Zambia

Location:
Southern Africa

Area:
total: 752,618 sq km
land: 743,398 sq km
water: 9,220 sq km

Capital City;
Lusaka

Land boundaries:
total: 6,043.15 km

Border countries (8):
Angola 1,065 km,
Botswana 0.15 km,
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,332 km,
Malawi 847 km,
Mozambique 439 km,
Namibia 244 km,
Tanzania 353 km,
Zimbabwe 763 km
Coastline: 0 km

Total: 6,043.15 km

Zambia
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Zambia

Zambia
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Climate:
tropical;
modified by altitude;
rainy season (October to April)

Terrain:
mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains

Elevation:
mean elevation: 1,138 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed elevation in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m

Natural resources:
copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower

Land use:
agricultural land: 31.7%
arable land 4.8%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 26.9%
forest: 66.3%
other: 2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:
1,560 sq km (2012)

Population – distribution:
one of the highest levels of urbanization in Africa; high density in the central area, particularly around the cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, and Mufulira

Natural hazards:
periodic drought;
tropical storms (November to April)

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People and Society 

Zambia’s population is 15,972,000, It is significantly ethnically diverse, with a total of 73 ethnic tribes. During the country’s occupation by the British, between 1911 and 1963, the country attracted immigrants from Europe and the Indian subcontinent, the latter of whom came specifically as labourers. While most Europeans left after the collapse of white minority rule, a fair number of Asians still remain.

Zambia’s poor, youthful population consists primarily of Bantu-speaking people representing nearly 70 different ethnicities. Zambia’s high fertility rate continues to drive rapid population growth, averaging almost 3 percent annually between 2000 and 2010. The country’s total fertility rate has fallen by less than 1.5 children per woman during the last 30 years and still averages among the world’s highest, almost 6 children per woman, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Zambia and contributes to its low life expectancy.

Zambian emigration is low compared to many other African countries and is comprised predominantly of the well-educated. The small amount of brain drain, however, has a major impact in Zambia because of its limited human capital and lack of educational infrastructure for developing skilled professionals in key fields. For example, Zambia has few schools for training doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Its spending on education is low compared to other sub-Saharan countries.

Population:
15,972,000

Nationality:
Zambian(s)

Ethnic groups:
Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.).

Languages:
Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2%

Religions:
Protestant 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha’i), none 1.8% (2010 est.)

Zambia’s population is 15,972,000, it is significantly ethnically diverse, with a total of 73 ethnic tribes. During the country’s occupation by the British, between 1911 and 1963, the country attracted immigrants from Europe and the Indian subcontinent, the latter of whom came specifically as labourers. While most Europeans left after the collapse of white minority rule, a fair number of Asians still remain.

Zambia’s poor, youthful population consists primarily of Bantu-speaking people representing nearly 70 different ethnicities. Zambia’s high fertility rate continues to drive rapid population growth, averaging almost 3 percent annually between 2000 and 2010. The country’s total fertility rate has fallen by less than 1.5 children per woman during the last 30 years and still averages among the world’s highest, almost 6 children per woman, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Zambia and contributes to its low life expectancy.

Zambian emigration is low compared to many other African countries and is comprised predominantly of the well-educated. The small amount of brain drain, however, has a major impact in Zambia because of its limited human capital and lack of educational infrastructure for developing skilled professionals in key fields. For example, Zambia has few schools for training doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Its spending on education is low compared to other sub-Saharan countries.

Population:
15,972,000

Nationality:
Zambian(s)

Ethnic groups:
Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.).

Languages:
Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2%

Religions:
Protestant 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha’i), none 1.8% (2010 est.)

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Education

Zambia’s education structure is characterized by a broad base (representing primary level) and a sharp apex (representing higher education). The education structure starts with four years of preschool education, which are optional. The entrance age for preschool is three years. Seven years of primary education constitute the first level of education. The entrance age for primary education is seven years. After primary education, the next level of education is secondary education, which takes a duration of five years. The entrance age for secondary is 14. Progression from one level to another depends upon an external examination directed by the government, e.g., the end of primary school examination and baccalaureate examinations. This means that not all children are expected to proceed to secondary education. Currently, however, government emphasis is to ensure provision of seven-year primary education.

