Getting Around In Zambia

Zambia drives on the left side of the road, and the driver sits on the right side of the vehicle.

If you do not have a Zambian driving license, you may be allowed to use your license from your home country, but only for three months. After three months, drivers must either obtain a Zambian driving license or an International Driving Permit from their home country.

Common offenses

It is an offense to drive after drinking, and there are frequent drink-driving checkpoints at night.

It is also an offense to use a mobile phone while driving.

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of driving in Zambia, contact the Road Transportation Safety Agency (RTSA) in order to obtain a copy of the Highway Code:

Road Safety Building, Dedan Kimathi Rd, NIPA, Lusaka
+260 211 228 798

Regulations & Fines

The full text of the Roads and Road Traffic Act is available online from

A summarized list of traffic fines is also available.


Within Zambian cities and on major roads between areas, police frequently establish checkpoints, where they will check for things like road tax certificates, fitness test certificates, proof of insurance, and driving licenses. They will occasionally check for immigration papers, and may check for required items, such as road triangles.

Some of the police checkpoints are fixed structures and are manned every day, while others checkpoints are impromptu and only appear at irregular intervals.

When approaching a check point, slow down, turn on your hazard lights, roll down your windows, and turn down any loud music.

The police officer will sometimes wave you through the checkpoint without checking for anything, or they might ask you to stop. If you do get stopped at a checkpoint, you should not encounter any problems as long as you are polite and all your documents are in order.

Photo credit: SqueakyMarmot / CC BY

Author: jmjkrugertwo


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