Best of Malawi and Zambia


Best of Malawi and Zambia

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 15 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Important Information

Foreign Government Travel Warnings

Before booking your tour please familiarise yourself with the country specific information provided by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. This includes important information such as latest immigration requirements, and details of any travel advisories.

At the time of writing the FCO does not have any warnings in place against travel to the areas we visit on this tour.

Non UK nationals should check with their own government, as the information and advice may differ to that provided by British authorities.

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel Check-in Times

As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.

It should also be noted that on many of our tours we have set-aside Day 1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organise some extra arrangements on a private basis please contact us.

Accommodation Rating

This tour is based on mid-range accommodation; mostly comfortable lodges. With a few exceptions you can expect rooms to be en-suite, with private bathroom and when necessary air-conditioning will be provided. In general you will find your lodge has a restaurant and/or bar.

We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.

Food & Drink

The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. 

Budgeting for your Tour

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Food

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Malawi

Lunch £10.00
Dinner £20.00

Zambia

Lunch £8.00
Dinner £20.00 

Drink

The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Malawi

Bottle of Beer £1.50
Water £1.00 

Zambia

Bottle of Beer £1.50
Water £1.00

Tipping – Guide and Drivers

Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow US$ 100 for tipping.

Foreign Exchange

Malawi
ATM Availability: Available Lilongwe but only limited amounts of local currency can be withdrawn at one time
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Very few places outside main cities will accept cards
Local Currency: Malawi Kwacha
Recommended Currency for Exchange: We recommend taking your money in US$ cash (only accept post 2006 US$ notes). Avoid the lower and higher (US$1, 5 & 100) denomination notes, as they are difficult to change. Please note that it is difficult to convert local currency back to US$'s so please ask your guide for guidelines on how much to exchange
Where to Exchange: Your guide will advise you

Zambia
ATM Availability: In the cities and larger towns, the larger banks have ATMs
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards have limited use in Zambia, and incur a 5% bank charge.
Local Currency: Zambian Kwacha
Recommended Currency for Exchange: We recommend taking your money in US$ cash (only accept post 2006 US$ notes). Avoid the lower and higher (US$1, 5 & 100) denomination notes, as they are difficult to change. Please note that it is difficult to convert local currency back to US$'s so please ask your guide for guidelines on how much to exchange
Where to Exchange: Your guide will advise you

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

Our advertised prices do not include the cost of international flights. Please contact us if you would like a quotation to book a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme. 

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a free airport transfer, both on arrival and departure. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour. Please meet your guide in the bar/restaurant area of the Mafumu Lodge at 18:00.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance, the cost of which is not included in the price of the tour. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.

Visa Information

Malawi

Most nationals will require a visa for travel to Malawi. Please note that on this tour a double entry or multiple entry visa is required. When possible it is recommended that you obtain your visa before travel. Alternatively most nationals can obtain a visa on arrival, although pre-authorisation may be required. For further details please visit:

www.immigration.gov.mw/visa.html

Zambia

Most nationals will require a visa for travel to Zambia. When possible it is recommended that you obtain your visa before travel. Alternatively most nationals can obtain a visa on arrival, although pre-authorisation may be required. For further details please visit:

http://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm.

Please be aware that visa information is subject to change, therefore please refer to your nearest embassy or consulate for up to date advice. Please note that the price of your tour does not include visa costs.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Vaccinations & Protection

Malawi

We strongly recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. Malaria is present in the region so consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Yellow Fever: Please note you will need a Yellow Fever Certificate for border crossings between Zambia and Malawi. Bilharzia: The existence of bilharzia has been reported in certain areas of Lake Malawi. Please be aware that if you choose to swim there may be a risk of contracting bilharzia.

Zambia

Yellow Fever is no longer compulsory for visits to Zambia, however please note that travellers that have previously travelled to or via countries that are endemic to Yellow Fever may be asked to present a Yellow Fever certificate at immigration/borders in Zambia. We strongly recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. Malaria is also present in the region. 

We strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

Malawi

The main rainy season is from January to March. Rain is widespread and generally falls in the form of a thunderstorm in the late afternoon; grass tends to be long and there is more water about so game is more dispersed. Otherwise it is dry, with low humidity for most of the year. Temperatures reach around 29°C during the day with quite cold nights throughout the year. Early dry season is the most pleasant time for temperatures and the best for bird watching. For game viewing though the late dry season is better.

Zambia

The main rainy season is from January to March. Rain is widespread and generally falls in the form of a thunderstorm in the late afternoon; grass tends to be long and there is more water about so game is more dispersed. Otherwise it is dry, with low humidity for most of the year. Temperatures reach around 29°C during the day with quite cold nights throughout the year. Early dry season is the most pleasant time for temperatures and the best for bird watching. For game viewing though the late dry season is better.

Clothing

Clothing should be lightweight, but a warm sweater and/or fleece jacket is advisable as nights can be cold as Zambia lies on an elevated plateau. Nights at Lake Malawi can also be cold. It can be particularly cold on early morning game drives until the sun has risen. Rainwear is useful in case of an unexpected downpour. A scarf is advisable for dusty drives. Do not wear bright colours whilst game viewing.

Equipment

Take a torch, water bottle, sunhat and sunblock. Binoculars are useful, as is a telephoto lens for keen photographers. Take a swimming costume and towel. Mosquito nets/screening is provided locally in the rooms where necessary, although you may wish to take some insect repellent. Bring your mask and snorkel if you want to peek into another submarine world!

Footwear

Lightweight trail boots or shoes with grip for walking safaris plus trainers or sandals for general travelling.

Luggage on tour

One main piece of luggage (we recommend a soft bag or holdall) plus day sack.

Luggage allowance on tour: 20kg (please note airline allowances may vary)

Electric Supply & Plugs

Malawi - 3 Pin Flat
Zambia - 3 Pin Flat

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes.

These tour notes were updated 13/01/17 LM