Zambia Geography

Zambia Geography


Zambia is a landlocked inland country.


It has an area of 752,614 km².


The Zambian territory is fundamentally mountainous and presents numerous depressions and tectonic subsidence. The highest point is in the Mafinga Mountains at 2,301 meters and the lowest at 329 m on the Zambezi River that gives the country its name.

The average altitude does not exceed 1,500 m, and the depressions are frequently marshy in character, and are occupied by rivers such as the Kafue, a tributary of the Zambezi, or by lakes, such as the Bangüelo (Bangweulu), Moero (Mweru), and Kariba. In the east of the country, and in a northeast-southwest direction, the Muchinga Mountains extend, rising to 2,164 m (Mount Myika). The savannah and the jungle predominate.


Although it is located within the tropical zone, much of Zambia enjoys a pleasant subtropical climate due to its high altitude. According to bridgat, there are three seasons: a cold and dry season, between May and August, a warm and dry season, between August and November, and the rainy season, from November to April. The average temperature during July, the coldest month of the year, is 17.2 ° C; the wettest month, January, has an average temperature of 21.7 ° C; and October, which is usually the hottest month, averages 30 ° C. Average annual rainfall ranges from 750 mm in the south to 1,400 mm in the north.


Most of the country has savanna vegetation – meadows dotted with trees. However, about 56.4% of the country’s territory is wooded. Compared to many African countries, Zambia has conserved a large percentage of its natural forest; in fact, a significant part of the virgin forests that remain in Africa are found in this country.

The dominant biome in Zambia is the savanna. Much of the center, north and west of the country is occupied by the so-called miombo wooded savanna ecoregion of the central Zambezi. To the southeast, the southern miombo wooded savanna alternates with the Zambezi mopane wooded savanna. To the north, between lakes Moero and Tanganyika, there is a small scrub enclave of Itigi and Sumbu.

To the southwest lies the teak wooded savannah of the Zambezi; further north the western Zambezi grassland and the dry Zambezi forest alternate. The mountainous areas of the extreme northeast of the country correspond to the montane grassland and forest mosaic of the Southern Rift. The entire territory is dotted with wetlands, classified in the ecoregion called the Zambezi flooded grassland.


The country’s fauna includes elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles, hippos and different varieties of antelope. However, in recent decades poaching has almost completely wiped out the country’s elephant and rhino populations.


The main waterways are the Zambezi River, the Kafue and the Luangwa. In the south of the country, on the Zambezi River, bordering Zimbabwe, are the Victoria Falls. The falls constitute one of the main tourist centers of southern Africa in Zimbabwe and also of the Livingstone region in Zambia.

There is also considerable hydroelectric potential. The Kariba Dam, on the Zambezi River, is the country’s main source of energy.

It shares the Kariba system with Zimbabwe.

Other facilities on the Lumsemfwa and Mulungushi rivers provide power to the city of Kabwe. Power plants have also been built on the Kafue River.

Main cities

Its capital is Lusaka.

It is divided into nine provinces where the main cities are:

  • Lusaka
  • Ndola
  • Kitwe
  • Kabwe
  • Chingola
  • Mufulira
  • Luanshya

Politic and government

Zambia is a republic, in which the executive power is held by the President – who is also the Head of State – and the Prime Minister, elected for a period of five years by popular vote, together with the Vice President General, both appointed by the President.

The government is made up of a cabinet chosen by the president from among the members of the National Assembly. The legislative power is unicameral; the country does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The judicial power is held by the Supreme Court, although the judges are appointed by the president.

National Parks

Zambia has 19 National Parks, the best known of which are South Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park.

At the moment, new areas and parks that were previously restricted to tourism or too wild are being opened, such as the North Luangwa National Park, which after being a reserve dedicated to the study of fauna and managed by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, has been opened to the public. sightseeing.

Zambia Geography

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