Zambia has fully privatised its air services, following the liquidation of the loss-making Zambia Airways in 1994. There are around 15 private airlines but Zambian Airways, formed in 1999, has become the de facto national carrier, although it operates only within the region.

A number of African airlines fly to Lusaka but only British Airways and South African Airways operate intercontinental flights. There is little practical competition and airfares in and out of Zambia are expensive. There are 144 airports or aerodromes in Zambia. The National Airports Corporation manages the four international airports: Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola and Mfuwe. Flight services have increased in recent years, particularly through Ndola, reflecting the revival in copper mining.

Ground transport

Paved roads lead from Lusaka to Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zaire. Rental cars and an inner-city luxury bus service are available.

The road network in Zambia is in a dire state, although it is slowly improving. Over the past decade the National Roads Board has increased investment for the road sector, with additional assistance provided by donors. The government also started working on a new partnership policy that will allow the private sector to be involved in construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure in collaboration with the public sector.

The rail system in landlocked Zambia provides an important route to the ports of the region. Beira in Mozambique is the nearest major port to Zambia and is linked by rail to Lusaka via Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Further away, but far better equipped and also accessible by rail, is Durban in South Africa. The Tanzania Zambia Railway (Tazara) is the main route for the transport of Zambia’s copper cathode to Europe, China and the US via the port of Dar es Salaam, but has recently been losing market share to Beira and Durban. The decline in trade through Dar es Salaam has put pressure on Tazara (1,860km of track), which was built in 1975 with Chinese assistance.


Zambia has hotels of international standard, which provide first class business and conference facilities. Hotel accommodation prices vary according to the level of facilities and location. With tourism being a priority sector, it is expected that there will be an increase in the investment in the development of hotel accommodation in Lusaka.


Tipping is normally around 10 per cent but not compulsory.