For some time the situation has been that almost two thirds of the children end their education at primary level. Only one third of the primary school dropouts have the opportunity to go to secondary education. Of those who enroll for the 7 years of primary education, less than 20 percent enter secondary school, and only 2 percent of the 20-24 age group enter a university or some other form of higher education. This structure and the selection hurdles associated with it means that the majority of those who enter the school system fail to go onto higher levels. In recognition of this problem, continuing education has been made a priority of the new education structure. English is the official language of instruction in schools from preschool to tertiary education.

The Zambian education system has a 7-5-4 structure, namely 7 years at primary school, 2 and 3 years at junior and higher secondary school respectively, and 4 years at university for undergraduate degrees. While the intention is that school education should be mandatory for all, sadly many poorer children drop out along the way. The first 2 years of secondary school are spent at middle schools. Many students go off to work after this, because the prevailing culture is that they have completed a decent education. Those who elect to study on at higher secondary school, must first write a transitional selection examination. Thereafter, they may spend 4 years in an academic environment, where they hope to reach the standard required for their further university education.

The Zambian government regards the development of the nation’s skill base as fundamental to its economic growth. With this in mind, the technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training program is being redeveloped, to realize the full potential of the nation’s people. The University of Zambia was established in 1965, and the Copperbelt University opened in 1986. Other institutions of higher learning include technical colleges and a two-year college of agriculture. In 2001, it was estimated that about 2% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in tertiary education programs. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 67.9%, with 76.1% for men and 59.7% for women. 

The University of Zambia was opened in Lusaka in 1966 and graduated its first students in 1969. The university offers courses in agriculture, education, engineering, humanities and social sciences, law, medicine, mining, natural sciences, and veterinary medicine. The basic program is four years, although engineering and medical courses are of five and seven years’ duration, respectively. Copperbelt University, formerly a part of the University of Zambia, achieved independent university status in 1987 and is located at Kitwe. It offers courses of study within its business, built-environment, natural resources, and technology schools. The language of instruction for both universities is English. Other tertiary-level institutions are vocationally focused and include the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce and the Natural Resources Development College, both in Lusaka, and the Zambia College of Agriculture and Northern Technical College, located in Monze and Ndola, respectively

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Economy

Since its return to multiparty politics and a liberal economy in 1991, Zambia has experienced steady economic growth, especially in the last decade. According to the World Bank, a combination of prudent macroeconomic management, market liberalization policies, and steep increase in copper prices helped drive investments in the copper industry and related infrastructure to achieve an average annual growth of about 6.4% during the last decade. The Zambian Economy Current Outlook In its annual 2014 Doing Business ranking, the WB ranked Zambia as the 83rd best country in the world to do business, compared to 90th in 2013. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2014-2015 “The Global Competitiveness”, Zambia is the 8th most competitive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, out of 33 economies analysed.

Zambia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the ten years up to 2014, with real GDP growth averaging roughly 6.7% per annum, though growth slowed during the period 2015 to 2017, due to falling copper prices, reduced power generation, and depreciation of the kwacha. Zambia’s lack of economic diversification and dependency on copper as its sole major export makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in the world commodities market and prices turned downward in 2015 due to declining demand from China; Zambia was overtaken by the Democratic Republic of Congo as Africa’s largest copper producer. GDP growth picked up in 2017 as mineral prices rose.

Zambia being one of the largest copper producers in Africa, its economy remains dependent on copper, which accounted for 74.60 % of the country’s total exports (including raw copper, refined copper, and copper wire). However, the agriculture sector is the major employer (70% of the population) and has been growing in the past few years. The local currency is the Zambian Kwatcha, which was rebased by the Bank of Zambia on January 1st 2013. As of September 23rd 2014, USD 1 equalled ZMW 5194,81. The Liberalization of The Zambian Economy Since its independence in 1964, Zambia has experienced a rare political stability in Africa, with no war, conflict or political turmoil to report. However the country took a three decades-long socialist turn, nationalizing its economy.

Despite recent strong economic growth and its status as a lower middle-income country, widespread and extreme rural poverty and high unemployment levels remain significant problems, made worse by a high birth rate, a relatively high HIV/AIDS burden, by market-distorting agricultural and energy policies, and growing government debt. Zambia raised $7 billion from international investors by issuing separate sovereign bonds in 2012, 2014, and 2015. Concurrently, it issued over $4 billion in domestic debt and agreed to Chinese-financed infrastructure projects, significantly increasing the country’s public debt burden to more than 60% of GDP. The government has considered refinancing $3 billion worth of Eurobonds and significant Chinese loans to cut debt servicing costs.

