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What's it like crossing the border from Tanzania to Zambia at Tundumu in your own vehicle? What papers, fees, etc. are necessary (for both people and vehicle)? How long could it take (i.e. more than half a day?)? Any hassles to be expected?

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According to both Zambia Tourism and My Guide Zambia

Vehicle Entry Requirements

  • Original vehicle registration papers
  • Vehicle license papers
  • If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle: Please carry an affidavit from the police giving you authorisation from the owner / financial institution to take the vehicle abroad
  • Police Clearance Certificate: both for vehicles and trailers
  • Third-Party Insurance: Can be obtained at border post, valid for 30 days
  • Road Access Fee: USD 30; paid on entry and only accepted in dollars; valid for one year
  • Council Levy: USD20 per car; paid on entry and exit
  • Carbon Pollution Tax: Approximately USD 50
  • White and Red Reflective Tape: Two small white rectangular size strips on the right and left hand side of the front bumper as well as two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper
  • Carnet de Passage: Not compulsory. However, will facilitate border crossing. Recommended if the vehicle is to remain in Zambia for more than three months.
  • Warning Triangles: Two warning triangles (do not need to be displayed); warning triangle must be on a metal plate
  • White and Red T-sign: Required if towing a trailer; white must be displayed on front right hand side of trailer / caravan and red on the rear right hand side of the trailer / caravan, when looking forward
  • Fire Extinguisher: Compulsory if carrying jerry cans with fuel

Have your vehicle papers on hand at all times as roadblocks are fairly frequent)

The Nakonde Border Post at Tunduma has a reputation of being rife with problems, as widely reported in official reports, news coverage, and in-person experiences:

South Africa Trade Hub Nakonde Border Operations Assessment

Zambia Daily Mail: Zambia, Tanzania set to address border problems

Border Problems: Tunduma/Nakonde on the Tanzania/Zambia border is one of the worst crossings one could possibly experience

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