Will I need a passport? How do I get one? Will I have to pay for it?You will need a passport for your trip to Zambia. If you do not have one or yours is out of date, please be sure to apply for a new one as soon as possible! Applications for a passport can be obtained from most U.S. Post Office locations or online at: http://travel.state.gov/passport. Allow 6 – 8 weeks to get a passport. Obtaining your passport is your responsibility and none of the funds raised on your behalf can be applied to the cost. See the financial section for more information on this issue.
Here are a few additional details you need to know about your passport:
- It must have four blank VISA pages before leaving the US. Not having these pages available puts you at risk of not being allowed to board your flight. If you do not have enough pages, you can send in your passport to have additional pages added.
- It must not expire within 6 months of your scheduled travel time – even if you think your dates are fine, please check this to be sure!
- The name on your passport MUST match the name we submit for your plane ticket. So, please make sure we have your correct passport name.
What is a visa? Do I need a visa? How much will it cost?A visa grants permission for you as a foreigner to legally enter the country for a specified length of time. The cost for a single entry visa is $50. The visa can be obtained upon entry into Zambia and must be paid exact cash at the airport. This cost is not covered in the price of your trip. Occasionally, Zambia does change its policies on visas, but we will give you updated information as it becomes available. Canadian citizens must obtain their visa before traveling to Zambia.
Can a minor travel to Camp Life without his/her family?The primary applicant must be at least 18 years of age by the date of travel. Any persons under the age of 18 years old must travel with a biological or legal relative that is at least 21 years of age and on the same application. Any persons 18 years old and above may travel to Zambia unaccompanied.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact us.
How much money should I bring? Can I use credit cards?You need exact cash to pay for your visa when you arrive, but you won’t have to pay for anything else in Zambia except souvenirs and internet time if desired. The currency exchange in Zambia accepts newer bills (with the big heads of the presidents) in the denominations of $50 and $100 (no rips or tears, 2009 series or later).
You will need to pay for any extra food during your layovers in Dubai and on any other layovers you may have. The amount depends on how much you like to spend and whether or not you go into the city to sight-see. Typically, the only money you may need to exchange during your layover would be for taxi fares. Otherwise, most places do accept US credit cards. Please call your credit card company in advance to inform them of the dates you will be in Dubai and Zambia. Mastercard and Visa are accepted in a few stores in Lusaka, Zambia, however cash is the easiest to exchange and use.
Should I be concerned about the recent Ebola cases report in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)?In recent weeks, an outbreak of Ebola has been reported in the northwest region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since the DRC shares a border with Zambia, it is natural that staff or participants traveling to Lusaka this summer to serve at Camp Life may have some concerns or questions. In response, Family Legacy’s Chief Medical Director, Dr. Brad Guffey, has provided some answers and important points to be aware of:
“This is certainly not the first time we’ve had to discuss Ebola. During the severe outbreak in west Africa that made international news in 2014, many of our friends from Texas were much nearer to Ebola living in Texas than those living in Zambia.
I am good friends with a very capable US-trained Zambian doctor who is the one responsible within the Ministry of Health for addressing any outbreaks of any sort in Zambia. If there is anything we would need to know in that regard we would hear about it right away and would plan accordingly.
That being said, Ebola is endemic to Congo and has been there off and on for nearly 50 years. It has NEVER come to Zambia. The distance is great from current infections and trying to create a scenario where our participants would ever come in contact with someone infected is unimaginable.
We do believe there is reason for those seeking caution and best infection control practices to be up-to-date on their routine vaccines and to vaccinate themselves against typhoid and Hepatitis A and to consider malaria prophylaxis, especially if traveling to the bush.”
Are vaccinations required for me to go to Zambia?At this time, no immunizations are required for travel to Zambia from the US, however before any overseas travel, it is always a good idea to check in with your primary physician or travel medicine clinic for advice pertinent to your upcoming itinerary. The guidance you receive from your personal physician is specific to you and will take into account your overall health, the other medicines you are taking, and your preferences. We list here general guidance, based on our experience within the Family Legacy context.
Lusaka is a relatively low-risk location for travel-acquired infections, especially within Family Legacy accommodations. Travel outside of Lusaka, to game parks for example, significantly increases the potential for exposure to travel-related infections. You should make sure to prepare prior to your travel to minimize the chances of getting sick while in Zambia.
The following healthcare measures are those we recommend for volunteers visiting Zambia. Please be sure to discuss these with your healthcare provider, preferably a month or more before you travel.
