The lodges in Zambia are extremely accommodating of guests’ specific needs and Western customs in general. Courtesy is expected, but nothing unusual there, and beyond that, visitors will rarely notice if any cultural norms are being stretched.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia, although the law is rarely enforced. Most lodges won’t have any problem with same-sex guests booking a double room, but it’s worth being upfront about your requirements to avoid misunderstandings.
Official Zambian regulations stipulate that children under 12 years old may not participate in walking or canoe safaris and some lodges impose higher age restrictions for their own safety reasons. Each lodge and safari operator has specific rules for children, so be sure to check carefully with each before you book.
Less of a rule and more something to be aware of is how lodges handle the daily park fees payable to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Fees differ between international residents, SADC citizens, and locals. While they’re almost always incorporated into the cost of all-inclusive stays, they may be charged as an additional expense for those arriving in their own vehicle.
If you’re flying directly into a lodge on a transfer, it’s important to note that most chartered flights have a maximum luggage allowance. 12kg per person is the standard limit, and for light aircraft flights, only soft bags are allowed. Soft bags are essential because of the small packing space available. A large, tough, dustproof duffle bag usually works very well.
Basic rules for game drives follow the same standards as the rest of Africa – don’t get out of the vehicle unless instructed, and don’t disturb the animals. Your guide will thoroughly explain specific lodge or safari rules. They’re never draconian and always have guest safety in mind.