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Republic of Zambia
Motto"One Zambia, One Nation"
AnthemStand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free
Capital
(and largest city)
Lusaka
15°25′S 28°17′E / 15.417°S 28.283°E / -15.417; 28.283
Official language(s) English
Recognised regional languages Nyanja, Bemba, Lunda, Tonga, Lozi, Luvale, Kaonde.
Demonym Zambian
Government Republic
 -  President Rupiah Banda
 -  Vice President George Kunda
Independence from the United Kingdom 
 -  Date 24 October 1964 
Area
 -  Total 752,618 km2 [1](39th)
290,587 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1
Population
 -  2009 estimate 12,935,000[2] (71st)
 -  2000 census 9,885,591[3] 
 -  Density 17.2/km2 (191st)
44.5/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $17.409 billion[4] 
 -  Per capita $1,482[4] 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $14.654 billion[4] 
 -  Per capita $1,247[4] 
Gini (2002–03) 42.1 (medium
HDI (2007) 0.434 (low) (165th)
Currency Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Time zone CAT (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+2)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .zm
Calling code 260

The Republic of Zambia (pronounced /ˈzæmbiə/) is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. It is the first and still the only country in Africa that manufactures mobile phones. The population is concentrated mainly around the capital Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt to the northwest.

Zambia has been inhabited for thousands of years by hunter-gatherers and migrating tribes. After sporadic visits by European explorers starting in the 18th century, Zambia was gradually claimed and occupied by the British as protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century.

On 24 October 1964, the protectorate gained independence with the new name of Zambia, derived from the Zambezi river which flows through the country. Zambia was governed the single-party rule of President Kenneth Kaunda whose 27 years of socialist policies are said to have hurt the economy.[5] Kaunda acceded to opposition demands for multiparty elections, and in 1991 peacefully relinquished power. Zambia has been a multiparty democracy since 1991. Today the country still faces steep challenges from poverty and AIDS. An estimated 10% of adults are HIV positive. The per capita income is US $1150 (World Bank, 2008). About 55 % of the population are reportedly living on $2 per day.[6]

Contents

History

The area of modern Zambia was inhabited by Khoisan hunter-gatherers until around AD 300, when technologically advanced migrating tribes began to displace or absorb them.[7] In the 12th century, major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Batonga) 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 LubaLunda kingdoms located 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. In the early 18th century, the Nsokolo people settled in the Mbala district of Northern province. During the 19th century, the Ngoni and Sotho peoples arrived from the south. By the late 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were established in the areas they currently occupy.

A statue of David Livingstone on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls

The earliest account of a European visiting the area was Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century, followed by other explorers in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through the "3 C's" (Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation). He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. Locally the falls are known "Mosi-oa-Tunya" or "(the) thundering smoke" (in the Lozi or Kololo dialect). The town of Livingstone, near the falls, is named after him. Highly publicised accounts of his journeys motivated a wave of explorers, missionaries and traders after his death in 1873.

In 1888, the British South Africa Company, (BSA Company) led by Cecil Rhodes, obtained mineral rights from the Litunga, the king of the Lozi for the area which later became North-Western Rhodesia.[8] To the east, King Mpezeni of the Ngoni resisted but was defeated in battle[9] and that part of the country came to be known as North-Eastern Rhodesia. The two were administered as separate units until 1911 when they were merged to form Northern Rhodesia. In 1923, the Company ceded control of Northern Rhodesia to the British Government after the government decided not to renew the Company's charter.

That same year, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which was also administered by the BSA Company, became self-governing. In 1924, after negotiations, administration of Northern Rhodesia transferred to the British Colonial Office. In 1953, the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland grouped together Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi) as a single semi-autonomous region. This was undertaken despite opposition from a sizeable minority of Africans, who demonstrated against it in 1960–61.[10] Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crisis characterizing the federation in its last years. Initially, Harry Nkumbula's African National Congress (ANC) led the campaign that Kenneth Kaunda's United National Independence Party (UNIP) subsequently took up.

A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. The federation was dissolved on 31 December 1963, and in January 1964, Kaunda won the first and only election for Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. The Colonial Governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, was very close to Kaunda and urged him to stand for the post. Soon afterwards there was an uprising in the north of the country known as the Lumpa Uprising led by Alice Lenshina – Kaunda's first internal conflict as leader of the nation.

Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964, with Kaunda as the first president.

At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise.[citation needed] There were 70,000 Europeans in Zambia in 1964, who were of great economic importance.[11] During the next decade, Kaunda's regime supported movements such as UNITA in Angola; the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa; and the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).[citation needed] Kaunda developed close relations with communist regimes in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. Kaunda developed a close friendship with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.[12]

Conflict with Rhodesia resulted in the closure of the border with that country in 1973 and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country's requirements for electricity (despite the fact that the control centre was on the Rhodesian side of the border). A railway to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railway lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola. Until the completion of the railway, however, Zambia's major artery for imports and the critical export of copper was along the TanZam Road, running from Zambia to the port cities in Tanzania. The Tazama oil pipeline was also built from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola in Zambia.

By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, however Zambia's problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies created an influx of refugees and caused continuing transportation problems. The Benguela railway, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia's strong support for the ANC (despite both the Zambian ANC and the SA ANC being banned within Zambia), which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided South African ANC military training camps in Zambia.

In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. In Zambia's situation, the cost of transporting the copper great distances to market was an additional strain. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief, but, as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.

In June 1990 riots against Kaunda accelerated. Many protesters were killed by the regime in breakthrough June 1990 protests. Kaunda faced one coup attempt in 1990. In 1991, Kaunda's dictatorship fell and was replaced by multiparty elections.

In the 2000s, the economy has stabilized, attaining single-digit inflation in 2006–2007, real GDP growth, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade. Much of its growth is due to foreign investment in Zambia's mining sector and higher copper prices on the world market.

Government

Liberation statue in front of a government building

Zambian politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Zambia is both head of state and head of government in a pluriform multi-party system. The government exercises executive power, while legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964.

Provinces

The provinces of Zambia

Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed deputy minister. Each province is subdivided into several districts with a grand total of 72 districts. The provinces are:

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Population of major cities

City Pop. 2000[13] Pop. 2010[13]
1. Lusaka 1,084,703 1,460,566
2. Ndola 374,757 495,004
3. Kitwe 363,734 547,700
4. Kabwe 176,758 215,015
5. Chingola 147,448 178,092
6. Mufulira 122,336 141,056
7. Luanshya 115,579 132 117
8. Livingstone 97,488 133,936
9. Kasama 74,243 111,588
10. Chipata 73,110 109,344

Education

Education in Zambia is provided at three levels: Basic education (years 1 to 9), and upper secondary (years 10 to 12). Some schools provide a "basic" education covering years 1 to 9, as year 9 is considered to be a decent level of education for the majority of children. However, tuition is only free up to year 7, and UNESCO estimated that 80% of children of primary school age in 2002 were enrolled.[14] Most children drop out after year 7 when fees must be paid.

Both government and private schools exist in Zambia. The private school system began largely as a result of Christian mission efforts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Educational opportunities beyond secondary school are limited in Zambia. After secondary school, most students study at the various colleges, around the country. There are three main universities: the University of Zambia (UNZA), Mulungushi University (MU) and the Copperbelt University (CBU). Normally they all select students on the basis of ability; competition for places is intense. The introduction of fees in the late 1990s has made university level education inaccessible for some, although the government does provide state bursaries. Copperbelt University opened in the late 1980s, taking over most of the former Zambia Institute of Technology site in Kitwe. Other centres of education include the Public Administration College (NIPA), the Northern Technical College (NORTEC), the National Resources Development College (NRDC), the Evelyn Hone College, and Northrise University. There are also several teacher training colleges offering two-year training programmes, whilst missionary hospitals around the country offer internationally acceptable training for nurses. Several Christian schools offer seminary-level training.

