Scuba Destinations

 

Zambia

Landlocked, but great freshwater diving . . . . .
Overview:
Zambia is in Central Africa (check the location here) and landlocked so diving is in freshwater lakes.  With 18 magnificent waterfalls, including the spectacular Victoria Falls, Zambia has the largest water resources in the whole of southern Africa with 5 huge lakes and plentiful rivers.

Lake Tanganyika is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest.  The lake is divided between four countries – Burundi, the Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.  Zambia's Lake Tanganyika shoreline is only just being discovered. The coastline is a mixture of sandy beaches, rocky coves, cliffs and marshes. The water is clear and full of vibrantly coloured fish; over 350 species, of which most are endemic. 

The lake is extremely old and the combination of its age and ecological isolation has led to the evolution of unique fish populations. It has the highest proportion of endemicity, concentrated mainly in the Zambian waters of the lake.

Need to know:
  • Zambian visa policy is best summarized as confusing so check out the current requirements before you go.
  • Zambia is a highly malarial country. Especially at dusk, you should make every effort to cover exposed skin with clothing or insect repellent. In addition, using malarial prophylaxis in highly recommended.  Check for up-to-date information before travelling.
  • BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia.  Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers.  These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.
  • In practice, yellow fever is not a problem in Zambia anymore, except perhaps in the extreme west along the Congolese borders. However, many countries will insist on a yellow fever vaccination certificate if they find out you've been to Zambia, so it's best to get a jab.
Useful stuff:
Language: English is the official language
Currency: Zambian kwacha
Time: GMT +2
Climate: Tropical; modified by altitude
Natural hazards: Periodic drought, tropical storms (November to April)
Diving season: Year round
Water temperature: 25C
Air temperature: 24C/28C - dry season (May to Aug) (7C at night)
38C-42C - hot season (Sept - Nov)
32C - rainy season (Dec -April)

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