Taking a vaccine to protect against Hepatitis A.
A single dose is generally believed to be fully protective against this viral infection if given at least one month before travel. Taking a second vaccine 6 months, or more, after the first is believed to produce lifelong protection against this food and waterborne pathogen.
Taking a vaccine to protect against Typhoid Fever.
This vaccine is found in two forms, a course of tablets taken by mouth or injection. Both provide protection against the bacteriaSalmonella typhi, the food and waterborne pathogen causing typhoid fever, but neither are perfect (50-80% effective) and both need to be repeated every 2 – 5 years, depending on the type of vaccination you receive.
Make sure that you are up-to-date on your routine vaccines.
These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
Discussing with your doctor about taking a prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent Malaria.
Your doctor can help you decide which medicine or method is right for you to prevent malaria. Among malaria prevention drugs, we recommend atovaquone-proguanil (trade name Malarone), due to its effectiveness and limited side effects. Mefloquine is also effective but has a worse side effect profile. Doxycycline is a less effective alternative, but chloroquine andsulfadoxine-pyrimethamine are ineffective throughout Zambia. We recommend DEET or similar bug spray for times when you may encounter mosquitoes, the vector for malaria.
Other medications and health considerations
We encourage paticipants to consider bringing a course of antibiotics in case you develop a respiratory infection (e.g., azithromycin) or gastrointestinal infection (e.g., ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin) along with any over-the-counter medicines that you routinely use (e.g. ibuprofen, acetaminophen).
While our qualified medical team is on the ground available to help you in the unlikely chance that you were to become ill, we favor the tried and true adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.
What happens if I have to cancel my trip?The funds received cannot be refunded due to IRS laws, but you may complete a form to request that they be carried forward one year for your possible participation in Camp Life the following summer. If your airline tickets have been purchased and subsequently cancellation fees are incurred, those fees will be deducted from the funds you have raised. In addition, depending on the timing of your cancellation (how far in advance to the Camp Life program), funds may be deducted for program expenses already incurred.
What if I have to change my travel arrangements?You will be responsible for any additional airfare costs or change fees incurred from the airlines. You can anticipate that flight costs increase the closer you are to your departure date.
What type of clothes do I wear?For Camp Life each day, you will wear the team t-shirts you have ordered. In the evenings you will want to dress comfortably (jeans, sweats, etc). On Sundays, ladies wear a dress or skirt at or below the knee and men wear khakis/slacks and a nice shirt. Use the packing list included with this notebook to direct your packing and clothing choices.
What donation items can we bring to Zambia?Participants may receive requests for specific donation items needed in Zambia. Children’s clothing, school supplies, blankets, lotion, bibles and hygiene items make excellent donations. Contact a staff member with specific inquiries.
Will there be Family Legacy staff I can contact during the summer with questions?Yes, you can contact a staff member in our office at (972) 620-2020.
What can I do to prepare myself spiritually for Camp Life?PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Ask God to prepare you and be aware of things He may be teaching you. Ask Him to give you HIS heart for the children. Search the Bible for verses about orphans and get the following books that we highly recommend to help you understand the Heart of God for orphans: “Too Small to Ignore” by Wesley Stafford, “Fields of the Fatherless” by Tom Davis and “The Hole in our Gospel” by Richard Stearns.
Each year there is a theme for Camp Life. We encourage you to study, meditate on, and memorize Bible verses related to the theme before coming to Camp Life.
What is the time difference between the US and Zambia?Zambia is seven hours ahead of U.S. Central Standard time. At 3:00 p.m. CST, it is 10:00 p.m. in Zambia.
What is the weather like in Zambia?The weather during June and July is ideal with 70 – 75 degree temperatures and bright sunny days. Temperatures in the mornings and evenings are in the 50’s so sweatshirts, light jackets, and/or long-sleeve shirts are advised. Late June to early July is generally the coolest time of the year in Zambia.
Will I have Zambian helpers? Can I give money or gifts to the Zambian volunteers while I’m there?You will be assigned 2 Zambian partners for your week of Camp Life. Your partners may be either members of Family Legacy’s Zambian staff or one of the many interns we employ during our Camp Life program. You should bring a small inexpensive gift to give your Zambian partners at the end of the week. We recommend items such as small Bibles, Christian books, or a ball cap of your favorite team.
If you wish to donate money, please donate it to Family Legacy directly and NOT to your Zambian partners. It can create problems if one of the Zambian employees or interns receives money from an American and others do not. Please help us guard the unity of our Zambian staff and interns by only giving small gifts and NO direct cash donations.