Geography

Map of Zambia
Victoria Falls is by some measures the largest waterfall in the world

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, with a tropical climate and consists mostly of high plateau, with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. At 752,614 km2 (290,586 sq mi) it is the 39th-largest country in the world (after Chile) and slightly larger than the US state of Texas. Zambia is drained by two major river basins: the Zambezi basin in the south covering about three-quarters of the country; and the Congo basin in the north covering about one-quarter of the country. A very small area in the north-east forms part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Rukwa in Tanzania.

In the Zambezi basin, there are a number of major rivers flowing wholly or partially through Zambia: the Kabompo, Lungwebungu, Kafue, Luangwa, and the Zambezi itself, which flows through the country in the west and then forms its southern border with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Its source is in Zambia but it diverts into Angola, and a number of its tributaries arise in Angola's central highlands. The edge of the Cuando River floodplain (not its main channel) forms Zambia's south-western border, and via the Chobe River that river contributes very little water to the Zambezi because most is lost by evaporation).[15]

Two of the Zambezi's longest and largest tributaries, the Kafue and the Luangwa, flow mainly in Zambia. Their confluences with the Zambezi are on the border with Zimbabwe at Chirundu and Luangwa town respectively. Before its confluence, the Luangwa River forms part of Zambia's border with Mozambique. From Luangwa town, the Zambezi leaves Zambia and flows into Mozambique, and eventually into the Mozambique Channel.

The Zambezi falls about 100 metres (328 ft) over the 1.6 km (0.99 mi) wide Victoria Falls, located in the south-west corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba. The Zambezi valley, running along the southern border, is both deep and wide. From Lake Kariba going east it is formed by grabens and like the Luangwa, Mweru-Luapula, Mweru-wa-Ntipa and Lake Tanganyika valleys, is a rift valley.

Landscape of Zambia.

The north of Zambia is very flat with broad plains. In the west the most notable being the Barotse Floodplain on the Zambezi, which floods from December to June, lagging behind the annual rainy season (typically November to April). The flood dominates the natural environment and the lives, society and culture of the inhabitants and those of other smaller, floodplains throughout the country. In Eastern Zambia the plateau which extends between the Zambezi and Lake Tanganyika valleys is tilted upwards to the north, and so rises imperceptibly from about 900 m (2,953 ft) in the south to 1,200 m (3,937 ft) in the centre, reaching 1,800 m (5,906 ft) in the north near Mbala. These plateau areas of northern Zambia have been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as a large section of the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion.

Eastern Zambia shows great diversity. The Luangwa Valley splits the plateau in a curve north east to south west, extended west into the heart of the plateau by the deep valley of the Lunsemfwa River. Hills and mountains are found by the side of some sections of the valley, notably in its north-east the Nyika Plateau (2,200 m/7,218 ft) on the Malawi border, which extend into Zambia as the Mafinga Hills, containing the country's highest point, Kongera (2,187 m/7,175 ft). The Muchinga Mountains, the watershed between the Zambezi and Congo drainage basins, run parallel to the deep valley of the Luangwa River and form a sharp backdrop to its northern edge, although they are almost everywhere below 1,700 m (5,577 ft). Their culminating peak Mumpu is at the western end and at 1,892 m (6,207 ft) is the highest point in Zambia away from the eastern border region. The border of the Congo Pedicle was drawn around this mountain.

The southernmost headstream of the Congo River rises in Zambia and flows through its north firstly as the Chambeshi and then, after the Bangweulu Swamps as the Luapula, which forms part of the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Luapula flows south then west before it turns north until it enters Lake Mweru. The lake's other major tributary is the Kalungwishi River, which flows into it from the east. The Luvua River drains Lake Mweru, flowing out of the northern end to the Lualaba River (Upper Congo River).

Lake Tanganyika is the other major hydrographic feature that belongs to the Congo basin. Its south-eastern end receives water from the Kalambo River, which forms part of Zambia's border with Tanzania. This river has Africa's second highest uninterrupted waterfall, the Kalambo Falls.

Climate

The climate of Zambia is tropical modified by elevation. In the Köppen climate classification, most of the country is classified as humid subtropical or tropical wet and dry, with small stretches of semi-arid steppe climate in the south-west and along the Zambezi valley.

There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May/June to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is subdivided into the cool dry season (May/June to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November). The modifying influence of altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather rather than tropical conditions during the cool season of May to August.[16] However, average monthly temperatures remain above 20°C over most of the country for eight or more months of the year.

Economy

The major Nkana open copper mine, Kitwe.

About 68% of Zambians live below the recognised national poverty line,[17] with rural poverty rates standing at about 78%[18] and urban rates of 53%.[19] Zambia ranked 117th out of 128 countries on the 2007 Global Competitiveness Index, which looks at factors that affect economic growth.[20] Per capita annual incomes are currently at about one-half their levels at independence and, at $395, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 40.9 years) and maternal mortality (830 per 100,000 pregnancies)[1]. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS related issues place on the economy.

During the decades of Kaunda's socialist policies, Zambia fell into poverty, especially after international copper prices declined in the 1970s. The socialist regime made up for falling revenue with several abortive attempts at International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). After the dictatorship ended, successive governments have begun limited reforms. The economy stagnated until late 1990s. In 2007 Zambia recorded ninth consecutive year of economic growth. Inflation was 8.9%, down from 30% in 2000.[21]

Zambia is still dealing with economic reform issues such as the size of the public sector and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.[21] Economic regulations and red tape are extensive, and corruption is widespread. Zambia's total foreign debt exceeded $6 billion when the country qualified for Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) debt relief in 2000, contingent upon meeting certain performance criteria. Initially, Zambia hoped to reach the HIPC completion point, and benefit from substantial debt forgiveness, in late 2003. In January 2003, the Zambian government informed the IMF and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatisation of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities. Although agreements were reached on these issues, subsequent overspending on civil service wages delayed Zambia's final HIPC debt forgiveness from late 2003 to early 2005, at the earliest. In an effort to reach HIPC completion in 2004, the government drafted an austerity budget for 2004, freezing civil service salaries and increasing a number of taxes.[citation needed]

The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper mining industry. Output of copper had fallen, however, to a low of 228,000 metric tons in 1998, after a 30 year decline in output due to lack of investment, low copper prices, and uncertainty over privatisation. In 2002, following privatisation of the industry, copper production rebounded to 337,000 metric tons. Improvements in the world copper market have magnified the effect of this volume increase on revenues and foreign exchange earnings. Recently, firms like Vedanta Resources, a London-based miner acquired Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Vedanta transformed the company and continues investing in the Zambian economy. For example, it is undertaking the largest single investment in the country in early 2006.[citation needed]

The Zambian government is pursuing an economic diversification programme to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. This initiative seeks to exploit other components of Zambia's rich resource base by promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power. In 2003, exports of nonmetals increased by 25% and accounted for 38% of all export earnings, previously 35%. The Zambian government has recently been granting licenses to international resource companies to prospect for minerals such as nickel, tin, copper and uranium.[22] It is hoped that nickel will take over from copper as the country's top metallic export. In 2009, Zambia has been badly hit by the world economic crisis.[23]

Demographics

Mwata Kazembe XVII Paul Kanyembo Lutaba chief of the Lunda people in Zambia in 1961

