Fast Facts • capital: Lusaka • population: 14,309,466 • land area: 740,724 km • elevation: 329 m - 2,301 m • ethnic groups: African 98.7%; European 1.1%; other 0.2% • religions: Christian 50-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24-49%, indigenous beliefs 1% • languages: English (official), 70 other indigenous languages • government: republic • currency: Zambian kwacha (1 CAD = 5,051.55 ZMK) • There are 107 airports in Zambia – 9 of them have paved runways and 98 have unpaved runways. • Zambia used to be called Northern Rhodesia
A Brief History of Zambia • More than 100,000 years ago, on the ancient land we now call Zambia, mankind's ancestors (believed to be the beginnings of the human race) lived. • Once known as Northern Rhodesia, (Zimbabwe, its neighbor to the south, was called Southern Rhodesia) Zambia was controlled by the South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the United Kingdom in 1923. • During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in copper mining spurred development and European immigration to the area.
The name was changed to Zambia upon independence from Britain 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 vote in 1996 saw obvious harassment of the opposition parties. The election in 2001 had many problems; three parties filed a legal petition challenging the election of the ruling party. The new president launched an anti-corruption campaign in 2002. Opposition parties currently hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
Why Zambia? • the earth’s biggest waterfall (Victoria Falls) and other spectacular waterfalls • Africa’s finest safaris, including the legendary African walking safari • massive lakes, rich wetlands, and the wild Zambezi River • big game (animals), abundant birdlife, and raw wilderness • adrenaline rush activities, like river rafting, rock climbing, and bungee jumping • scenic splendor throughout the country
In recent years an impressive (and much needed) collection of national parks has developed in an effort to protect once decimated species of wildlife, including elephants, leopards and lions.
Tourism in Zambia • Lusaka: the Kabwata Cultural Village (devoted to the preservation of indigenous arts and crafts and displays of traditional dancing), the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens and Zoo and the Lusaka National Museum • National Parks: almost one-third of the country is given over to national parks and game reserves; tourism is mostly concentrated in 8 of 19 parks.
Safaris in Zambia • The usual method of animal watching is from an open-topped Land Rover, but walking and canoeing tours are also available (your guide will be armed!). • Night-time safaris are also possible. • Native wildlife includes buffalo, elephant, antelope, lion, zebra, rhino, hippo and crocodile. • Birdwatching is also popular in Zambia where 400 different species of birds have been recorded.