Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Zambia. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.


Crime is widespread in Zambia. Armed car-jackings, muggings and petty theft are commonplace in Lusaka and other major cities. Do not travel at night, both in Lusaka and on roads outside the city.

You should keep withdrawals from ATMs to a minimum and refuse offers of help at ATMs.

While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.


Medical care is sub-standard throughout Zambia including in Lusaka and the copper belt. Johannesburg is the nearest medical evacuation centre. Government and private hospitals and clinics provide health care. The private hospitals have earned a reputation as providers of good quality health care. Major surgery cases are usually referred to the Republic of South Africa. Flying doctor services cover remote areas and provide immediate care and transport for urgent cases.

Vaccination against yellow fever and typhoid is recommended, especially if you’re travelling outside of urban areas. It is best to consult your doctor to determine what vaccines should be given. Malaria is also prevalent and mosquito nets and protective clothing are advisable.

A number of diseases, including hepatitis A and typhoid fever are transmitted by unsanitary food handling procedures and contaminated water. Take precautions where you can and it is recommended to take anti-diarrhoeal drugs with you.

HIV/AIDS is present in over 10 per cent of the adult population putting Zambia in the top tier of all countries. The health industry recently received a major boost in spending to combat the AIDS pandemic.

Zambia is in the highest risk category for tuberculosis – over 100 cases per 100,000 people.