Country - Zambia

Zambia

Zambia Country Information

Zambia is a land-locked nation in the eastern terrain of the African continent. The country is bordered by Congo in the north, Tanzania in the north east, Malawi and Mozambique in the east, Zimbabwe in the south east and Angola in the west. A small part of its southern border is shared by Namibia and Botswana. Zambia was formerly known as Northern Rhodesia and its current official name is Republic of Zambia. The capital is Lusaka which is also the biggest city with a land area of 418 square kilometers.

As a cultural legacy of the British colonial rule for about 74 years, English has come to stay as the official language of the country although the local languages like Nyanja and Bemba are widely spoken. Since its independence from Britain in 1964, the country was headed for 27 years by the president Kenneth Kaunda whose term in the office was the longest hitherto. Thereafter, frequent changeover in the presidentship took place by elections or demises and the country saw about six presidents assume the power till 2018. 

Zambia is dominated by Christians who account for more than 98% of the total population. As per the census of 2016, the population was 16,591,390 with an average density of population 17 people per square kilometer. The per capita GDP (nominal) was US $1342 as estimated in 2017.

The economy of Zambia was in doldrums till 1990s. A good recovery was made in the later years bringing down inflation from 30% in 2000 to 8.9% in 2007. Approximately 60.5% of the population lives below the poverty line. The life expectancy was reckoned as 51.83 years by the CIA in 2014. The agriculture is of subsistence farming for internal consumption. Copper mining industry which was once the major boost for the economy has subsequently dwindled due to lowered international copper prices dissuading the mining activity and depletion of reserves. However, copper still continues to be the major income earner from exports. The chief commodities of exports in 2016 were raw copper, refined copper, precious stones, raw tobacco and corn. The main items of imports were refined petroleum, other cast iron products, excavation machinery, delivery trucks and packaged medicaments. The positive net trade balance in 2016 was US $1.61 billion.

Zambia’s tourist attractions leave international visitors more than satisfied during their trip. The world famous Victoria Falls make the people watching the site speechless with the stunning scene. To watch the enormity of the falls, an aerial view by a chopper will do the justice. The countless massive water streams running side by side from a flat land plunging suddenly into nearly vertical columns send up huge clouds of mist that reflect the sun rays artfully depicting illusory rainbow stripes. The gorges are almost vertical making the rapid downstream even more harshly forceful. The violent downward gush of water at more than 500 million cubic meters per minute along the 100-meter rocky walls is an awesome sight that can be seen miles away from the sky. 

The Lusaka National Museum is a storehouse for several artifacts belonging to the hoary past segregated into categories like ethnography, art, history and witchcraft. Almost all the exhibits are the relics of yore but the new addition to the museum in 2013 is about the contemporary practice of black magic that is enigmatically still in vogue.

The Kasanka National Park, relatively small in size, is more famous for different reasons than it is really ought to be. Massive migration of straw-coloured fruit bats occurs every year between November and December when about five to ten million nocturnal flying mammals arrive in huge crowds foraging specific fruits of their choice on trees. Although the influx of bats in humongous proportions is absolutely rare phenomenon, the park is also a fertile ground for a slew of wild plants like papyrus swamp and has wide stretches of dambos. The park is less known for being home to more than 400 bird species.

The Chambeshi monument in Kasama is the particular place where the World War I has finally come to an end three days after the armistice had been signed. The monument is in the shape of rectangular pillar with a cannon on its side in an open place. The site is close to the Chambeshi river.

Apart from several monuments denoting historic events, Zambia is also home to natural wonders like hot water springs as in Kapishya puddle in Chinsali. Tourists need a well-pondered plan in order not to miss any worth seeing place in Zambia.