Zambia is one of the most highly urbanised countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 44% of the population concentrated in a few urban areas along the major transport corridors, while rural areas are sparsely populated. Unemployment and underemployment in urban areas are serious problems, while most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers. The population comprises approximately 72 ethnic groups, most of which are Bantu-speaking. Almost 90% of Zambians belong to the nine main ethnolinguistic groups: the Nyanja-Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Tumbuka, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Nkoya and Lozi. In the rural areas, each ethnic group is concentrated in a particular geographic region of the country and many groups are very small and not as well known. However, all the ethnic groups can be found in significant numbers in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

Expatriates, mostly British or South African, as well as some white Zambian citizens, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are either employed in mines, financial and related activities or retired. There were 70,000 Europeans in Zambia in 1964, but many have since left the country.[11] Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians and Chinese. An estimated 80,000 Chinese are resident in Zambia.[24] In recent years, several hundred dispossessed white farmers have left Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zambian government, to take up farming in the Southern province.[25][26]

According to the World Refugee Survey 2008 published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Zambia has a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 113,200. The majority of refugees in the country came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (55,400 refugees from the DRC living in Zambia in 2007), Angola (40,800; see Angolans in Zambia) and Rwanda (4,000).[27] Beginning in May 2008, the number of Zimbabweans in Zambia also began to increase significantly; the influx consisted largely of Zimbabweans formerly living in South Africa who were fleeing xenophobic violence there.[28] Nearly 60,000 refugees live in camps in Zambia, while 50,000 are mixed in with the local populations. Refugees who wish to work in Zambia must apply for official permits which can cost up to $500 per year.[27]

Girl in a small village on the road between the town Kafue in the south and the capital city Lusaka – Zambia

Languages

The official language of Zambia is English, which is used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. The main local language, especially in Lusaka, is Nyanja. However, Bemba and Nyanja are spoken in the urban areas in addition to other indigenous languages which are commonly spoken in Zambia. These are: Ambo, Aushi, Bisa, Chikunda, Cishinga, Cokwe, Gova, Ila, Inamwanga, Iwa, Kabende, Kaonde, Kosa, Kunda, Kwandi, Kwandu, Kwangwa, Lala, Lamba, Lenje, Leya, Lima, Liyuwa, Lozi, Luano, Lucazi, Lumbu, Lunda, Lundwe, Lungu, Luunda, Luvale, Makoma, Mambwe, Mashasha, Mashi, Mbowe, Mbukushu, Mbumi, Mbunda, Mbwela, Mukulu, Mulonga, Ndembu, Ng'umbo, Nkoya, Nsenga, Nyengo, Nyiha, Sala, Seba, Senga, Shanjo, Shila, Simaa, Soli, Subiya, Swaka, Tabwa, Tambo, Toka, Tonga, Totela, Tumbuka, Twa, Unga, Wandya and Yombe. Estimates of the total number of languages spoken in Zambia add up to 72,[29] thirteen (13) dialects are counted as languages in their own right which brings this number to 85. The process of urbanisation has had a dramatic effect on some of the indigenous languages, including the assimilation of words from other indigenous languages and English. Urban dwellers sometimes differentiate between urban and rural dialects of the same language by prefixing the rural languages with 'deep'. Most will thus speak Bemba and Nyanja on the Copperbelt while Nyanja is dominantly spoken in Lusaka and Eastern Zambia. English is used in official communications and the chosen (husbands/wives) language at home if (as is now common) there is an intertribal family. As a member of the SADC, Portuguese was introduced in the nation as an instruction in its primary school system, especially that there is a strong Angolan population in the nation.[30] Languages like Kaonde, Lunda, Luvale, and Tonga come from other country explorers.

Religion

Zambia is officially a Christian nation, but a wide variety of religious traditions exist. Traditional religious thoughts blend easily with Christian beliefs in many of the country's syncretic churches. Christian denominations include: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, New Apostolic Church, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses and a variety of Evangelical denominations. These grew, adjusted and prospered from the original missionary settlements (Portuguese and Catholicism in the east from Mozambique) and Anglicanism (English and Scottish influences) from the south. Except for some technical positions (e.g. physicians), Western missionary roles have been assumed by native believers. After Frederick Chiluba (a Pentecostal Christian) became President in 1991, Pentecostal congregations expanded considerably around the country.[31]

Approximately 5% of the population are Muslims with most living in urban areas.[32] There is also a small Jewish community, composed mostly of Ashkenazis. Notable Jewish Zambians have included Simon Zukas, retired Minister, MP and a member of Forum for Democracy and Development and earlier on the MMD and United National Independence Party. Additionally, the economist Stanley Fischer, currently the governor of the Bank of Israel and formerly head of the IMF also was born and partially raised in Zambia's Jewish community. The Baha'i population of Zambia is over 160,000,[33] or 1.5% of the population. The William Mmutle Masetlha Foundation[34] run by the Baha'i community is particularly active in areas such as literacy and primary health care.

Health

HIV prevalence exceeds 10%. Public expenditure on health was at 3.4 of the GDP in 2004. expenditure on health was at 2.9 % in the same year. Health expenditure was at US$ 63 (PPP) in 2004. Infant mortality was at 102 per 1,000 in 2005.

Culture

Wire craft in Kitwe

The culture of Zambia is mainly indigenous Bantu culture mixed with European influences. Prior to the establishment of modern Zambia, the indigenous people lived in independent tribes, each with their own ways of life. One of the results of the colonial era was the growth of urbanization. Different ethnic groups started living together in towns and cities, influencing each other as well as adopting a lot of the European culture. The original cultures have largely survived in the rural areas. In the urban setting there is a continuous integration and evolution of these cultures to produce what is now called "Zambian culture".

Nshima (top right corner) with three relishes

Traditional culture is very visible through colourful annual Zambian traditional ceremonies. Some of the more prominent are: Kuomboka and Kathanga (Western Province), Mutomboko (Luapula Province), Ncwala (Eastern Province), Lwiindi and Shimunenga (Southern Province), Likumbi Lyamize (North Western), Chibwela Kumushi (Central Province), Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena (Northern Province).

Popular traditional arts are mainly in pottery, basketry (such as Tonga baskets), stools, fabrics, mats, wooden carvings, ivory carvings, wire craft and copper crafts.[citation needed] Most Zambian traditional music is based on drums (and other percussion instruments) with a lot of singing and dancing.[citation needed] In the urban areas foreign genres of music are popular, in particular Congolese rumba, African-American music and Jamaican reggae. Several psychedelic rock artists emerged in the 1970s to create a genre known as "Zamrock," including The Witch, The Peace, Amanaz & Chrissy Zebby Tembo, among others.[citation needed]

The Zambian staple diet is based on maize. It is normally eaten as a thick porridge, called Nshima (Nyanja Word), prepared from maize flour commonly known as mealie meal. This may be eaten with a variety of vegetables, beans, meat, fish or sour milk depending on geographical location/origin. Nshima is also prepared from cassava, a staple food in some parts of the country.

