Moving To Zambia

The Republic of Zambia is located in southern Africa. Its name was derived from the river name Zambezi, which means God’s River. Zambia is home to the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, and the two major river basins draining Zambia are the Zambezi and the Congo basins.

The neighboring countries of Zambia are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. In terms of area, Zambia ranks as the 39th largest country in the world.

Moving to Zambia from USA

Though officially a Christian nation, Zambia consists of a wide variety of religious traditions. Zambia culture has European influences along with a mixture of Bantu culture. The traditional Zambian ceremonies clearly make the Zambia culture visible.

Zambia was named as one of the world’s fastest economically-reforming countries by the World Bank in 2010. The natural resources of Zambia include copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, emeralds, gold, silver and hydro-power. The trade partners of Zambia are China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

If you are planning to move to Zambia from the United States, this guide will have everything covered for you. Let’s explore each aspect in detail in this comprehensive guide:

Motto : One Zambia, One country

Capital : Lusaka

National Anthem : “Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free”


Location : Southern Africa, east of Angola
Area : 
Total : 752,618 sq km
Land :
743,398 sq km
Water :
9,220 sq km
Climate : 
Tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)


Nationality : Zambian(s)
Population : 13,881,336 (July 2011 est.)
Major Cities : LUSAKA (capital) 1.413 million (2009)
Languages : Bemba 30.1% (official), Nyanja 10.7% (official), Tonga 10.6% (official), Lozi 5.7% (official), Chewa 4.9%, Nsenga 3.4%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda 2.2% (official), Kaonde 2% (official), Lala 2%, Luvale 1.7% (official), English 1.7% (official), Other 22.5% (2000 Census)


GDP : $20.03 billion (2010 est.)
Exchange Rates : 
Zambian kwacha (ZMK) per US dollar – 4,823.6 (2010), 5,046.1 (2009), 3,512.9 (2008), 3,990.2 (2007), 3,601.5 (2006)


Airports : 94 (2010)
Roadways : Total : 91,440 km
Waterways : 2,250 km
Ports & Terminals : Mpulungu

Customs Regulations for Zambia

The customer must be in Zambia at the time of the shipment’s arrival, but is not required to be present during clearance.

NOTE: All document copies, including passports must be certified by the Zambian High Commission in the country of origin, or by a Commissioner of Oath.

  • Passport – certified copy, showing entry date into Zambia, original is sometimes required
  • Residence Permit or Work Permit – certified copy, (temporary Work Permits not accepted)
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill – original, Express Release not allowed
  • Comprehensive Valued Inventory -(not insured value) in English, dated & signed by owner:A detailed value per item is required for shipments that transit through South Africa
  • Pack list – in English, abbreviations not allowed i.e. “misc.”, “PBO,” etc.
  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance
  • Letter from Employer – attesting to client’s employment contract
  • Tax Identification Card – obtained from ZRA Advice Center; must provide work permit &passport and submitted 20 days prior to arrival of shipment
  • Police Report w/fingerprints – obtained from origin police department
  • New items (less than six months old)
  • Appliances/electronics – must have invoices/receipts
  • Prescription medications – require physician prescription even for over the counter medications
  • Firearms/ammunition – require permit from local police
  • Tobacco products – 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of loose tobacco, in excess of these amounts incurs duty
  • Narcotics/illegal drugs
  • Pornography
  • Explosives, ammunitions and all other weapons unless otherwise approved
  • Alcohol – must be sent separately and is subject to 100 percent duty upon arrival
  • Animal skins, furs, ivory – The Zambian Wildlife Authority has screeners at international ports of entry and exit and will prosecute offenders with penalties ranging from fines to five year prison sentences
  • Plants, food, poultry and any poultry products

New vehicles are subject to 25 percent duty of invoice value

Documents required:

