Local laws and customs

Some over the counter drugs available in the UK are not legal in Zambia. Check ingredients carefully and contact the Government of Zambia’s Pharmaceutical Authority for further advice if you are in any doubt (email: pharmacy@pra.gov.zm) or write to: Director General Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority, Box 31890, Lusaka. Customs officers may ask to see prescriptions for any medication you bring into the country.

The possession or use of narcotics, including soft drugs like marijuana, is strictly prohibited. Drug taking and smuggling are offences. Punishments can be severe and prison conditions are very poor.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a license. Those caught purchasing or trafficking such goods will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences or fines.

The possession of pornographic material is illegal in Zambia and offenders may be jailed and/or deported.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia and those caught engaging in homosexual acts can be sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Prison conditions in Zambia are very poor.

The Zambian authorities don’t always inform the British High Commission when British Nationals have been arrested. If you are detained, you can insist on your right to contact a British consular officer.

Avoid taking pictures of sensitive sites including power stations, explosives factories, pumping stations, army barracks, government buildings, river junctions, road and rail bridges, the Ndola Oil refinery, mining areas and airports. If in doubt, don’t take pictures.