Sports

Zambia declared its independence on the day of the closing ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first country ever to have entered an Olympic games as one country, and left it as another.[citation needed]

Today, the most popular sport in Zambia is football (soccer) and the Zambia national football team has had its triumphant moments in football history. At the Seoul Olympics of 1988, the National Team defeated the Italian National team by a score of 4–0. Kalusha Bwalya, Zambia's most celebrated football player and one of Africa's greatest football talents had a hat trick in that match. However to this day, many pundits say the greatest team Zambia has ever assembled was the one that perished on 28 April 1993 in a plane crash at Libreville, Gabon. Despite this, in 1996, Zambia was ranked 15th on the official FIFA world football/soccer team rankings, the highest attained by any southern African team. Zambia also produced the first black African (Madalitso Muthiya) to play in the United States Golf Open, one of the four major golf tournaments. Rugby, boxing and cricket are also popular sports in Zambia. Notably, at one time in the early 2000s, the Australia and South Africa national rugby teams were captained by players born in the same Lusaka hospital, respectively George Gregan and Corné Krige. Zambia boasts having the highest rugby poles in the world, located at Luanshya Sports Complex in Luanshya.[citation needed] Rugby union in Zambia is a minor but growing sport. They are currently ranked 73rd by the IRB and have 3,650 registered plays and 3 formally organised clubs.[35] Zambia used to play cricket as part of Rhodesia. Zambia has also strangely provided a shinty international, Zambian-born Eddie Tembo representing Scotland in the compromise rules Shinty/Hurling game against Ireland in 2008.[36]

In 2011, Zambia was due to host the tenth All-Africa Games, for which three stadiums will be built in Lusaka, Ndola, and Livingstone.[37] The Lusaka stadium will have a capacity of 70,000 spectators while the other two stadiums will hold 50,000 people each. The government is encouraging the private sector to get involved in the construction of the sports facilities because of a shortage of public funds for the project. Zambia has since revoked its bid to host the 2011 All-Africa Games, citing a lack of funds. Instead, Mozambique will be hosting.

Zambia took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

International rankings

Organization Survey Ranking
Institute for Economics and Peace[38] Global Peace Index[39] 58 out of 144
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 164 out of 182
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 99 out of 180
forld Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 112 out of 133

See also

References

  1. ^ United Nations Statistics Division. "Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/DYB2004/Table03.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  2. ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009) (.PDF). World Population Prospects, Table A.1. 2008 revision. United Nations. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2008/wpp2008_text_tables.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  3. ^ Central Statistical Office, Government of Zambia. "Population size, growth and composition" (PDF). http://www.zamstats.gov.zm/media/chapter_3_population_comp._size_and_growth-_final.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Zambia". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=754&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=69&pr.y=11. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  5. ^ Robert Guest (2004). The Shackled Continent. ISBN 978-1588342140. 
  6. ^ UNDP: Human development indices - Table 3: Human and income poverty (Population living below national poverty line (2000-2007))
  7. ^ Holmes, Timothy (1998). Cultures of the World: Zambia. Tarrytown, New York: Times Books International. pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-7614-0694-8. 
  8. ^ Livingstone Tourism Association. "Destination:Zambia - History and Culture". http://www.livingstonetourism.com/pages/history.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  9. ^ Human Rights & Documentation Centre. "Zambia: Historical Background". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20070311093653/http://www.hrdc.unam.na/zm_history.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  10. ^ Pearson Education. "Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Federation of". http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0841738.html. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  11. ^ a b 1964: President Kaunda takes power in Zambia. BBC On This Day.
  12. ^ Kaunda and Southern Africa by Stephen Chan
  13. ^ a b http://world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&des=wg&geo=-246&srt=npan&col=abcdefghinoq&msz=1500&pt=c&va=&srt=pnan
  14. ^ Abby Riddell, UNESCO (2003). "The introduction of free primary education in sub-Saharan Africa". http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001469/146914e.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  15. ^ Richard Beilfuss & David dos Santos: Patterns of Hydrological Change in the Zambezi Delta, Mozambique. Working Paper No 2 Program for the Sustainable Management of Cahora Bassa Dam and The Lower Zambezi Valley (2001).
  16. ^ Camerapix: "Spectrum Guide to Zambia." Camerapix International Publishing, Nairobi, 1996.
  17. ^ Development Indicators Unit, Statistics Division, United Nations. "Population below national poverty line, total, percentage". http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=581&crid=894. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  18. ^ Development Indicators Unit, Statistics Division, United Nations. "Population below national poverty line, rural, percentage". http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=583&crid=894. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  19. ^ Development Indicators Unit, Statistics Division, United Nations. "Population below national poverty line, urban, percentage". http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=582&crid=894. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  20. ^ "Zambia Country Brochure". World Bank. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTZAMBIA/Resources/Zambia_Brochure_V_3.pdf. 
  21. ^ a b "Background Note: Zambia". Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2359.htm. 
  22. ^ Pennysharesonline.com, City Equities Limited (2006-07-14). "Albidon signs agreement with Zambian government". http://www.pennysharesonline.com/News/Articles/735922.asp. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  23. ^ Chinese keep low profile to cash in on the slump in Zambia. The Times. January 24, 2009.
  24. ^ Zambians wary of "exploitative" Chinese employers. Irinnews.org. November 23, 2006.
  25. ^ "Zim's Loss, Zam's gain: White Zimbabweans making good in Zambia", The Economist, June 2004, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5037/is_200406/ai_n18258193/, retrieved 2009-08-28 .
  26. ^ Thielke, Thilo (2004-12-27), "Settling in Zambia: Zimbabwe's Displaced Farmers Find a New Home", Der Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,334756,00.html, retrieved 2009-08-28 .
  27. ^ a b "World Refugee Survey 2008". U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. 2008-06-19. http://www.refugees.org/survey/. 
  28. ^ "Zambia: Rising levels of resentment towards Zimbabweans", IRIN News, 2008-06-09, http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=78648, retrieved 2009-08-28 .
  29. ^ "Zanglish". http://www.zanglish.com/. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  30. ^ Zambia to introduce Portuguese into school curriculum.
  31. ^ Matthew Steel (2005). Pentecostalism in Zambia : Power, Authority and the Overcomers. MSc Dissertation. University of Wales. 
  32. ^ Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (U.S. Department of State). "International Religious Freedom Report 2003". http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/23761.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  33. ^ Adherents.com. "The Largest Baha'i Communities". http://adherents.com/largecom/com_bahai.html. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  34. ^ DL Publicaciones. "About DLP". http://www.devlp.com/dla.html#masetlha. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  35. ^ IRB Zambia page. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  36. ^ Tembo's return is boost for Glen.
  37. ^ "Zambia to build three stadia for 2011 All-Africa Games". People's Daily Online. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200602/22/eng20060222_244775.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  38. ^ Institute for Economics & Peace. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  39. ^ "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/home.php. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 

Bibliography

  • James Ferguson, Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life in the Zambian Copperbelt. University of California Press 1999.

External links

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General
Community Websites/Entertainment
Media
Tourism

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

noframe
Location
noframe
Flag
Image:Za-flag.png
Quick Facts
Capital Lusaka
Government Republic
Currency Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Area total: 752,614 km2
water: 11,890 km2
land: 740,724 km2
Population 9,959,037
Language English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
Religion Christian (50%-75%), Muslim and Hindu (24%-49%), indigenous beliefs (1%)
Calling Code +260

Zambia [1] is in Central Africa. Roughly the size of Texas or France, Zambia is a landlocked country, bordered by Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, a narrow strip of Namibia known as the Caprivi Strip to the southwest, Angola to the west, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northwest.

  • Lusaka — the capital and largest city
  • Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola, Mufulira — large Copperbelt towns north of Lusaka
  • Kabwe — large town midway between Lusaka and Ndola
  • Livingstone — gateway to the Victoria Falls
  • Chipata — provincial town along the way to Malawi and South Luangwa
  • Lundazi — small town north of Chipata
  • Mongu — provincial centre of Western province Zambia
  • Kaoma — small town and proposed provincial capital of Kafue province, Zambia.
  • Mansa — provincial centre of Luapula province Zambia
  • Solwezi — fast growing provincial centre of Northwestern province Zambia
  • Mpika — fast growing town of Northern province Zambia.
Map of Zambia
Map of Zambia

See also: African National Parks

Understand

Zambia offers travelers some of the world's best safari opportunities, a glimpse into "real Africa," and Victoria Falls, one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History

The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices, one party democracy and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with at least two parties filing legal petitions challenging the results. Opposition parties currently hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.

