Zambia Facts and Hunting Information
Zambia is 752,614 km2 (290,586 sq mi) which makes it the 39th-largest country in the world (after Chile). It is slightly larger than the US state of Texas. It consists for the most part of a high plateau, with an average height of between 3,000 ft and 3,600 ft above sea level. The highest point is Nyika Plateau at above 7000 ft.
Zambia is also blessed with lots of water with the Zambezi river and its major tributaries, the Kafue and Luangwa Rivers are the largest. In addition, there are three great natural lakes of the country, Bangweulu, Mweru and the southern end of Lake Tanganyika – all located in the north part of the country. Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest natural lake in the world. Along the southern border of the country stretches Lake Kariba, the largest man-made lake in Africa and the second largest in the world. It is about 280kms long and 40kms across at its widest point.
Zambia has 19 national parks and 36 adjacent Game Management Areas. Collectively, they cover 23 million hectares or about 30 per cent of the country and this does not include private fenced and unfenced game ranches and conservancies that range from 1,000 hectares to over 30,000 hectares.
The GMAs or concessions are sufficiently large enough to include a variety of habitats with most big game species available. The national parks function as game reservoirs for surrounding areas through the natural movement of animals from areas of high density into areas of low density. Most GMAs are between 3,000 and 6,000 square kilometers, although the largest exceed 10,000 square kilometers.
Game ranches and conservancies attract a lot of interest and offer old-style hospitality, not to mention an amazing array of species including big game and wing shooting opportunities.
Under Zambia’s new wildlife policy, local communities along with the safari operators are responsible for the management of GMAs, regulated and supervised by ZAWA. The main economic benefit arising from wildlife management of the GMAs is revenue from fees for commercial safari hunting.
There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) with daily rainfall making it difficult to impossible move in the bush. The dry season (May/June to October/November), corresponding to winter, is subdivided into the cool dry season (May/June to August) with cooler temperatures from 15C to 27C with morning and evening temperatures dropping as low as 6C to 10C. During the hot season maximum temperatures may range from 27C to 38C. (September to October/November). The average monthly temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) over most of the country for eight or more months of the year.
Check with your Outfitter on visa requirements before you travel. Visas are required for most countries in Europe and North America and can be issued by the Zambian High Commission in your country. If you do not have a High Commission, single and double entry visit visas are available at all ports of entry (multi-entry visas are not and can only be obtained through the Zambia High Commission in your country). If you plan to get a visa on arrival, make sure you have the correct amount of cash with you as change may not be available. If you enter through Kenneth Kaunda International Airport you can now make payment for single and double entry visas via credit or debit card at the Zambian Immigration desks. For further information about entry requirements visit the website of the Zambian High Commission in London or visit Zambia Department of Immigration.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Zambia and have 2 blank pages.
NOTE: Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travelers who are arriving from, or have transited through, countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
NEW DEVELOPMENT FOR PASSENGERS TRANSITING SOUTH AFRICA!
All hunters traveling with minors (under age 18 years) transiting through South Africa from October 2014 must have the original full birth certificate for the minor showing both parents details, if the minor is not accompanied by both parents then an affidavit (signed by a commissioner of oaths) from the absent parent(s) to give permission for the minor to travel through or into/out of South Africa. They are also required to carry a letter from the host and a copy of their ID. Note that Zambia does not require this at present.
Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Taking prophylactic for malaria is a good idea and your GP can advise you on this or information and advice is published by your Embassy or Foreign Affairs Dept. Medical facilities and communications in Zambia are poor, especially in rural areas. Even basic drugs and clean needles may not be available. Emergency services are limited but your Outfitter/PH will have details on which company is best. Make sure you know your blood group and make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and medical evacuation coverage for your trip.
In the 2013 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 950,000 adults aged 15 or over in Zambia were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 12.7% of the adult population. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
Booking your Zambian hunt
Many companies advertise hunts in Zambia, most of them through legitimate agreements with Zambian Safari Outfitting companies. It is important to understand that there are several ways you can legally conduct a hunt in Zambia. It can either be on;
- Government concessions called ‘Game Management Areas’ (GMAs)
- Private land which could either be a fenced or unfenced game ranch or conservancy
Regardless of which one you wish to hunt on, the laws of Zambia require that you must hunt with;
- A Zambian based Outfitter in possession of a Outfitters License for either a GMA(s) or a Game ranch
- A Zambia licensed Professional Hunter (a list found on our website)
It is illegal to conduct a hunt any other way so make sure you check this out before confirming your booking.
Firearms and Import Permit procedures
There are minimum calibers you can use on plains game and big game in Zambia. Below is a breakdown of those limits;
- Zambia does not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting plains game and rely on common sense. Caliber in the .270 range will be well suited for some of the smaller plains game in Zambia.
- The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .300 caliber for dangerous game such as Leopard and Lion.
- The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting such as Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo.
- Zambia does not require a minimum energy (Eo – muzzle velocity) for calibers used.
If you plan on bringing your firearms along for the hunt, you will need to obtain a Temporary Firearm Import Permit (TFIP) from the Zambia Police. This must be applied for well in advance through your Zambia based Outfitter so that it is at the airport on your arrival. There is limit of 3 firearms per hunter and approx. $2 usd per cartridge (no limit to the amount of ammunition although airlines usually have a limit they will allow you to carry. Please also take note of the following:
- Handguns, semi-automatic or military style firearms are illegal and therefore prohibited.
- You will be required to provide proof of ownership of firearm(s) you wish to import
Capital and largest city:
Lusaka (est Pop. 1,43 million)
Est Population (2012): 14,309,466
Official Language: English
Currency: Zambian kwacha (ZMW)
Total km2: 752,618
Total sq mi: 290,587