lusaka, and at Gwabi River Lodge, Masuku Lodge and in Livingstone. It is typically very poor at Kafue River Lodge. There is no wireless at Mwinilunga (Kalwelwa).   

Power in camps/lodges: Mutanda Nature Camp, Gwabi Lodge, Masuku Lodge, and Livingstone will all have electricity. Kafue River Camp has power as well as a backup generator. Except at Mutanda, there are power outlets in the rooms. At Kalwelwa Camp, Mwinilunga there is a small charging system that can charge phones and a camera battery in the dining area. In the tents there are only solar lamps but they may also be able to charge your phone/device. Please note, however, that power outages are common at the end of the dry season so if you have a battery backup for your phone or device, it is worth bringing.

DRESS: Informal throughout the tour.

TRANSPORT: Transportation will be by minibuses or 4x4 vehicles driven by the leaders. Bottled water will be provided in the vehicles.

LANGUAGE:  English is widely spoken.

SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the WINGS General Information and Conditions. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more complete General Information for Tours to Zambia will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Updated: 04 December 2020