Typical Zambian village
Typical Zambian village

Much of Zambia remains desperately poor, with GDP per capita on the order of US$600/year, and the bulk of Zambia's population lives on subsistence agriculture. The economy continues to revolve around copper, but after decades of mismanagement the industry is now doing better thanks to higher commodity prices and investments made after privatization. Another recent success story has been tourism, with the misfortunes of its neighbor Zimbabwe driving tourists to the northern side of the Victoria Falls and Zambia's safaris, but the fast growth has come from a low base.

People

As can be seen even from the bizarre squashed-peanut shape of the country, Zambia is one of the stranger legacies of colonialism, agglomerating a large number of different tribes (73, according to the official count) and languages (20, plus dialects). Fortunately, with a long history of coexistence, significant migration around the country and similar Bantu-family languages, they all seem to get along pretty well and Zambia has been spared the violent intertribal strife that has decimated countries like Rwanda.

The Bemba are the largest group in Zambia, but they still form only about 20% of the population. The Bemba came from the Congo in the 16th century, and while their homelands are in the north and center of the country, many have immigrated to Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

The Chewa, Ngoni and Nsenga tribes, all found in the east of the country, share the Nyanja language and form Zambia's second largest grouping with about 15%.

The Tonga, Ila and Lenje, known together as the Bantu Botatwe (Three Peoples), are a close runner-up with 15% of the population, concentrated in the west of the country in the Zambezi Valley and the plateaus to the north.

The Lozi in the far west (6%) are known for their craftwork, particularly basketry, and for a low-key (non-violent) secessionist movement calling for an independendent Barotseland.

Other tribes in Zambia's patchwork include the Lala and Bisa (5%), the Kaonde (3%), the Mambwe and Lungu (3%), the Lunda (3%), the Lamba (2.5%) and the Luvale (2%), and 57 more. Despair not: the differences are not crucial for travelers, and locals will be happy to explain their traditions when needed, notably at festivals.

White Africans of English or Afrikaner descent(1.2%) are also visible, particularly in the more upscale areas of the major cities.

Festivals

A highlight of any trip to Zambia is a visit to any of the many traditional festivals held throughout the country. Planning ahead can be tough though, as schedules are variable and not all are held yearly. Also, if you do manage to attend, bring along tolerance for heat, dust and crowds (increasingly drunk as the evening wears on) and patience for endless speeches by local functionaries like the Assistent Vice-Secretary for Fertilizer Co-operatives in Rutungu Sub-Province. On the plus side, any foreigners attending can usually sneak into the VIP stands, although you may get hassled for photo permits.

  • Kazanga, Kaoma [Central Western Zambia] (June - August). The Kazanga ceremony is considered Zambia's oldest traditional ceremony having been celebrated by the Nkoya people for over 500 years. The ceremony celebrates and maintains Nkoya traditions of music, dance and many other ancient practices.
  • Kuomboka, Lealui/Limulunga (Western Province, around Easter (March-April). The most famous of Zambia's festivals, this is the ceremonial migration of the Lozi king (litunga) from his dry season abode at Lealui to his wet season palace at Limulunga. Wearing an elaborate Victorian ambassador's costume, the litunga is taken by a flotilla of barges down the river, with musical accompaniment and, of course, much feasting at the destination.
  • Ncwala, near Chipata, 24 February. A Ngoni festival to celebrate the first fruit of the season, where the Ngoni chief ceremonially tastes the fruit of the land, then spears a bull and drinks its blood.
  • Kulamba, near Chipata, August. A Chewa thanksgiving festival known for its Nyau secret society dancers.
  • Likumbi Lya Mize (August)

This is a popular August festival(The Day of Mize). This ceremony takes place at Mize, the official palace of Senior Chief Ndungu, about seven kilometres west of Zambez Boma. People of the Luvale tribe gather to celebrate their cultural heritage , bringing displays of all types of handicrafts and spicing the event with traditional singing and dancing while the chief holds court. Mize is the official palace of Senior Chief Ndungu. The Makishi dancers recreate famous events from Luvale mythology, and local artists display their work.

  • Livingstone Cultural & Arts Festival This was first held in 1994, this festival bring the traditional rulers from all the provinces of Zambia and visitors are also allowed with the knowledge of their culture in their tribe. This festival capture musicians, artist, poets, and dramatist.
  • Shimunenga is a ceremony to show devotion to ancestors. The ceremony takes place on a full moon on weekends in September and October. The Ba-lla tribe celebrate this ceremony at Malla on the Kafue Flats.
  • Umutomboko ceremony of the Lunda people in Luapula Province is held at Mwansabombwe to depict the coming to Zambia by the Lunda and Luba people from Kola in now Congo DR.The ceremony is held in July and is graced by Mwata Kazembe who performs a dance to commemorate the occasion.

Climate

If you look at a map, Zambia appears to be squarely in the tropics, but thanks to its landlocked and elevated position it does have distinct seasons that run as follows:

  • Dry season — May to August. The coolest time of the year, with temperatures 24-28°C during the day, can drop as low as 7°C at night. Probably the best time of year to visit Zambia: come early in the dry season for birdwatching or to see Vic Falls at their biggest, or later when the bush has dried up for good game-spotting on safari.
  • Hot season — September to November. Temperatures rocket up to a scorching 38-42°C and clouds of swirling dust make driving on dirt roads an asthmatic's nightmare. If you can take the heat, though, it's a good time for safaris as wildlife clusters around the few remaining watering holes.
  • Wet season — December to April. Temperatures cool down to 32°C or so and, true to the name, there is a lot of rain — sometimes just an hour or two, sometimes for days on end. Unsealed roads become impassable muddy nightmares, and many safari lodges close.

All temperatures above are given for the lowland valleys that house most of Zambia's population and national parks. If you're heading up to the plateaus, temperatures will be around 5°C lower.

Elephants crossing the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park
Elephants crossing the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park

Visas

Zambian visa policy is best summarized as confusing: there is a bewildering thicket of rules on who needs visas, whether they can get them on arrival and how much they pay, and local border posts also apply their own interpretations. Due to recent political turbulence in Zimbabwe, Zambia has been cashing in on its unexpected boon in the tourism industry, with visa fees hiked and the previous visa waiver program canceled: you're now expected to pay in cash on arrival at the immigration kiosks.

The upside is that once they've figured out what category you're in, actually obtaining the visa is rarely a problem and a rule of thumb is that most Western visitors could get visas on arrival. Visa-free entry is possible for some nationalities including Ireland, Zimbabwe and South Africa. See the immigration department's web-site [2] for the full list of visa-exempt nationalities. Current visa prices are US$50 for a single-entry and US$80 for a multiple-entry visa for all nationalities and is valid for 3 months; US passport holders can only apply for a multiple-entry visa, but it is then valid for 3 years.

  • A day entry visa is available to all nationalities at US$10, valid 24 hours
  • Transit visas carry the same cost as a single entry visa, valid 7 days

Do check with the nearest Zambian embassy for the latest information; the Zambian Embassy to the US has some information on their homepage [3], and getting the visa before arrival will reduce the uncertainty factor.

By plane

Zambia's main international gateway is Lusaka, which has direct flights to London on British Airways and good regional connections. For access to the eastern parts of the country (eg. Chipata), it will be faster to fly into Lilongwe in neighboring Malawi, and cross the border (which is quite straightforward by African standards). Also, Livingstone, near spectacular Victoria Falls, and Mfuwe, near South Luangwa National Park, have small international airports serving regional destinations.