Zambia’s economy is expected to show a modest grow 4 percent for the year 2018 helped by the mining, agriculture and construction sectors. Economic growth in Africa’s second-largest copper producer rose to 4.1 percent last year, helped in part by higher commodity prices. Zambia, which expects copper output to rise to over 1 million tonnes this year, slapped Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals with a massive $8 billion tax bill last month. Zambia’s foreign debt stood at $8.7 billion at the end of March, she said, adding that this year the government wanted to achieve a fiscal deficit of not more than 6.1 percent of gross domestic product, the same level as in 2017.

Contributions

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$68.9 billion (2017 est.)
$66.27 billion (2016 est.)
$64.08 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$25.58 billion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
4% (2017 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$4,000 (2017 est.)
$4,000 (2016 est.)
$4,000 (2015 est.)

Gross national saving:
38.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
37.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
38.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 35.6%
services: 59% (2017 est.)

Agriculture – products:
corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seeds, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (manioc, tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides

Industries:
copper mining and processing, emerald mining, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture

Population below poverty line:
60.5% (2015 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $4.895 billion
expenditures: $7.05 billion (2017 est.)

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Agriculture

Once at the forefront of the ‘Green Revolution’, with hybrid maize yields breaking record charts in the 1960s, Zambia has vast agricultural potential. Yet despite a favourable climate, fertile land and 40 per cent of the water resources in the entire southern African region, that potential is yet to be fully tapped. Of the 58 per cent of land suitable for agricultural production, only 14 per cent is currently under cultivation. And despite bumper maize harvests, agriculture makes up only 20 per cent of GDP while employing roughly 85 per cent of the population. Part of the reason for Zambia’s lacking agricultural productivity is heavy dependence on copper – the country is Africa’s biggest producer and as a result the sector has traditionally been prioritized above agriculture in terms of investment.

The Zambian agriculture sector comprises crops, livestock, and fisheries. There are three broad categories of farmers: small-scale, medium, and large-scale. Small-scale farmers are generally subsistence producers of staple foods with occasional marketable surplus. Medium-scale farmers produce maize and a few other cash crops for the market. Large-scale farmers produce various crops for the local and export markets. Most Zambians are subsistence farmers. Agriculture contributes about 19% to GDP and employs three quarters of the population. Domestic production is comprised of crops such as maize, sorghum, millet, and cassava while exports are driven by sugar, soy beans, coffee, groundnuts, rice, and cotton as well as horticultural produce. The Zambia territory is 75 million hectares (752,000 km2), out of which 58% (42 million hectares) is classified as medium to high potential for agriculture production. However, only 15% of this land is currently under cultivation. Zambia enjoys 40% of sub-Saharan water resources. Despite this, there is very little mechanical irrigation. The majority of farms are dependent on rain-fed growing cycles.

Agricultural output in Zambia increased from 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 to about 20 percent of GDP in 2009. This was as a result of increased area planted, good rainfall patterns in the whole country, as well as favorable agriculture policies by the government. The country recorded increased production of major crops during the 2010 agricultural season compared to the 2009 season, including; sunflower, soya beans, rice, maize, tobacco and wheat. The agricultural sector continues to be the backbone of the Zambian economy as it contributes to the growth of the economy and also to exports. Primary agriculture contribute about 35 percent to the country’s total non traditional exports (all the country’s exports other than copper and cobalt) and about 10 percent of the total export earnings for the country.

Despite huge potential, challenges remain, and promises to reform the agricultural sector are yet to be fully delivered and implemented. With increasing demand for fuel, food and livestock fodder as population growth continues to rise, deforestation will be among priorities for the government to tackle. Forests rich in biodiversity diminished ten per cent between 1992 and 2007, and this, together with climate change, remain major concerns. The cost of fuel and fertiliser is having a significant impact on smallholder production. However, with boosted investment in agriculture and policy reform in the pipeline, there is cautious optimism that the country is on the path to realising its potential as a bread basket for the region.

