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 If you do not have one or yours is out of date, please be sure to apply for a new one as soon as possible!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 two blank pages.
- 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 ranges from $50 to $135 and you will obtain the visa upon entry into Zambia and must pay exact cash at the airport. If you travel to Victoria Falls during your time in Zambia you will need a double entry visa. Canadian citizens must obtain their visa before traveling to Zambia. This is not covered in the price of your trip. These rules do change as the Zambian government wishes but we will give you updated information as it becomes available.
How much money should I bring? Can I use credit cards or Traveler’s Checks?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.
You will have to pay for your food in London 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. If you plan to remain in the airport, shops and restaurants there accept credit cards. If you plan to go into the city, you will likely want to change money as some places will not accept US credit cards.
Credit Cards can be used in some places but not Traveler’s Checks. Please call your credit card company in advance to inform them of the dates you will be in Africa.
Are vaccinations required for me to go to Zambia?The U.S. Department of Health does not REQUIRE any immunizations for travel to Zambia, but does RECOMMEND those listed below. We suggest that you discuss these immunizations with your health care professional to determine what you think is best for you and your family.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you see a health care provider who specializes in travel medicine. They also recommend that you are up to date on routine vaccinations such as MMR, tetanus and polio. Please visit the CDC website for the most up to date information.
If you receive a booster of Hepatitis A six months after your first immunization you will never need it again. You may also choose to get the vaccination for Hepatitis B at the same time.
You need this vaccination if you haven’t received a booster in the last ten years.
If you have not had an adult polio shot since you turned 18, we recommend you receive this vaccine. After receiving this vaccination once, you will never need it again.
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 someone I can contact during the summer with questions?Yes, you can contact a staff member in our office at (972) 620-2020.
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 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 summer.
Can I give money or gifts to the Zambian volunteers while I’m there?You should bring a small inexpensive gift to give your Zambian partners at the end of the week such as a new bible, Christian book, jewelry, a new shirt, etc. If you wish to donate money, please donate it to Family Legacy. It can create problems if one of the Zambian employees or volunteers receives money from an American and others do not.
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. 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.
What food will I eat and do I need to bring any food?Breakfast: We provide milk, juice, tea, and bread for toast. You will need to bring any other items you want for breakfast. There is a grocery store you can visit on Sunday; however the prices are much higher than in the US.
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 and Weekend Lunch: We eat as a group every night. The dinner selections throughout the week are planned by our Family Legacy volunteer chefs. If you have any dietary restrictions we need to know about, be sure to email our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snacks: Please bring any snacks that you might want with you to Zambia. You can eat these discreetly throughout the day.
Is the water safe to drink in Zambia?Technically (according to the CDC), the main water system of Zambia is considered safe to drink; however, we always recommend that you only drink bottled water and we have plenty of it on hand for you. You will need to bring a water bottle (such as a Nalgene) with you to fill with the water we have provided.
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 take 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. The risk for malaria is extremely low and we have never had anyone contract malaria from our American teams in Zambia.
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 Camp Nurse 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 nurse if necessary. First aid kits are available for the team 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?Unless there is an American doctor traveling with us as a part of our team for your particular week, the answer to this question is no. However, we do have access to European doctors who serve the upper-class citizens and foreigners who live in Zambia. There is good, basic medical care available in Lusaka, but if sophisticated medical needs arise such as surgery, emergency medical evacuation services are accessible to South Africa.