By train

TAZARA [4] trains run between Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. According to the schedule the trip takes 38 hours, but these trains break down regularly. If you are on a tight schedule, a train might not be your best option. On the other hand, a train ride between Dar es Salaam and Zambia is a beautiful way to see the countryside at a reasonable price (about $55 for a first class sleeper and $40 for second).

Several important things to note about this trip, however:

  • Bring water.
  • Immigration officials stamp passports as soon as the train crosses the border — probably in the middle of the night. Naturally, this is also when thieves work. If you are riding in a first- or second-class cabin, be very careful when opening your door.
  • If you miss the immigration official, they will either: turn you around and send you back to the border; or, arrange for a stamp, pending payment of a "special tax."
  • Immediately upon crossing the border, the crew no longer accepts the currency of the country you just exited. In other words, if you are traveling from Lusaka to Dar es Salaam, the moment you cross the border, your Kwacha is no longer legal tender; you must use Shillings. It is, therefore, a good idea to exchange money before the journey — blackmarketeers along the railroad offer poor exchange rates.
  • Do not leave valuables near windows, especially at stops.
  • Normally train has restaurant car in middle of the train and in the end or train saloon car with a bar. However, some stage of the journey resaurant and bar may run out of stock.
  • reservations are not always honoured; someone may be sleeping on your bed already if you came onboard on middle of the journey.
  • First class cabins women and men can be staying in same compartment but in 2nd class they are female and male only.
  • Tazara (Tanzania Zambia railways) has been build by Chinese people in 1970'. Wagons are brought from China, therefore they are high standard, only taking care of the system is failing.
  • The last stop in Zambia is in middle of nowhere, small town Kapiri Mposhi. Plenty of minibuses are eager to carry you to Lusaka, 2-3 hours. First reasonably town to Lusaka direction from Kapiri is Kabwe (it is rated among 5 most poluted place on earth due to mining!)

Via Zimbabwe/Victoria Falls: trains in Zimbabwe run from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. You can take a taxi or hike 13 km across the border at the Victoria Falls Bridge to Livingstone station in Zambia and catch a Zambia Railways train to Lusaka and the Copperbelt connecting with the Tazara railway in Kapiri Mposhi.

By car

Vehicles drive on the left side of the road in Zambia.

There are many ways to get into Zambia by car, but the most popular include:

Crossing international borders by car will incur a tax.

By bus

International bus routes exist. You can take a bus across the border into Malawi, Zimbabwe, or Tanzania. Immigration might be painstaking, considering the large number of people requiring simultaneous processing .

By boat

Zambia is landlocked but borders on Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika, and there are regular international ferry services across the lake a few times a week. The ship, M/S Liemba was built in Germany in 1914, cut in pieces, shiped to Tanzania, carried by train to Kigoma (Tanzania)and reassembled there again. It is a ship of Titanic era, sunk twice, charming ship with reasonable services. This trip should be taken if you are not short of time. Also, if you enter Zambia through Namibia's Caprivi Strip, you will have to cross the Zambezi River. You will have 2 options:

  1. You may ride on a ferry (for a dollar); or,
  2. You may hire a local boy with a dugout canoe to carry you across (for 50 cents).

Get around

Zambia is large and distances long, so budget plenty of time for getting around.

By plane

Domestic flights on Zambian Airways [5] — formerly Roan Air, and unrelated to now bankrupt state operator Zambia Airways — and tourist-geared Airwaves [6] connect Zambia's major cities and tourist destinations. While undoubtedly the fastest and most comfortable way of getting around, they are quite expensive with an hourlong flight (say, Lusaka-Mfuwe) typically costing around US$150 one-way. Also note that planes are small and schedules sparse, but if you can rustle up enough people you can also charter planes for not much more.

A minibus ready to battle traffic
A minibus ready to battle traffic

Minibuses — meaning vans outfitted with seats — are popular, but they are often irregular, dangerous, and uncomfortable. To maximize profits, a "conductor" will squeeze as many paying customers — and their luggage, or katundu (ka-TOON-doo) — into the bus as possible; whether or not the customers are comfortable is irrelevant. In terms of meeting locals, however, this method is among the best, and it can provide a traveler with a truly "authentic" experience. Payment is made during the journey — banknotes are passed down the bus to the conductor at the front, and change comes back via the same route.

By bus

Larger, more sophisticated "luxury coaches" exist, too. These tend to be more reliable and safer; they depart on-time; they have dedicated space for guests and luggage; and tickets may be purchased in advance. Luxury coaches are much more comfortable and are virtually guaranteed to arrive, but they might seem "generic" to a seasoned traveler.

By car

Vehicles drive on the left side of the road in Zambia — at least most of the time.

Car rental agencies exist in Zambia, but the costs are potentially great. Not only are rental rates high ($100/day), but some of the main roads in Zambia are in very poor condition. Potholes often take up the entire road, and during the rainy season, large sections of the roads wash away. As you move away from city centers, you will probably encounter dirt roads. Although they might look solid, the dirt is often loose, and the chances of an accident are huge if you do not keep to a reasonable speed. Although you are not likely to get lost driving in Zambia (there are only a few roads), you are likely to underestimate the destructive power of these roads and damage a rental vehicle, or worse, yourself! 4WD vehicles are recommended at any time and necessary on dirt roads in the rainy season, although some roads will become completely impassable then.

Remember: there are no Roadside Assistance Packages, and very few ambulances, tow-trucks, or emergency vehicles of any kind in Zambia. Given the circumstances, bush mechanics can do an amazingly good job of patching up your vehicle, but patching up humans isn't so easy!

By train

You can catch TAZARA line trains between New Kapiri Mposhi and Nakonde in the north-east (Tanzania border). The separate Zambia Railways line Livingstone and Kitwe via Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi (2 km from the TAZARA station). They are relatively reliable and safe, but slow.

By thumb

Hitchhiking in Zambia is popular, although it can be extremely hit-or-miss as traffic density is low. Also note that, if picked up by a local, you will be expected to pay for the ride. Nevertheless, hitchhiking does not carry with it the same stigma in Zambia as it does in the States; you are unlikely to be harmed, and you might make a great connection.

In Zambia, travelers do not "thumb" a ride. The proper method for flagging transportation is:

  1. Pile your luggage near the road.
  2. Sit in the shade.
  3. When you see/hear a vehicle, jump up.
  4. Rush to your luggage.
  5. From your shoulder, wave your entire arm up and down, palm open and facing the ground, as though you are fanning someone in front of you.
  6. Hope the vehicle stops.

Talk

Thanks to its former colonial status, English is one of Zambia's eight official languages and the language most often spoken in schools, on the radio, in government offices, etc. However, there are over 70 different Bantu languages spoken throughout the country, the most important of which are Bemba, spoken in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and the north, and Nyanja (Chewa), spoken in the east as well as in Lusaka and Livingstone.

Many urban Zambians will speak at least passable English. As you move into the rural areas, though, expect communication to become more difficult. Nevertheless, do not be surprised to find a rural Zambian who speaks flawless English.

The most important thing to remember when speaking to Zambians is to greet them. When you first approach a Zambian, always begin by asking, "How are you?" ("Muli Bwanji?" is the most recognized form, or "Muli Shani?") even if you do not care. They will consider you very respectful.

Afrikaans usage is on a slow but steady rise, mainly because of immigration from South Africa and the ease of learning the language.