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 10,700,000
electrification – total population: 26%
electrification – urban areas: 45%
electrification – rural areas: 14% (2013)
Electricity – production:
13.28 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – consumption:
11.62 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – exports:
1.176 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – imports:
785 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – installed generating capacity:
2.37 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity – from fossil fuels:
0.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity – from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)

Telephones – fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 101,407
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones – mobile cellular:
total: 12,017,034
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 75 (July 2016 est.)

Internet country code:
.zm
Internet users:
total: 3,956,252
percent of population: 25.5% (July 2016 est.)

Manufacturing and Industries

The manufacturing sector in Zambia accounts for about 11 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has been growing at an average annual growth rate of three (3) percent in the last five years. Growth in the sector is largely driven by the agro processing (food and beverages), textiles and leather subsectors. Secondary processing of metals in another main activity in the sector, including the smelting and refining of copper, and this has led to the manufacturing of metal products. Fertilizers, chemicals, explosives and construction materials such as cement are also produced in the sector. Other activities include wood products and paper products.

The manufacturing activities in the country are undertaken by the private sector with government playing a proactive role. The sector is of vital importance in relation to the country’ macroeconomic strategy for encouraging broad based economic growth. In this regard, the Government has put in place measures to support manufacturing activities, such as the establishment of Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) and Industrial Parks (these are industrial areas for both export orientated and domestic orientated industries, with the necessary support infrastructure installed), and provision of sector-specific investment incentives. Government also promotes small and medium enterprises in rural and urban areas so as to enhance labour intensive light manufacturing activities in these areas.

The sector has attracted significant investment in recent years (foreign direct investment stocks in the sector totalled about US$ 1,200 million as of 2009), and other than producing many different products, manufacturing also absorbs much of the output from other sectors such as agriculture, and also supplies inputs into the other sectors such as mining and construction.

Zambia possesses the world’s highest-grade deposits of copper and is ranked 7th largest copper producer in the world for producing copper. In 2013, Zambia was the sixth largest producer of copper with 800,000 tons increasing from 572,793 tons production in 2008. It has been projected that copper production in Zambia will reach 1,500,000 tons by the year 2018 due to new projects. The mining contribution of Zambia to the Gross Domestic Product is forecasted to grow to USD 1.35 billion by the year 2015. Lead and zinc are next important commodities produced by Zambia. With a total of 11 metric tons of ore containing zinc and lead combined in 40% proportion, Kabwe is one of the highest-grade lead and zinc deposits in the world. Although Zambia is currently the smallest coal producer in the region, their coal output is estimated to grow from 281,000 tons in 2014 to more than 2 million tons by 2017.

With rapid economic growth and new mines development in Zambia, there has been a 36% demand increase for power in the past decade. This increase in electricity demand means that 26% of Zambia is affected by load shedding usually at peak times. Hydropower is the primary electricity supply mode for Zambia accounting for 95% power production. In order to support the mining sector of Zambia, ZESCO has established partnerships with local and international firms to invest USD 4.7 billion. This investment is expected to double power capacity to 4,203MW within six years. Kafue, Gorge Lower Hydro Project, the largest of power projects is a joint venture between SINOHYDRO of China and ZESCO to generate 750MW of power at a cost of USD 2 billion. This project will complete in 2018.

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Banking and Finance

Zambia’s commercial banking sector is composed of 19 international and local banks. All banks operating in Zambia must incorporate locally. As a result, there are no local branches of foreign (including U.S.) banks or financial institutions. Citibank Zambia Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citicorp NY, provides corporate banking services in Zambia. The banking sector is supervised by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) which reports to the Ministry of Finance. The sector is governed by the Banking and Financial Services Act of 1994. Industry observers generally credit the BoZ with making large strides in improving bank oversight over the past several years. The Financial Intelligence Center was established in 2010 through an Act of Parliament to combat money laundering and terrorist financing but this anti-money laundering regime is yet to meet international standards.

The banking sector has continued to expand and has led to a number of entities operating in multiple sectors such as banking, insurance, and the capital market. The regulatory environment is still fragmented with multiple regulators such as the Pensions Insurance Authority, BoZ, and SEC. Copper had fuelled the country’s economic boom, generating an average annual GDP growth of 6.4% over the previous decade. But when copper prices fell, because of lower demand from China, one of the main consumers of the commodity, the Zambian economy took a severe hit. The kwacha fell, and the central bank’s move to raise the statutory reserve ratio in 2014 was not enough to ease the pressure.

