Zambia – A brief guide – Population, Culture & Animals

Located in Southern Africa Zambia is a landlocked country of rocky terrain diverse wildlife. With many exotic parks and safari areas, Zambia is a beautiful country sitting right in the heart of the African continent. It is a premier travel destination filled with stunning wildlife, scenic landscape, and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Apart from being voted as the safest country in Africa, Zambia boasts some of Africa’s best national parks, markets, and exciting wildlife.

For such a small landlocked country, Zambia is fully packed with an array of incredible destinations and unspoiled landscapes that leaves anyone who grasps a glimpse of it in-awe! It also has one of the best safari destinations where you can experience wildlife up-close without the crowds that other safaris have.

Zambia steals the spotlight for being home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, a watery border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. In short, this small country has everything to make a vacation extra special and memorable.

Zambia Victoria Falls waterfalls – one of the seven wonders of the world.

In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this beautiful country. Lets’ get started!

Geography

Zambia sits on a high plateau in south-central Africa. It borders Zimbabwe in the south, congo in the north, Malawi on the east, Tanzania on the northwest, and Mozambique on the southeast. The terrain has high hills and mountains and the lowest point is the Zambezi River from which country has taken its name. It has three major seasons and a tropical climate that varies by altitude.

Population

The current population of Zambia is more than 18 million and it ranks 65 in the list of countries by population with a birthrate of 41.1% /1,000 population. 

Religion

The official religion of Zambia is Christianity with the vast majority of 95% Zambians practice different denominations of Christianity. Other religions include Islam, Hinduism, Bahaí faith, Sikhism, and Judaism. 

Culture

Zambia has a massive collection of cultures, customs, and languages. There are more than 70 indigenous tribal groups in the country and the rest of the population includes Asians, Europeans, and other ethnicities. The old tribal customs are no more applicable in the urban areas. People like to be greeted before starting a conversation. Men withhold their hands while greeting a woman unless she offers a handshake. Gifts are considered as a gesture of honor and friendship and must be accepted with both hands. Music and dance are significant aspects of Zambian culture with different tribes have their own unique dance forms and styles. All the ceremonies are usually initiated with dance and the most commonly used music instrument is the drums. The traditional clothing style in Zambia varies from tribe to tribe. Women generally wear a blouse with loose dresses or long skirts while men prefer long trousers with loose-fitting shirts. 

Languages

Zambia has more than 72 languages and dialects. There are numerous regional and indigenous languages all related to the Bantu family. English is the official language used in business and education. There are 7 major languages that are widely spoken with English in primary schooling and some government publications include Bemba, Nyanja, Kaonde, Luvale, Lunda, Tonga, and Lozi.

Currency

The currency of Zambia is Zambian kwacha (ZK) which is divided into 100 ngwee. Zambian currency doesn’t use coins and banknotes come in the denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000,10,000,20,000 and 50,000 kwachas. 

Zambian Kwacha

Food Scene

Eating is deep-rooted in the Zambian culture and Zambian cuisine is mostly centered around nshima, a traditional staple made from white maize and is eaten during lunch and dinner. Zambian cuisine also includes a variety of stews, vegetable dishes, and different types of beer. The top traditional foods that you must eat while in Zambia are Chikanda, Ifisashi, Michopo, Vitumbuwa, and Kapenta. Famous delicacies of Zambia Ifinkubala, and Inswa, which are fried caterpillars and ants rich in protein and usually eaten as a snack. The Tonga people of Zambia eat insects as traditional food. Gizzards are also a famous delicacy in Zambia. 

Wildlife

Zambia has an impressive diversity of wild animals which makes it an excellent destination to discover Africa’s wilderness at its most primal. You can have some of the most authentic safari experiences than another country in Africa. You can see many high-profile animals such as leopard, cheetah, wild dog, black rhino, and white rhino. The most abundant animals are elephant, zebra, lion, hyena, hippo, and buffalo. Zambia is famous for having many endemic sub-species like Crawshay’s zebra, Thornicroft’s giraffe, black lechwe, and Cookson’s wildebeest. Moreover, there are over 750 bird species can be found here including hooded vulture, little bee-eater, Bohm’s bee-eater, Verreaux’s eagle owl, etc. 

Also see Animals of Zambia

Politics

Zambia attained independence in 1984 and became a democratic republic whereby the president has authority as both head of the state and head of the government. It has a multi-party system and the Patriotic Front is the ruling party. The executive power is exercised by the government and parliament while legislative power is consigned in both government and parliament. The current president is Edgar Lungu serving since 2015. 

Tourism

Zambia is blessed with an abundance of wild-life, fascinating natural wonders, and huge water bodies that will give you a truly unforgettable experience. It is regarded as one of the safest countries for tourists with welcoming people by Economic Forum. Zambia has plenty of natural water resources than any other African country and you’ll find some of the most spectacular waterfalls including majestic Victoria Falls, Lumangwe falls, Sioma Falls, Kalambo Falls, Chavuma Falls, and Ntumbachu Falls.

Immerse yourself in the bustling town and cities teeming with history, life, and light. You can visit vast lakes that seem to touch the stars and engage with a plethora of different cultures, and ethnic groups which makes up the intricately woven fabric of this remarkable country. 

More about Zambia on Local-Africa.com

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