Buy

Originally, the Kwacha — meaning "sunrise," so-named to celebrate Zambia's independence — was tied to the US dollar, so conversion was simple. However, in the late-90's, the kwacha was floated and devalued rapidly. Since mid 2005 the Kwacha re-appreciated very strong, due to the international debt-relief and the boost of the copper prices, now the Kwacha is hovering around $1 = 5100ZMK, 1€ = 6600ZMK Dollars are still commonly used for larger purchases (although it's illegal) and will be accepted by anybody in a pinch.

NOTE: If you bring US$, in Zambia only the "big heads" (new notes) are accepted in banks and bureau's de change, small heads are not accepted (if you are lucky you can change them in Livingstone). 50 US$ and 100 US$ notes are the best to bring, for smaller nominations you will get a poorer rate at the bureau's (5-10% less). Changing EURO's is a difficult thing to do especially up country, bureau's are giving a very poor rate (25% less then the market rate!). International banks will accept, but with commission charge. Finance Bank, Arcades shopping Centre Lusaka, is known to accept Euro's at a good rate and without commission charge. Bureau's and Banks will only change a maximum of 1000 US$ (or equivalent) per person per day! Watch the rates as they can change overnight, fluctuations of 3-5% per day are common.

If you want to sound like a local, refer to 1000 kwacha as a pin, so for example 10,000K is "ten pin". In the '90's, the kwacha devalued so rapidly that the government didn't have time to produce new, larger bank notes. To pay for things, Zambians often had to bundle — or "pin" together — large numbers of small bills. Notes are now available in denominations of up to 50,000K, but hang on to small change if you can because there are occasional shortages.

ATMs may be found in major cities, but you should not depend on them to be functional. Most of the ATM's accept only VISA. Other international credit cards (like MASTERCARD and AMEX) are generally a problem. Maestro is definately a problem in Zambia and very few ATM's accept Maestro. Some shops and restaurants might accept debit or credit cards, as do practically all high-end hotels and safari lodges, but surcharges of 5-10% are common.

Although using forms of payment other than cash is growing in popularity, you should not depend on credit to get around the country. Traveler's cheques are almost impossible to process in Zambia, most chance you will have in the Lusaka international banks (Stanbic, Standard Chartered), but even then you will get a very poor rate, a high commission charge and it will take you a couple of hours, if you are lucky. If you prefer to take the risk and use Traveller's cheques, the only ones who will be accepted (if you are lucky) are the ones from American Express (Thomas Cook's are currently not accepted!).

Most shopkeepers advertise fixed prices and are unwilling to negotiate, but this is not a given. On the other hand, most "freelance" salesmen — vendors selling curios; taxi drivers; etc. — who do not post their prices are usually willing to negotiate. As a (very) general rule of thumb, assume the first price they mention is at least double the amount they will accept. You should not be afraid to barter — after all, Zambians bargain among themselves — but try not to get carried away with saving a few pennies.

Tipping is not required — indeed, it was at one point illegal — but often expected. Porters expect US$0.50 or so per bag, and better restaurants typically add in a 10% service charge or expect an equivalent tip.

Finally, keep in mind the Zambian custom of mbasela (em-buh-SAY-la) — giving a freebie when more than one item is purchased. If you buy a few small items, do not be shy about asking for your mbasela.

Costs

Zambia is considerably expensive compared to its neighbors. A bare-bones budget traveler will be looking at a minimum of US$40/day just for a bed and three meals, and transport is (again, comparatively) expensive, in part due to the great distances involved. Foreign currencies just don't go as far as in other developing countries, and often prices in Zambia are the same as what one would be paying in America. At the other end of the spectrum, all-inclusive safari lodges or Lusaka/Livingstone's five-star hotels will take care of all your needs but charge US$200/day and up for the privilege. Finding a middle ground between these two extremes can be difficult but there are safari operators who will offer 'DIY' camping for around US$5 to $95 and above - it pays to look around (see below).

Zambian safaris are amongst the best available in Africa; they offer top quality viewing experiences with the continent's top guides. Zambia's national parks are not 'commercialised' as in other countries (e.g. Kenya and South Africa) and one will not see the ridiculous zebra striped game viewing buses, Land Cruisers etc.

Nsima with three relishes: rape and peanut (top left), cabbage (bottom left) and kapenta (bottom right)
Nsima with three relishes: rape and peanut (top left), cabbage (bottom left) and kapenta (bottom right)

Traditional Zambian food revolves around one staple, maize, served in one form, nsima (n'SHEE-ma). Nsima is basically a type of thick porridge, rolled into balls with your right hand and dipped into a variety of stews known as relishes (ndiwo, umunani). Those who can afford them eat relishes of beef, chicken or fish, but the many who can't make do with beans, tiny dried fish (kapenta), peanuts, pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa) and other vegetables such as okra (ndelele), cabbage and rape. At breakfast, nsima can be served watered down into a soup, maybe with a little sugar. Local restaurants will serve nsima and relish for less than 5000K ($1).

Western food has also made major inroads, particularly in major cities, and in Lusaka or Livingstone you can find almost any food you like. Fast food — including burgers, pizza, and fried chicken — is very popular in Zambia. Bakeries making cheap fresh bread are a common sight in towns, and rice from Chama provides an alternative staple if all the maize starts to get to you.

For sit-down meals, ethnic eateries (thanks to a significant ex-pat population) are popular. In Lusaka, especially noteworthy is the Sunday brunch at The Intercontinental; and if you like Indian food, be sure to hit The Dil. Of course, game parks often cater to wealthy — usually foreign — visitors; therefore, high-quality Western meals can be found easily. Along the major roadways, you will find "tuck shops" featuring packaged cookies or take-away meals — meat pies or sausage rolls, for instance — which may or may not satisfy you.

Finally, in terms of hygiene outside the major cities, you are unlikely to find a proper washroom with running water. You will probably be given a bowl of water, a piece of soap, and a (damp) towel. Therefore, some travelers bring small bottles of anti-bacterial hand soap with them.

Drink

Tap water in Zambia is generally not drinkable, at least unless boiled. Bottled water is widely available in cities, but not necessarily in rural areas.

Soft drinks

A traditional local drink worth trying is maheu, a somewhat gritty and vaguely yogurty but refreshing beverage made from maize meal. Factory-produced maheu is sweet, comes in plastic bottles and is available in a variety of flavors including banana, chocolate and orange, while homemade versions are usually unflavored and less sweet.

Coke products are accessible and cheap at less than a quarter a bottle, but beware of the deposit system: in rural areas, you may have to return an empty bottle before they'll sell you a new one!

Beer

Zambia's best-known brew is Mosi, a clear 4% lager available everywhere. Eagle has more taste and more kick at 5.5%, while Zambezi Lager is a microbrew worth sampling if you run into it. The South African brand Castle is also bottled locally, and all of the above run around $1 in a store or $1-2 in a bar.

If you are near the borders, you are likely to find Carlsberg (good, from Malawi), Simba (excellent, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kilimanjaro (nice lager, from Tanzania), and Tusker (strong, from Kenya). Other imports can be found in larger markets but will also cost more.

Distilling kachasu
Distilling kachasu

The locals' drink of choice is masese (muh-SE-say) or ucwala (uch-WALA), also known as Chibuku after the biggest brand, made from maize, millet, or cassava and resembling sour porridge in texture and taste. If you want to try this, it's best to look out for the factory-made kind in milk-carton-like containers.

In rural areas, there are opportunities to drink local "homebrews." A wide variety of homebrews exist in Zambia, from beers made from honey (in the Southern province of the country), to wine made from tea leaves (in the Eastern portion of the country).

