Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Sort of.
Self-drivers to Zambia have always been advised to fill up every time they pass a fuel station and to carry extra diesel.
But that is slowly changing as the first electric vehicle charging station came onstream in Lusaka in February 2023. Subilo Energy, headed by CEO Greg Chama, launched a charging station at Plot 6075, 1 Chisokone Road in Northmead (this is just off the Great East Road, between Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital and Manda Hill Shopping Mall). So – theoretically – you could power up your hybrid and head out on the T4 en route to Lower Zambezi National Park for quite a while before needing to refuel.
Chama explained in a social media post that the station is single-phase power with a maximum output of 7kw/16 amp, which can charge a Nissan Leaf to full capacity in about 2.5 hours. Subilo plans to roll out other stations in the Copperbelt and T highways, as well as at government and parastatal offices, and shopping centres. Eventually, motorists will be able to buy cards on which they can load funds to be able to recharge at any station across the country.
For now, your hybrid is really only suitable for stays in Lusaka but hopefully that will soon change.
EV Safaris are Coming
Zambia is dipping a toe into EVs with Ila Safari Lodge by Green Safaris in Kafue National Park being the first to have an electric game-drive vehicle (as well as a solar-powered boat). This not only cuts emissions but makes for a quieter experience for both guests and wildlife, and saves the lodge on fuel costs.
Other countries are also seeing if EVs hold up to African conditions. At Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana, game-drive vehicles have been converted to be electric and the boating fleet is also fully electric.
In Kenya, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust is busy with a pilot project with Rivian that sees four R1T ‘electric adventure vehicles’ being used in the Chyulu Hills area. The vehicles are apparently beneficial for quieter anti-poaching patrols where a regular engine would alert lawbreakers and for zero exhaust-pipe fumes or emissions for Maasai firefighters (who are already breathing in smoke from bushfires). Rangers are using them on- and off-road and they are also being trialed at community medical and schooling projects.
An electric solar-powered game-drive vehicle is also been added to the fleet at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp in Kenya as safari operators move to greater sustainability.
Info for Your Zambia Self-drive Holiday
Check out the self-drive section of the site where we break down campsites, border crossings, vehicle accessory suggestions and more.