Travel
Prior Trip Reports
Travel Checklist and Information
Common Costs/Budget
Language
Phone & Internet in Country

Travel Overview

ZSF volunteers try to visit all of our schools at least twice a year. Since we do not make any money off of these trips we have not purchased any travel insurance or such.*

Peggy and her team travels to Zambia each March and anyone interested can contact her or Jim Boud to join them. Others travel various times of the year on their own.

When Volunteers take trips to Zambia on their own it is usually to meet their student. Trips can be arranged any time of the year. We will make a trip itinerary for you before you go. We will make a schedule for you to meet all of the students at all of our schools. We will make sure you have a village experience yet stay most of the time at a nice guest house ran by a lovely retired couple from England.

Our two very capable fluent English speaking employees will meet you either at the bus station, the air port or the train station. Holding a big sign with your name on it. You may correspond with our employees through email before and after the trip.

 

Zambians will roll out the red carpet for you!

*Volunteers can take trips to Zambia but the ZSF will not be responsible for any sickness, unforeseen accidents actually anything that may happen to you on your trip.


Prior Trip Reports

See details of our past Trip reports, including links to pictures and videos.

 


Travel Checklist and Information

All Volunteer’s traveling to Zambia Must review the below links and documents so they gain understanding of health and safety information.  ZSF requires the below “Trips not Liable form” to be signed and returned to ZSF President acknowledging each individual traveling may not and shall not hold Zambia’s Scholarship Fund liable for any travel, health, safety, and security risks and costs.  Individuals understand and agree to take 100% accountability for any risks, health, and safety issues that may arise.

Given the above warning, to date we have had zero significant issues with individuals traveling to Zambia, only the occasional traveler sicknesses.

REQUIRED ZSF “Trips not Liable form & Travel Packet”

CDC Vaccine & Travel Health & Safety Information

US State Department – Zambia Travel Information & Current Advisories

Zambia CIA World Factbook Summary

Zambia – Wikipedia

Packing List

Staying In Town

Basically for those not staying in the Bush but staying in Kasama town Pack for a normal trip and add the following:
(I personally suggest all who are healthy & adventurous to stay at-least a night in the Bush if they can!)

As you can expect many items can be bought in the capitol Lusaka and in Northern Province town Kasama. Kasama, now has a shoprite with many items, and the local markets. However, best to not assume you can find/buy items locally.

When traveling to/from Zambia always check with ZSF leads for additional goods to take with as we always want to max out our weight by taking things staff, teachers, and students need as shipping is extremely expensive, we rely on volunteers taking things that are needed besides their own stuff like laptop replacements, battery powered lanterns, school supplies, etc.

Vaccines (Vaccine Card or documentation but not always asked for or needed)
Passport
Medications & 1st Aid Kit (Malaria meds, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), anti-diarrhea l, laxatives, bandages, cold medicine, etc)
Cash to Exchange (some banks prefer hundreds, then fifties, and sometimes won’t take 20’s or below)
Bank ATM Card/Visa (it’s luck of the draw if ATM takes your US card/has enough cash, but most of the time you can find one)
Mosquito Net (all places we stay have them already hung above beds, but just incase
Money Belt (safer than wallet in back pocket)
Cell Phone and Charger
Power adapter – Zambia uses UK style outlets/power, simple UK to US outlet works for US phone chargers
Day Pack/backpack
Rain Jacket (rainy season Sept-May)
Brimmed Hat that keeps sun off
sun glasses
sun screen
Mosquito Repellent
Walking shoes / good sandals
Journal/Writing pad / Pen
Camera Equipment
Flashlight / Headlamp (dark 6pm-6am year round!)
Toiletries
Towel & wash cloth (lodging should have but depending on lodging may not..)
Hand Sanitizer
Clothing – cool nights, hot days. However lightweight pants or dress/skirts best, shorts/short skirts not appropriate or customary usually.
dry gateraid packets to mix with water
large water bottle – you will only drink bottled water but can get gallon jugs and refill a nice bottle
Toilet Papper
Kwacha coins when you get there for toilets

 

Staying in the Bush at a village school with locals

You need all of the above plus:

Water Filter CDC Water Filters Explained (you’ll want to buy/take gallons of bottled water but always having a filter good practice. Sawyer Filter – good budget option
Ground Pad
Sleeping Bag
Bowl & Utensils for eating
pocket knife


Common Costs/Budget

A trip can be done on a very low budget, or become extremely luxurious safari expensive type trip.  It depends on what you choose to do, how you choose to travel, eat, and sleep.