With just $4 billion of reserves, some wondered how long the central bank would be able to prop up its currency. Inflation was 10.1% in 2015, up from 7.8% the year before, and hit 21.1% in December 2015. In response, Bank of Zambia tightened monetary policy by raising the policy rate from 12.5% to 15.5%, restricting commercial banks’ access to the Overnight Lending Facility to once a week and providing foreign exchange to the market. The central bank also strengthened the foreign exchange market code of conduct: price discovery had been opaque, so the central bank made it more transparent by asking commercial banks to submit their exchange rates three times a day and then publishing those rates so that banks could not deviate from the prices they had given.

Bank of Zambia’s action helped to mitigate the damage and calm the markets. By the end of 2016, inflation was back down to a more reasonable 7.5%. However, Zambia remains highly dependent on commodity exports and still suffers from the cost of too much debt. Six years ago, just 8% of government expenditure went on servicing the country’s debt, according to the World Bank; now the figure is an unhealthy with 20%. The Interest rates on bank loans are still prohibitive for the average customer.

Tourism

The Zambian tourism offer lies in its diversity, whose features include the world famous Victoria Falls, vast wildlife resources, varied scenery, wilderness, diverse culture and national heritage, good weather, adventure activities, hunting and warm and friendly people. There are 19 National Parks and 34 Game Management Areas covering over 22.4 million hectares. Although much of tourism in Zambia is concentrated in a limited number of national parks, such as the South Luangwa, Kafue, Lower Zambezi, Musi-o-Tunya and Kasanka, the rest of the parks provide considerable potential for future tourism development.

Zambia’s wilderness is characterized by the vastness of unexploited areas, such as the rift valleys of the Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers and their escarpments; mountain highlands, such as the Nyika and Mafinga; vast wetlands in the Bangweulu, Kafue and Zambezi flood plains; and the fact that most wilderness occurs in protected areas, showing the real parts of natural Africa. In addition to national parks, a number of areas in Zambia have been declared national heritage sites or monuments.

Major Attractions 

South Luangwa National Park (Aptly) nicknamed the Valley of the Leopard, if you go to South Luangwa and don’t see leopard you need your eyes tested. The incredibly diverse landscapes range from dense forests of mopane trees and the leopard’s favourite sausage trees, to wide open savanna punctuated only by the occasional lonely baobab, all hugged by the wide and winding Luangwa River.

Kapichya is just 19 kms away from the spectacularly incongruous Shiwa Ng’andu, the former home of a young British colonial officer who felt a deep love for this area. The huge and elaborate manor house that stands today tells a number of fascinating stories about both the eccentricity and determination of its creator and the colonial heritage of Zambia in general.

Kafue National Park: Kafue is Zambia’s oldest and largest national park, covering a massive 22,400km2 (just a little bit smaller than Rwanda and twice the size of The Gambia), which also makes it one of the largest parks in Africa. Thanks to its size, variety of ecosystems and the sustenance provided by the beautiful Kafue River, this park has an unrivalled diversity of game, including one of Africa’s largest populations of wild dog.

Victoria Falls: Over the years this incredible natural wonder has exhausted all the superlatives in the dictionary in attempts to describe it, but none manage to do it justice

Blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, huge water bodies and vast open spaces, Zambia offers unforgettable holidays exploring the real Africa. Acknowledged as one of the safest countries in the world to visit, Zambia’s welcoming people live in peace and harmony. And here, in the warm heart of Africa, some of the finest Safari experiences on the planet, including face to face encounters with Nature at its most wild. Spectacular waterways provide adrenaline-thrills or a leisurely playground of activities for all ages. Seventeen magnificent waterfalls, apart from the spectacular Victoria Falls, provide ‘cascade followers’ an adventure into the remote undeveloped rural areas where a taste of village life can be experienced

History

  • Pre-History

    That archaic humans were present in Zambia at least 200,000 years ago was shown by the discovery of the Broken Hill skull in Kabwe in 1921, this was the first human fossil ever discovered in Africa. Hence, Zambia is part of the cradle of the human race that stretches along the Great Rift Valley from Ethiopia to South Africa. Archaeological work has uncovered crude implements of stone from the Zambezi river valley dated 3 million years ago. Pigments used for self decoration and possibly rock painting have been found near Lusaka. The use of fire 60 000 years ago has been documented at Lalambo Falls. The earliest evidence of modern humans in Zambia dates back 25 000 years ago, with signs of greater sophistication tool making and of the burial of the dead; these earliest people were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Late Stone Age indications of cave dwelling and religious painting dated to some 15 000 years ago as well as the invention of the bow and arrow have also been unearthed.

