Zambia Travel Budget - Visit Zambia on a Budget or Travel in Style

How much does it cost to travel to Zambia?

You should plan to spend around $945 (ZMK8,514,477) per day on your vacation in Zambia. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $14 (ZMK130,478) on meals
  • $1,819 (ZMK16,389,661) on hotels

A one week trip to Zambia for two people costs, on average, $13,231 (ZMK119,202,677). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Zambia cost?

A one week trip to Zambia usually costs around $6,616 (ZMK59,601,339) for one person and $13,231 (ZMK119,202,677) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Zambia on average costs around $13,231 (ZMK119,202,677) for one person and $26,463 (ZMK238,405,354) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Zambia will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Zambia on average costs around $28,353 (ZMK255,434,308) for one person and $56,706 (ZMK510,868,616) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

How much do package tours cost in Zambia?

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in Zambia is $381 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Zambia expensive to visit?

Zambia is a very expensive destination to visit. It is in the top 10% of countries in the world for its overall travel expenses. You should be prepared to spend a lot of money on food, hotels, and other activities.

Within Africa, Zambia is very expensive compared to the other countries. It is in the top 10% of countries in Africa for its travel costs. There are only a few countries as expensive or more expensive than Zambia in the region.

For more details, see Is Zambia Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Zambia?

The average Zambia trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Zambia travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) ZMK16,389,661 ($1,819)
Food 2 ZMK130,478 ($14)
Entertainment 1 ZMK625,569 ($69)
Tips and Handouts 1 ZMK41,010 - 123,029 ($5 - 14)
Alcohol 2 ZMK98,916 - 296,747 ($11 - 33)
Accommodation Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Zambia is $910 (ZMK8,194,831). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Zambia is $1,819 (ZMK16,389,661). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in Zambia

Looking for a hotel in Zambia? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Zambia based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $89. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Food Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Zambia can vary, the average cost of food in Zambia is $14 (ZMK130,478) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Zambia should cost around $5.79 (ZMK52,191) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Zambia is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


Entertainment Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Zambia typically cost an average of $69 (ZMK625,569) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Zambia is $9.10 (ZMK82,019) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Zambia is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Alcohol Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $22 (ZMK197,831) on alcoholic beverages in Zambia per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day

Water Budget in Zambia
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $2.34 (ZMK21,048) on bottled water in Zambia per day. The public water in Zambia is not usually considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Zambia on a Budget
Zambia Victoria Falls, on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border
Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa featuring a rugged terrain, diverse wildlife, many parks, and popular safari areas. The country is also known for Victoria Falls which is situated on its southern border-one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lusaka is the capital city of Zambia and the main way of entrance for visitors flying in internationally. It is not, however, a city of sights and is more popular in the evening for its nightlife. Livingstone, also known as Maramba, was the capital before Lusaka, and currently acts as the gateway to Victoria Falls. There are many outdoor adventure activities available here including rafting, bungi jumping, cruises, and helicopter rides-as well as opportunities for shopping in one of many local curio markets. The regions of Zambia are divided into the Northern Plateau, Eastern Zambia, Central Zambia where the capital is located, the Copperbelt industrial region, and the Zambezi Basin where most safaris are held.


Looking for a hostel in Marrakesh, Cape Town, Nairobi, or Zanzibar?
Top Tourist Attractions
Victoria Falls, by far, is probably the best known attraction of the area. One of the largest waterfalls in the world, it is twice as high as and several times longer than Niagara Falls. From the Zambian side, there is a footbridge below the falls that truly makes for a unique experience. To cross the border from Zambia to see the falls on the Zimbabwe side, you will need to pay at least $30 USD for a Zimbabwe single entry visa (depending on nationality), and if you want to return the Zambian side, you will need to pay an extra $20 USD for a multiple entry Zambian visa. It may be best to stay on the Zambian side or plan out visas ahead of time.

Some of the best and most sought after sights of Zambia, lie in its countryside, in the vast stretch of national parks. South Luangwa National Park, one of Africa's top safari destinations, is sometimes called the greatest wildlife sanctuary in the world. The park is centered around the Luangwa River and is home to one of Africa's largest concentrations of wildlife-lion, giraffe, zebra, elephant, leopard, waterbuck, buffalo, antelope, the lot. Kafue National Park, the largest in the country, is also popular, as is Blue Lagoon National Park.

Marketing itself as the "real" Africa, Zambia is becoming a must-do safari destination for experiencing the rugged countryside and all the wildlife you would hope to see on your visit to Africa-lions, giraffe, zebra, you name it. Self-driving is an option, but organized safaris are the way to go for a fulfilling experience. There are many operators with tours that last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The River Safari Company is a popular operator, with overnight safaris and those by canoe as well. Most safaris are held in Zambia's national parks which are also some of the best parks in Africa. South Luangwa and Kafue are the main ones, though North Luangwa and the virtually inaccessible Luiwa Plains are worth mentioning too.

Popular Foods
Traditional Zambian food revolves around one staple grain called maize, which is served in one form called nshima. Nshima is a kind of thick porridge rolled into balls to be dipped in a variety of stews, commonly called relishes. The more specialty relishes include those of beef, chicken, or fish, while the more basic ones are made with beans, tiny dried fish (kapenta), peanuts, pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa), or other vegetables such as okra (ndelele), cabbage, and rape. Local restaurants generally serve nshima and relish for less than 5000K ($1 USD). The nshima is more watered down into porridge for breakfast, usually with sugar. While this is a popular native dish, pretty much any kind of food, including Western cuisine, can be found in the city areas, especially in Lusaka and Livingstone. Bakeries are common in just about every town, and fast food-burgers, pizza, and fried chicken-is popular throughout Zambia. Be aware that tap water in Zambia is generally not drinkable unless boiled first. Bottled water is mostly available in the city areas, so be sure to stock up before a safari in the wilderness.


Zambia's main international gateway is the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the city of Lusaka. Lusaka remains well-served by flights from Johannesburg, Cairo, Dubai, Nairobi, Lilongwe, Addis Ababa, and London. British Airways remains the main intercontinental carrier that flies to Lusaka from Europe, with direct flights from London three times a week. South African Airways flies to Lusaka and Livingstone from Johannesburg with multiple flights per day. Other flights include Egypt Air from Cairo, Kenya Airways from Nairobi, Ethiopian Airlines from Addis, and Air Namibia from Windhoek.

By train, TAZARA trains run between Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Be aware that the trains can take 38 hours or more to reach Zambia and sometimes break down. The train ride between Dar es Salaam and Zambia is, however, very beautiful-a good way to see the countryside along the scenic route.

By car, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. There are a few international bus routes.

Be sure to research the visa policy before your trip as it can sometimes be confusing. Visa-free entry is possible for some nationalities, including Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Generally, a 24-hour visa is available to all nationalities at $20 USD.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.