Can I adopt an orphan?While technically it is possible to adopt a child from Zambia, the process is extremely difficult and wrought with corruption. Because of the prevalent corruption present in the current adoption system in Zambia, there exists a high risk of unwarranted but very serious accusations and even child trafficking. With Americans present in Zambia, the potential for such attacks increases and could severely jeopardize Family Legacy’s relationship with the government and our ability to minister to and provide for the children in our care.
Also, in keeping with our mission, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Zambian children through our sponsorship and full-time residential care programs so that they can in turn raise subsequent generations and see long-term transformation in their country. Therefore, it is our ministry philosophy to change the lives of Zambian children within their country thus enabling them to grow up to become future, Godly leaders of their communities and of their nation.
What food will I eat and do I need to bring any food?Breakfast: We provide milk, juice, tea, eggs, and bread for toast. You will need to bring any other items you want for breakfast such as cereal or oatmeal. We do have a full kitchen available for you with a microwave and a coffee maker. It’s a good idea to bring coffee to brew.
Lunch: During the week at Camp Life lunch consists of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bottle of water. Apples are also available.
Dinner: We eat as a group together each night and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Snacks: Please bring any snacks that you might want with you to Zambia. While at camp, you are welcome to enjoy your snacks, but we ask that you do so discretely and not in front of your group of kids.
Is the water safe to drink in Zambia?The water at Legacy Lodge and the Legacy Center are safe to drink. We have installed high-quality water filters, which cleans the water and improves the taste. Our water meets the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, though, we do provide bottled water dispensers at both the lodge and the Legacy Center. We ask all Camp Life participants to bring a reusable water bottle (i.e. Nalgene), which can be refilled throughout the day and in the evenings.
If you are anywhere else throughout the city of Lusaka or in Zambia, we do not recommend drinking the tap water. Instead, please only drink bottled water. While technically (according to the CDC), the main water system of Zambia is considered safe to drink, we cannot guarantee the safety of the drinking water.
Are there any restrictions on food I can eat in Zambia?We recommend you to not eat any raw vegetables or uncooked meat while in Zambia. Also, if you are offered food while in the compounds for community day, we strongly encourage you to graciously decline as we cannot assure that this food is safe for you to eat.
What medication do you recommend to prevent malaria?With respect to malaria, it is recommended to get a prescription from your doctor for “Malarone” or “Doxycycline” – anti-malarial drugs. However, the malaria mosquito is only prevalent during Zambia’s rainy season November through March. Camp Life takes place during Zambia’s dry season, and mosquitoes are rarely ever seen during this time. We DO NOT RECOMMEND the anti-malarial medication called LARIAM due to its strong side effects. Consult a health care provider.
What if I forget to take my malaria medicine?Your doctor will tell you that you need to take your Malarone every day while in Zambia, two days before you arrive, and seven days after you come home. If you forget to take your daily pill, you can always take it as soon as you remember.
Will I work with HIV infected children or adults?A small percentage of the children we work with are infected with AIDS. The orphans are not referred to as “AIDS Orphans” necessarily because they have AIDS, but rather they were orphaned because of AIDS taking the lives of their parents.
Will I be at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS?According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles and/or syringes with someone who is infected, or, less commonly, through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors. Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in the transmission of HIV.
The Center for Disease Control has shown no evidence of HIV transmission through biting insects such as mosquitoes. If an orphan hurts themselves in any way, the Zambian co-counselor will escort the child to the medical tent to treat and cover the wound securely. If an American has any cuts or abrasions, they are instructed to bandage them properly and can also visit the medical tent if necessary. First aid kits are available at all times.
What other health risks should I be concerned about?The two health issues that need extra care in Zambia are if you are severely asthmatic or have an allergy to peanuts. For those with an extreme asthmatic condition, the dust in the city of Lusaka can aggravate this condition, so therefore we recommend that you bring the appropriate medication with you. For those with an allergy to peanuts, we recommend that you closely monitor your food intake. For all participants, prescription antibiotics are always helpful to have on hand should you need them. You may want to ask your doctor to give you a “stand-by” antibiotic prescription if possible.
Are there American doctors in Zambia?Family Legacy has an American doctor on our full-time staff. In addition to his work throughout the summer to care for the children in our program, Dr. Brad Guffey will also be available to assess medical needs of participants if they should arise. In addition to Dr. Guffey, other qualified medical professionals or facilities are available in Lusaka.