    The earliest hunter gatherers, who seem to be of the same group as the modern bushman, were gradually displaced or absorbed by Iron Age Negroid populations between 300BCE and 400CE. Their settlements are found with increasing density throughout Zambia. These people brought with them metal working, slash and burn agriculture (which persists in parts of Zambia today) cultivating sorghum, beans bananas and yams, husbandry of cattle and goats, pottery and dwellings made from boards and plaster. Settlements were small (perhaps a dozen dwellings) and largely self-sufficient. From 350CE onwards there is evidence of copper mining and copper is used both for jewelry and as trade currency. By 800CE a great deal of diversity in material culture is evident and signs that competition for control of trade and mineral resources led to the emergence of small polities. It is perhaps at this time that the ancestors of the Tonga people settled in the area.

    The development of regional trade networks, the emergence of the Shona trading states to the south and higher population level stimulated the development of more complex and stratified societies at Ingombe Ilede in the Zambezi valley. In about 1300 CE a small trader state emerged there whose burial goods included gold beads from the south and glass beads imported from the Swahili Indian Ocean states as well as copper trading currency. Manufactures included cloth woven from cotton weaving, ivory carving and copper jewellery. 

    The Victoria Falls site has abundant Stone Age artefacts of Oldowan Industry. There is also evidence of the succeeding ones. Their artefacts laid down by the Zambezi River were found left high and dry by the cutting down of the river. These objects have been found up and downstream of the Victoria Falls. Other earliest forms of human life have been obtained at Kalambo Falls near Mbala in the Northern Province of Zambia. Kalambo Falls is just about the highest in the world. It has a continuous uninterrupted 221-metre drop, a marvel of Zambian tourism It would appear the fascination the waterfalls have on people today was the same or even greater for our ‘forefathers.’ At Kalambo Falls a number of undisturbed camping places of the terminal Archeulian have been excavated there. They date back to 60,000 years ago. The use of fire is evident by the archaeological dig find of charcoal logs on some of the ‘living’ floors.

  • Iron Age 

    Around 3,000BC, late Stone-Age hunter-gatherer groups in Ethiopia, and elsewhere in north and west Africa, started to keep domestic animals, sow seeds, and harvest the produce: they became the world’s first farmers. By around 1,000BC these new pastoral practices had spread south into the equatorial forests of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, to around Lake Victoria, and into the northern area of the Great Rift Valley, in northern Tanzania. However, agriculture did not spread south into the rest of central/southern Africa immediately. Only when the technology, and the tools, of iron-working became known did the practices start their relentless expansion southwards.

    The spread of agriculture and Iron-Age culture seems to have been rapid. It was brought south by Africans who were taller and heavier than the existing small inhabitants. The ancestors of the San/Bushmen people, with their simple Stone-Age technology and hunter-gatherer existence, just could not compete with these Iron-Age farmers, who became the ancestors of virtually all the modern black Africans in southern Africa. This major migration occurred around the first few centuries AD, and since then the San/Bushmen of southern Africa have gradually been either assimilated into the migrant groups, or effectively pushed into the areas which could not be farmed. Thus the older Iron-Age cultures persisted in the forests of the north and east of Zambia – which were more difficult to cultivate – much longer than they survived in the south of the country.

    They first appear in the archaeological record approximately 2000 years ago. While there is a record of almost continual settlement in the Zambian marshlands, there is a patchy early Iron Age history across the river in Zimbabwe. The river itself must have been a formidable barrier to southern expansion of early Iron Age communities, the low carrying capacity of what is now northwestern Zimbabwe must also have been something of a deterrent. Among the more interesting Early Iron Age sites of southwestern Zambia 

    • Kumadzulo: This was a large 7th century village about 55km northwest of Livingstone on the edge of the Bovu River dambo. 
    • Chundu Farm: The remains of an 8th century village were discovered about 20km upstream from the Victoria Falls.
    • Kamangoza: This was a small agricultural settlement dating back to the 10th century and was part of the Kalomo Tradition at a time when agriculture was strongly supplemented by hunting and gathering. The presence of copper at Kamangoza indicates trade with communities in northern Zambia.
    • Dambwa: This important site lies in what is today western Livingstone. It was seriously damaged by sand extraction and only a small section was left intact by the time archaeologists were made aware of its existence.
    • Sinde, Simbusenga and Mukuni: These were early Tonga sites where the huts were small and round (diameter about 2,5m) with wall poles set in shallow trenches.