  • Certificate of Title and Registration – must be original
  • Commercial/Purchase Invoice – showing date and purchase price
  • Driver’s License and International Insurance Policy (green card)
  • OBL and Non Sale Certificate
  • Letter of Transfer from client’s employer
  • Valuation Certificate
  • Certificate of Vaccination – including rabies, less than six months prior to arrival
  • Health Certificate – by a Veterinarian at origin
  • Import permit – must be obtained in advance by writing to:
    • Director, Veterinary and Tsetse Control Department
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
  • Mulungushi House, P.O. Box 50060
  • Lusaka, Zambia

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Living costs in Zambia

The cost of living in Zambia is low due to which expats can lead a quality life in this country. Accommodation in Zambia is costly, so it becomes difficult for the expats until they are sponsored by their companies. If you are planning to relocate to Zambia, be prepared for frequent power cuts and water outrages and get ready to purchase generators for the same.

While calculating the living cost, expats need to include the cost of maintaining and running their vehicle as the public transport network here isn’t of the same standard as that of the United States. It’s recommended you buy a car as it will be a convenient option for you to get around the cities.

Education system in Zambia

If you are relocating to Zambia with your kids, you need to know that the government education in this country isn’t at par with international standards. There are both government and international schools in Zambia, but they are quite unreasonable. If you are planning to relocate to a rural area, it will be recommended to opt for homeschooling for your children.

Weather in Zambia

Zambia has a temperate climate as it is situated at high altitudes. The river valleys in Zambia have a usual tropical climate and harsh rainy season between October and February. If you are relocating to elevated areas, the temperature will be moderate with low humidity.

Language in Zambia

The US expats won’t face any issues while communicating in Zambia, because in all major urban centers, English will be a key means of communication.

How to make your move to Zambia easier?

An ideal way to move to Zambia will be to hire a professional moving company. This will make the entire moving process easy and hassle-free.

  • Hiring a professional moving company will help you save time, and you can focus more on making your family feel comfortable during the entire process.
  • Seeking the help of international moving services will ensure that your heavy items aren’t at risk of getting damaged, because they will be lifted with proper equipment and appropriate techniques.
  • If an unfortunate event like an accident takes place, hiring a professional moving company will ensure that you will be compensated for all the damages and losses.
  • An international moving company will offer you benefits on the bill by shipping your cargo along with a few others. For instance, your car will be transported along with a few others.

Tips to hire the best international moving company

  • A good international moving company will always be registered and licensed.
  • Read the reviews provided by the customers in the past on their website. This will help you determine whether a moving has delivered quality and on-time services to their customers as promised. In case you can’t find any such information on their website, it’s recommended you check on Yelp.
  • Accidents are unpredictable, so you must prepare for them in advance. It will be a good idea to check out with the moving companies regarding how they handle insurance claims and how much time the entire process will take.

Moving cost to Zambia

You can expect to pay something between $2000 to $12000 for moving internationally to Zambia from the US. Since there are many cities in Zambia, the moving cost will depend on which town you relocate to. For instance, if you want to move to Lusaka, you can expect to pay something between $5100 to $8500 and if you want to relocate to Kitwe, the expected cost will range between $6000 to $10000.

Apart from the housing costs, the other factors you need to include are insurance costs, legal charges, customs charges, destination city rates, and international shipping charges, etc. Also, your moving costs will increase if you hire packing and storage services as well. Avoid moving on a holiday or in the peak season if you want to save money on your relocation. So, planning becomes imperative when you create a moving budget for an international move.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Zambia from USA?

Overall, moving internationally to Zambia will be easy and efficient if you have hired the right international moving company. With professional expertise and the use of the right techniques as well as equipment, they can handle a to z aspects of your move with utmost care and dedication. Furthermore, if you don’t hire a professional moving company with prior experience in relocating to Zambia, they may even fail to meet the customs regulations, which in turn can create a mess for you.

So, it’s recommended you create a moving budget, short a few international moving companies, request moving quotes, and finalize only the one that meets your budget and requirements. Of course, you may not want to have a shortage of cash at the last moment, so it will be worth it to go according to the international moving budget you have created.