Nickname: The Air Conditioned State.
Geography/ topography/ ecology/ key landmarks:
• Size: 752,618 km2 (290,587 sq mi), 38th largest country in the world; slightly larger than France.
• Borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west.
• The country is on a fairly high plateau (the central Africa plateau), with hills and low mountains, averaging 1,200m (3,900 ft) above sea level, dissected by river valleys.
• There are several lakes and major rivers in the country, including Lake Kariba, and the Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa and Kabompo rivers.
• The mighty Zambezi river drops over the world famous Victoria Falls, located in the southwest corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba.
• Habitats are varied; including dry broadleaf forests, grasslands, savannahs, shrubland, flooded grasslands, montane grasslands, freshwater lakes, riverine habitat and swamps.
• Highest point: Mafinga Central in the Mafinga hills on the border with Malawi, at 2,339 m (7,674 ft) above sea level.
• Climate is tropical, but very temperate with little humidity.
• UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1. Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (1989).
Famous parks and reserves:
• Kafue National Park: huge, quiet park with incredible wildlife diversity and special antelope species, along with four of Africa’s Big Five and stunning sunsets from the river cruises.
• South Luangwa National Park: iconic park that is the home of the walking safari and the “Leopard capital” of the world, plus over 400 bird species and incredible riverside scenery.
• Kasanka National Park: famous for the spectacular annual bat migration (the biggest mammal migration on earth), 470 bird species and special mammals.
• Lower Zambezi National Park: on the northern bank of the Zambezi river, with four of the Big Five, canoe safaris, great night drives, 350 bird species and stunning scenery.
• Liuwa Plains National Park: off-the-beaten-track park famous for a fantastic mammal migration (a mini east Africa migration), boating/walking safaris and wide open spaces.
• 258 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five
• National Animal: African Fish Eagle
• Other star mammals: African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Spotted Hyaena, (Thornicroft’s) Giraffe, (Cookson’s) Wildebeest, (Crawshay’s) Zebra, (Kafue) Lechwe, Roan and Sable Antelope, Sitatung, Puku and African Straw-coloured Fruit-bat
• 757 bird species, including 3 endemics (White-chested Tinkerbird, Chaplin’s Barbet and Black-cheeked Lovebird) and 20 globally threatened species
• Other star birds: African Pitta, Shoebill, Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Skimmer, African Finfoot, Wattled and Grey Crowned Crane, Lilian’s Lovebird, Schalow’s and Ross’s Turaco, Böhm’s Bee-eater, Anchieta’s and Shelley’s Sunbird, Bar-winged Weaver and Red-capped Crombec
• IBAs (Important Bird Areas): 42, including Bangweulu swamps, Kafue Flats, Kasanka National Park, Mbulo Forest, Mutinondo Wilderness, Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Batoka Gorge
• 142 species of reptiles, including 78 snake species
• 107 species of amphibians
• 490 species of fish, including the famed Tiger Fish Hydrocynus vittatus
• 3,500 species of plants
• National plant: Great Bougainvillea
Visit our Zambia Safaris and Tours page for more info on trips to this magical destination. Customized tours to Zambia is available to suit your requirements and travel dates.