    The Khoisans were the only inhabitants of most of Zambia until the 4th century, when Bantu started to migrate from the north. They had far more developed technology – they were farmers and had iron and copper tools and weapons, as well as knowledge of pottery-making. They lived in small self-sufficient villages of wattle-and-daub huts, growing sorghum and beans, as well as keeping cattle and goats.

  • The Arrival of European

    In the 12th century, waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Ba-Tonga, “Ba-” meaning “men”) were the first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the east near the “big sea”. The Nkoya people also arrived early in the expansion, coming from the Luba–Lunda kingdoms in the southern parts of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola, followed by a much larger influx, especially between the late 12th and early 13th centuries. With the introduction of agriculture the population grew, and more, and more land became cultivated. Ivory was an export, and cotton textiles an import. One of the best-known archaeological sites for this period is Ing-ombe Ilede near Siavonga close to the Kariba Dam, uncovered in 1960. The increase in trade resulted in larger political units and more complex social structures.

    The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama explored the East African coast in 1498 on his voyage to India. By 1506, the Portuguese claimed control over the entire coast. This control was nominal, however, because the Portuguese did not colonize the area or explore the interior. Later in the 18th century the other Portuguese explorer Francisco de Lacerda became the 2nd portugese explrere to arrive. Lacerda led an expedition from Mozambique to the Kazembe region in Zambia (with the goal of exploring and to crossing Southern Africa from coast to coast for the first time), and died during the expedition in 1798. The expedition was from then on led by his friend Francisco Pinto. This territory, located between Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Angola, was claimed and explored by Portugal in that period.

    Other European visitors followed in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through Christianity, Commerce and Civilization. He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them the Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The first Briton to record having set foot on Zambian soil was David Livingstone. In 1851 he started his well-known exploration of the upper Zambezi River, and in 1855 he became the first European to see Mosi-oa-Tunya, the waterfall on the Zambezi River, which he named after Queen Victoria – the Zambian town near the Falls is named after him. Livingstone later died in Zambia in 1873.

    When the first Europeans arrived, the most powerful states in pre-colonial Zambia were the kingdom of Barotseland in the upper Zambezi, and the kingdom of Mwata Kazembe on the Luapula. The Lozi people of Barotseland had refused Arab and Portuguese traders access to their territory. When the kingdom was first established is uncertain, but it was certainly in existence by the 18th century, the Lozi calling themselves Aluya and their country Ngulu. Its ruler was called the Litunga. He had two capitals: in the dry season he stayed in the middle of the Zambezi flood plain at Lealui, while at the start of the rainy season he moved to Limulunga, above the flood water level, a move that is still celebrated in the annual Kuomboka festival.

  • Colonial Britain and Germany, Portugal, and Belgium

    In 1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in Central Africa, obtained a mineral rights concessions from local chiefs. In the same year, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, now Zambia and Zimbabwe, were proclaimed a British sphere of influence. In the beginning the territory was administered by Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSAC), which showed little interest in the province and used it mainly as a source of labour. The most important factor in the colony’s economy was copper, the discovery of which is due partly to an American scout, Frederick Russell Burnham, who in 1895 lead and oversaw the massive Northern Territories (BSA) Exploration Co. expedition which established that major copper deposits existed in Central Africa.

    Along the Kafue River in then Northern Rhodesia, Burnham saw many similarities to copper deposits he had worked in the United States, and he encountered natives wearing copper bracelets. The unique butterfly shape of Zambia resulted from agreements in the 1890s between Britain and Germany, Portugal, and the Belgian king Leopold II, and these in turn rested on treaties, mostly stereotyped in form, between Rhodes’s agents and African chiefs. At this stage there was little resistance to white intrusion. The most immediate threat to African land and labour came in Ngoniland, thought by whites to be rich in gold, and the Ngoni duly fought company troops in 1898. The Bemba, however, faced no such challenge and in any case were deeply divided, while the Lozi king believed that alliance with the company would protect his empire against both the Portuguese and the Ndebele.

