World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Zambia Travelling Guide
Zambia Travelling Guide

General background: 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 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices 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.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than Texas.

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

Terrain: Mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains.

Population: 9,959,037

Ethnic groups: African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%

Religions: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%

Language: English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages.

Government type: Republic

Capital: Lusaka

Legal system: Based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in an ad hoc constitutional council; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Despite progress in privatisation and budgetary reform, Zambia's economy has a long way to go. Privatisation of government-owned copper mines relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth. However, low mineral prices have slowed the benefits from privatising the mines and reduced incentives for further private investment in the sector. In late 2000, Zambia was determined to be eligible for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, but Zambia has not yet finalized its Poverty Reduction Strategy paper. Unemployment rates remain high, but GDP growth should continue at about 4%. Inflation should remain close to 20%.

Communication/Telephone system: Facilities are aging but adequate.

Places of interest: The excellent national parks are teeming with birds and animals, and boast some of the finest safari camps and lodges in the whole of Southern Africa. On top of this, the country shares (with Zimbabwe) Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River - two of the region's major tourist highlights.

Travel tips: Distances are long, and getting around takes persistence, particularly once you get off the main routes.