Travel Alert Status
Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
Safety and Security
The U.S. Embassy recommends that travelers exercise caution when visiting Western Province. Relations between some residents and the government remain tense over rights under the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. In January 2011, protests in the provincial capital of Mongu and Limulunga turned violent resulting in two deaths, several injuries, and hundreds of arrests. The government of Zambia considers it treasonous for anyone to discuss the Barotseland Agreement or Barotseland autonomy/secession.
Spontaneous demonstrations occasionally take place in Lusaka and elsewhere in the country. Remember, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid the vicinity of demonstrations. You should also stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
The Embassy has received several reports of the use and attempted use of “date rape” drugs on unsuspecting females in a variety of bars and restaurants. There are several “date rape” drugs on the market, and these are easily purchased or obtained in Zambia. Common symptoms of these drugs are: drunken feeling, loss of consciousness, memory problems, confusion, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, and loss of motor skills. Rapists use the drug to render a victim easier to attack. If you feel that you have been a victim of a "date rape" drug attack, seek medical attention immediately. The Embassy maintains a list of medical professionals.
The U.S. Embassy discourages travelers from driving off-road or on remote, lightly-used tracks near the borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) and Angola as there may still be undetected land mines and unexploded ordnance. U.S. citizens who must drive in these areas are encouraged to drive in convoys and carry satellite telephones.