    At first the BSAC administered its territory north of the Zambezi in two parts, North-Eastern and North-Western Rhodesia. In 1911 these were united to form Northern Rhodesia, with its capital at Livingstone, near Victoria Falls. World War I bore heavily on the territory. The British government hoped to increase white settlement as part of a wider strategy to strengthen British influence between South Africa and Kenya. Land was reserved for white ownership along the railway line, in the far north, and in the east. When World War II broke out in 1939, Britain contracted to buy the whole output of the Copperbelt. British dependence on undisturbed copper production meant that white mine workers were allowed to maintain an industrial colour bar. In 1948 these gave rise to the Northern Rhodesia Congress. Some of its members sat on the African Representative Council.

    In 1928 enormous copper deposits were discovered in the region which then became known as the Copperbelt, transforming Northern Rhodesia from a prospective land of colonization for white farmers to a copper exporter. By 1938 the country produced 13% of world’s copper extraction. The sector was developed by two companies; the Anglo American Corporation (AAC) and the South African Rhodesian Selection Trust (RST), who controlled the sector till independence.

    The poor safety record and increased taxes triggered a strike of African mineworkers in 1935, known as the Copperbelt strike. The strike was crushed by the authorities; six miners were killed. During the Second World War white miners came out on strike in 1940. Realizing the importance of their products for the war, they demanded higher salaries. This strike was followed by another by African mineworkers. Even before the war, there had been talks about merging the two Rhodesian, but the process had been halted by the British authorities, and brought to an absolute stop by the war. Finally, in 1953, both Rhodesia were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Central African Federation. Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crises that afflicted the federation in its last years. At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.

  • Independent Zambia

    In 1953, Northern Rhodesia became a member of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Even though the overwhelming majority of Africans in the territory was opposed to the federal arrangement, the British government decided that Northern Rhodesia would participate in the federation.  In 1956, however, the copper boom came to an end. Whites in Northern Rhodesia became increasingly aware of how far the federal tax system channeled copper profits into Southern Rhodesia. Many Africans were thrown out of work, while little had been done to help African farming or education, despite federal propaganda for “partnership.” A new generation of leaders in Congress wanted Northern Rhodesia to become an independent African state, as Ghana had become in 1957. In 1958, led by Kenneth Kaunda, a former teacher and civil servant, these radicals split off from Congress to found the Zambia African National Congress and its successor, the United National Independence Party (UNIP). Britain accepted that Africans would have to be given more power than the federal government was willing to concede.

    In 1960, a royal commission reported that, despite clear economic benefits, the majority of Africans in both Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland was opposed to the continuance of federation in its present form. In 1962 UNIP organized a massive campaign of civil disobedience, but it agreed to take part in elections under a new constitution, and an election later that year gave Africans a majority in the legislature. Nyasaland’s desire to secede from the federation was acknowledged by the British government. The federation was dissolved at the end of 1963. Early in 1964 an election based on universal adult suffrage gave UNIP a decisive majority, and it was supported by nearly a third of the white voters. On October 24 the country became the independent Republic of Zambia, within the Commonwealth and with Kaunda serving as executive president.

    Following its initiation into the federation, the government of Northern Rhodesia underwent constitutional changes, with a growing emphasis on African representation. Africans had not been represented on the Legislative Council until 1948, when two were named to that body. An enlarged Legislative Council, convened in 1954 just after the formation of the federation, included four Africans selected by the African Representative Council. A new constitution, introduced in January 1959, aimed at replacing the council with a political system based on a greater degree of cooperation between the races.

    Discussions on a revision of this constitution began in December 1960 but were brought to an early close by disagreement between the European-dominated United Federal Party and the United National Independence Party (UNIP). But agreement was finally reached, and a new constitution came into effect in September 1962. Elections later that year produced an African majority in the Legislative Council, which then called for secession from the federation, full internal self-government under a new constitution, and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. On 31 December 1963, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formally dissolved. On 24 October 1964, Northern Rhodesia became an independent republic, and its name was changed to Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda, the leader of the ruling UNIP, became the nation’s first president.