Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, whose bordering neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Zambia has many large lakes, including the impressive Kariba, which is the largest man-made lake in Africa. The terrain of Zambia is varied and impressive, comprising rolling hills, vertiginous plateaus and verdant savannas. Owing to its height, Zambia has a pleasant climate. There are three main seasons: warm and rainy from December to April, sunny and dry from September to November, and refreshingly cool from May to August. In the coolest months, maximum temperatures hover at between 15ºC and 27ºC but in warmer months, temperatures can spike to between 27ºC and 35ºC.
Zambia is best known for Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall, which is also Zimbabwe’s biggest attraction. The upper part of the falls is located in Zambia, while the lower portion is part of Zimbabwe. If you are visiting Victoria Falls, try to do so between July and September, when they are bursting with water. In November and December, water is scarcer and the Falls look more like a canyon. Zimbabwe is also home to natural treasures such as South Luangwa National Park, which is home to abundant wildlife and scenic landscapes. Zambia is also known for its capital, Lusaka, which is characterised by an exciting mix of peoples and cultures.
The northern rift valley, which includes Zambia, is known as one of the vital cradles of civilisation. In Zambia, evidence of civilisation dates back 60,000 years and human settlement in the area actually began nearly three million years ago. By the early 20th century, Zambia was populated by various powerful tribes, including the Lunda and Luba people, the Ngoni, and the Lozi. In the late 19th century, Portuguese and Muslim merchants began to trade precious metals, ivory, and slaves in Zambia. Famous missionary, David Livingstone, tried to end the slave trade, contributing to the appearance of the British, who colonised Malawi, Zimbabwe and Northern Rhodesia for many years. Strikes by mine workers following British attempts to unite these areas resulted in civil unrest and in 1964, the republic of Zambia obtained its independence.
Zambia is home to some of the most beautiful trees in the world, including the baobab tree, often called the ‘upside-down tree’ because its branches look like roots. Thorn bushes, tall grass and Zambian teak are also abundant, as are acacia trees. Zambia is a haven for all types of exotic wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, rhinoceroses, elephants, monkeys, and lions. It is also home to an array of bird species, including the redwing, eagle, stork, wagtail sparrow, flamingo, heron, and the elegant white pelican. Over 150 reptiles, including the deadly mamba, also call Zambia home. Wildlife which is unique to Zambia include the Thornicroft giraffe, the red lechwe and the Cookson’s wildebeest. Zambia also boasts many fish species, such as bream, butterfish, tigerfish, bass, and utaka, making the country a much revered destination for animal lovers.
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