Finally, there is kachasu (cuh-CHA-suh) a spirit distilled from anything Zambians can get their hands on — including battery acid and fertilizer. For obvious reasons, therefore, it is better to avoid this moonshine.

On a final note, most men at bars are relaxing, while many women at bars are working. Therefore, if you are a single woman in a Zambian bar, be aware that you might be approached and offered the opportunity to do something you did not intend to do.

Sleep

Accommodation in Zambia runs the gamut. In Zambia, you can sleep in an top-notch hotel for a few hundred dollars (such as The Intercontinental); you can stay in an independent hotel (like the The Ndeke), for about $50; or you can opt for a budget experience, and spend about: $8(camping) or $15(dorm bed) $30(double room) (at ChaChaCha Backpackers or Ku-omboka Backpackers) for a highly adequate space. These are only a few of the options. Of course, choosing accommodation off the beaten path might be more exciting but unsafe.

Outside the big cities or tourist areas, however, you might be hard-pressed to find quality accommodation. If your tastes run to the elegant — or even if you demand constant electricity — you might want to reconsider venturing too deep into the bush. However, if you seek an enjoyable, memorable, and authentic night at a local hotel, you might be pleasantly surprised (e.g., Lundazi's Castle Hotel is like no other in the world).

Learn

The University of Zambia is the official university. However, it is not affordable for most Zambians. There are also Technical Schools throughout Zambia, and Teacher's Training Colleges are found in each Provincial Capital, providing two year's coursework for about $300.

Northrise University is located in Ndola. As a private university, it focuses on business, information technology and theological study.

For tourists, the biggest educational experiences would likely be:

  • Visit a game park and learn as much as possible about the area's animals from the guides. Guides can be an incredible source of information. Remember to tip them.
  • Arrange for an overnight stay in a "Traditional African Village". Of course, because the locals have prepared for you, it is no longer 100% authentic, but you will get an idea of the hardships Zambians face.

Work

Unemployment in Zambia was 16% in 2005 according to the Zambian Central Statistical Office. The agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries employ over 70% of Zambian workers. The legal minimum wage for nonunionized workers equates to around $16.50 (83,200 kwacha) per month. Most minimum wage earners supplement this through subsistence farming. In practice, almost all unionized workers received salaries considerably higher than the nonunionized minimum wage.

As for tourists, temporary work is likely to be difficult to secure. Although there is a substantial expat community in Zambia, most of these individuals are contracted by international agencies; by and large, they did not come to Zambia and then find work. Persistence and connections might pay off, but outside of the few hostels or Western-oriented bars, a tourist should not expect to find ready employment.

Stay safe

Women should avoid going to bars alone. Furthermore, men should avoid purchasing drinks for Zambian women they meet casually in bars; this is an invitation to spend the night.

As the Kwacha has been declining, it often takes fistfulls of cash to purchase items. Be careful about flashing money.

While it's possible to get a good exchange rate from an individual money-changer on the street (although you really should use banks if you can), you should avoid changing money with groups of men. They are likely running a scam.

Generally, Zambians are friendly people. However — as with any location — be careful about walking at night, especially if you've been drinking. There are few streetlights, and many of the locals are very poor.

Carjacking is also a potential risk while driving after dark.

Many places of accommodation, such as Pioneer Camp outside Lusaka, now sport electric fences and gates for added security.

Stay healthy

Drinking tap water in the cities is potentially risky, unless either (a) you have a strong stomach, or (b) you are at a restaurant or hotel that caters to foreigners. If neither of these conditions apply to you, you should probably stick with the bottled stuff.

The HIV infection rate among adults was estimated to be 16.5% in 2003. Do not have unprotected sex.

Zambia is a highly malarial country. Especially at dusk, you should make every effort to cover exposed skin with clothing or insect repellent. In addition, using malarial prophylaxis in highly recommended.

In practice, yellow fever is not a problem in Zambia anymore, except perhaps in the extreme west along the Congolese borders. However, many countries will insist on a yellow fever vaccination certificate if they find out you've been to Zambia, so it's best to get a jab.

Respect

Zambians follow a strict patriarchal society — men are afforded more respect than women, and older men are respected more than younger men. However you might find that a white person, of any gender or age, is granted the most respect of all. A holdover from colonial times, this might make a traveler uncomfortable, but this is largely a Zambian's way of being courteous. Accept their hospitality.

Zambians are a curious people. To a Western mindset, this might be interpreted as unnecessarily staring at you or talking about you in front of you. Be prepared to be greeted by kids yelling mazungu, mazungu! (literally, white man) and answer lots of questions about yourself.

Zambians love to shake hands, and you should oblige them. However, Zambians often like to hold hands for the duration of a conversation. This should not be interpreted as anything sexual; they are merely trying to "connect" with you. If you feel uncomfortable, simply pull your hand away.

Women should not wear shorts or mini-skirts, especially as they travel away from Lusaka. (Thighs, to Zambian men, are huge turn-ons.) Low-cut tops, however, while discouraged, are not nearly as provocative.

Finally, when meeting a Zambian — even to ask a question — you should always say hello and ask how they are. Properly greeting a Zambian is very important. They are uncomfortable with the Western notion of simply "getting to the point."

Contact

By mail

The Zambian mail service is slow and a little flaky (especially outside Lusaka), but not completely hopeless. Using a private courier service is still recommended if sending something important.

Public telephone, Zambian style
Public telephone, Zambian style

The country code for Zambia is "260." The city code for Lusaka is "211." For the city code for other towns check the directory." However, phone service both within Zambia and into Zambia is very hit-or-miss. In large cities, you are more likely to get regular, dependable phone service, but it is by no means a guarantee. The farther you travel from Lusaka, the less likely you are to maintain a good connection. International calling rates can be as high as $3 per minute.

Cell phones have been booming in recent years, and Zambia has a highly competitive market with three main operators: Cell Z (0955), MTN (0966,0967) and Zain (0976,0977,0979). Generally speaking, Zain has the largest network, while Cell Z is the cheapest. You can pick up a local SIM card for as little as 5,000K ($1). Prepaid time is sold in "units" corresponding to dollars: figure on 0.4 units for an SMS or up to 1 unit/minute for calls, although as always the precise tariffs are bewilderingly complex. If you plan on roaming with your non-Zambian SIM, check first to see if your home operator has made any roaming agreements — Zambia is usually not on the top of their list. Also note that coverage in rural areas can be spotty.

Booths labeled "public telephone" these days consist, more often than not, of a guy renting out his cellphone. Typical rates are 5000K/min ($1) for domestic and 15000K/min ($3) for international calls.

By internet

Internet cafes are springing up in Zambia, but again, connections can be sporadic and very slow. Moreover, because constant electricity is not a guarantee, some Internet cafes operate backup generators, which can be extremely costly. Be prepared to see Internet cafe charges as high as 25 cents per minute. Some hotels might offer Internet connections to their guests.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Zámbia, and Zâmbia

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Zambia

Plural
-

Zambia

  1. A country in southern Africa. Official name: Republic of Zambia.

Translations

See also


Italian

Wikipedia-logo.png
Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Zambia

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Zambia m.

  1. Zambia

Derived terms


Norwegian

Proper noun

Zambia

  1. Zambia

Related terms


Polish

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈz̪ambja/

Proper noun

Zambia f.

  1. Zambia

Declension

Singular only
Nominative Zambia
Genitive Zambii
Dative Zambii
Accusative Zambię
Instrumental Zambią
Locative Zambii
Vocative Zambio

Derived terms

  • Zambijczyk m., Zambijka f.
  • adjective: zambijski

Swedish

Proper noun

Zambia

  1. Zambia

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