We have recently been made aware that Zambia has been declared free of Yellow Fever by the World Health Organisation. It seems that the authorities in South Africa are still enforcing the requirement that any person visiting Zambia needs to obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination and certificate prior to entering South Africa. It seems however that the two countries are in discussion following the announcement from the WHO.
There is no doubt that the requirement by South Africa, has had a negative effect on tourism numbers to Zambia. Many potential tourists to Zambia would look to use South Africa and its good flight network from regional and international countries in order to access Zambia’s tourist hotspots. A lifting of this requirement will certainly have a positive effect for Zambia and will also be timely as the Univisa which was recently installed by Zambia and Zimbabwe authorities is now in place and this allows easier movement between the two countries, enhancing the product offering and the experience for visitors to the region. This is especially so for those who are at Victoria Falls where they can now enjoy seeing the amazing spectacle from both sides of the river.
A further reason that the Yellow Fever certificate requirement enforced by South Africa has had a negative effect on visitor numbers to Zambia is because of the fact that many itineraries include both South Africa and other countries in the Southern African region. You will see many itineraries combining Cape Town with a Safari experience in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia or Zambia. Zambia has dropped off many itineraries due to the Yellow Fever requirement.
Editor 5 VF24
29 December 2014