Cost’s are always changing and the exchange rate fluctuates so below are large approximates.  I round up to err on the high side.  Do your own math to figure out approximates for your trip.

Check current exchange rate

Prices in Kwacha below are when exchange rate was about 1USD = 11 Kwacha, however inflation/exchange is changing..

  • $1,400 SLC, UT USA <=> Lusaka, Zambia round trip airfare
  • $50 for Visa pay at entrance in Lusaka when get off plane, show passport and ZSF flier/state here to help in Northern Province
  • ~10 Kwacha tip porters at airport and other associated help at hotels, etc
  • 20 Kwacha parking fee at airport if car waited for you
  • 300 Kwacha cab from Airport to lodging in Lusaka (Zamcom Lodge)
  • 350 Kwacha per room per night at Zamcom Lodge, can split room with 2 or 3 (1 sleep on floor)
  • 200 Kwacha per night in bush to pay those who feed and lodge you
  • 30 Kwacha from Zamcom Lodge to close mall in Lusaka
  • 125 Kwacha paid for food for 4 at mall in Lusaka
  • 70 Kwacha for Zamcom Lodge to Lusaka bus station to catch bus to Kasama
  • $30 Bus Lusaka <=> Kasama one way (~ 13 hour drive) (POWERTOOLS bus line is nice,clean,safe)
  • $30 per room per night in descent lodging (can split rooms with multiple people, etc)
  • $7 per fanciest meal you can find in Kasama
  • 2 Kwacha to use toilet/latrine
  • 2 Kwacha for banannas
  • 6 Kwacha to use internet for 30 minutes at Internet Cafe
  • 2 Kwacha to charge cell phone at a market stall
  • 70 Kwacha per dinner at Thorn Tree Inn in Kasama Lodging
  • 20 Kwacha per road toll, usually hit a couple wherever you go
  • 450 Kwacha per night for driver to drive/stay with volunteers in Bush
  • $100 Gas for vehicle for 1 trip into distant Bush rural village and return

 


Language

Zambia’s Official language is English however don’t expect most of the people you meet in Northern Province to speak and understand English.  English is common for urban areas and those that are educated.  There are 5 main languages but a total of 73 in the country!  The widest spread regional language within Northern province where we work is Bemba.

We encourage volunteer’s to learn as much Bemba as they can, to dive into the cultural experience and show respect to those we come across by learning their languages.  It is surprising how much trust, friendship, and support volunteer’s gain by simply learning common phrases and asking questions to learn Bemba.

The following resources may be a start to learning Bemba:

 


 

Phone & Internet in Country

While in Zambia it is nice to buy yourself an inexpensive SIM card for your phone from one of the 3 main vendors: Airtel, MTN, or Zamtel.  Your phone most likely has a SIM card that the vendors will help you pull out and replace with theirs, hold onto your old one to put back in when your leave country.  Check with ZSF because in the future we may keep SIM cards for volunteers and you can just add money to an existing card when you get there.  There are vendors everywhere that sale talk time/minutes/data to load up your card.  The alternative would be know and have an international/roaming deal on your regular plan that you check will work in country, however this will be much more expensive.

You can also get by with using internet cafe’s and inn/hotel wifi as needed.

Regardless internet & phone service can be spotty at best at times, in Northern Province data rates can be unbelievably frustrating for those coming from high speed access.  However, simple text/calls/ and video chat internationally can be done.  Even in the bush/rural areas without power and water, they get coverage by the government led ZAMTEL network at many spots.

Costs:

  • SIM Card = 5 Kwacha
  • Different Data/Talk Plans = 50 Kwacha usually lasts a week
  • Internet Cafe
    • wifi password = 5 Kwacha/30 minutes
    • PC to use with internet = 6 Kwacha/30 minutes or 0.20 Kwacha/minute

Many including our staff and ZSF use Whatsapp Messenger to call & text over data:

You can call on regular lines or use same phone numbers with Whatsapp to contact our staff and other Zambian contacts:

  • Tobias +260 97 735 1822
  • Kelvin +260 97 329 6361
  • Abraham (Lusaka friend) +260 96 638 7011