Zambia – Is It Safe?

Hippo - South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Hippo – South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Of all the countries listed on this website, Zambia has a strong claim to be the safest. However, just because it is safe still means you must use common sense, so the usual prohibitions at home – such as walking in dark areas alone at night – still apply.

Most border areas of Zambia are safe including borders with Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. However, there have been reports of problems in the furthest reaches of the northern copper belt that borders DR Congo.

If choosing bus companies, ensure that the company you travel with has reliable and safe vehicles with a good safety reputation. It is not worth saving money with buses for the journey will not only be more uncomfortable but also more unreliable.

The biggest threat you will face in Zambia is from the wild animals. A common misconception is that the greatest danger is posed from the big cats such as lions and leopards. However, this is incorrect – the two animals that claim far more lives in Africa are the elephant (especially) and the hippo. Hippos are only active on land at night, but elephants are active at any time.

If in an area inhabited by wild animals enquire with the locals as to the best strategy to firstly avoid wild animals and secondly, what to do if you suddenly find yourself in close proximity to one. The general strategy if you find yourself in this situation is to either remain still or to move away slowly whilst always facing the animal. Running is a bad strategy (unless you are being chased) for it is highly unlikely you will outrun an elephant or hippo. According to reports I’ve heard from other travellers, neither animal are enamoured of bright lights at night, so shining  bright lights may discourage them from coming too near.

If you wish to visit Zambia, it is important to read the following information:

Lonely Planet Tripadvisor  UK FCO