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Zambian Visa Fees

Fred Williams-Bowen, Pluckley, writes Having just returned from a holiday in southern Africa that finished with three nights in Zambia, I think you should warn other travellers that Zambia has increased its tourist visa fees for British passport holders to US$140, which must be paid in cash at the point of entry. Fortunately our tour operator told us of the charge, but others on our flight didn't know about it and didn't have enough dollars to pay on arrival. They were either taken by officials to a bank to withdraw cash or told to pay the money to their hotel before regaining their passports. We noticed that holders of passports from other EU countries only had to pay $50 for the visa. Why do Britons have to pay more? Incidentally, we also had to pay a further $50 "departure tax" to get out of the country. Gill Charlton replies On January 25, Zambia's finance ministry announced it was abolishing the visa waiver facility enjoyed by tourists from most Western countries and introduced, with immediate effect, these new charges for British citizens: £75 for a single-entry visa and a whopping £240 for a multiple-entry visa. Other EU countries pay $50 for a single-entry, $80 for a double-entry and $140 for a multiple-entry visa. The high charges for British citizens are said to be in response to the UK's high fees for visiting Zambians: £63 for a single-entry visa. The political tit-for-tat is likely to damage the country's tourism industry, according to the African Travel and Tourism Association. "We are extremely concerned by the imposition of these huge visa charges," said ATTA's spokesman. "Our members had no warning, which has caused many problems [in connection with] contacting customers and explaining the situation to those who thought they had already paid for their holiday in full." ATTA has protested to the Zambian government about the charges and lack of notice. "Visa charges are now reciprocal," said a spokesman for the Zambian tourism ministry in London. "For example, the Irish don't pay for visas because they don't charge us for visas. So far there's been no indication that the new charges are deterring UK visitors." Visitors to Africa should also note that health officials are demanding yellow fever certificates on arrival. I was asked for my certificate at Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania last month after flying in from Nairobi. An ATTA official who flew to Johannesburg from London via Nairobi, where he was in transit at the airport for just two hours, was forced to submit to a yellow fever jab because he did not have his certificate with him….(read more)