Zambia is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, known for its diverse wildlife. This southern African country offers a good safari experience. Beyond that, many other fun facts about Zambia might interest you.
Common Facts About Zambia
Officially the “Republic of Zambia,” this is a stunning African nation renowned for its copper and beautiful nature. Zambia boasts a population of approximately 20 million people.
In addition to its wildlife safari, the country has a beautiful history and rich culture. If you ever consider traveling to this African wonder, here are many Zambia facts you should know.
Several countries in Africa are prone to armed conflicts and civil/social unrest. Always double check the latest situations from both your government and the local government advisories.
Historical Facts On Zambia
Zambia was formerly known as Northern Rhodesia before independence. It was a British colony from 1889 till 1964. After gaining independence in 1964, the country changed its name from Northern Rhodesia to Zambia.
The First President – Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda was the first person to lead Zambia as its president after independence. He ruled the country between 1964 to 1991, which was a total of 27 years.
Zambia Is Over 1000 Years
As far as 1921, the “broken hill skull” was discovered in northern Rhodesia, what is known today as Zambia. This archeological artifact is believed to be almost 300,000 years.
The skull is also said to be the most well-preserved fossil of the ancient human species of Homo heidelbergenesis. In addition, many deduce that the modern species human homo sapiens have inhabited present-day Rwanda since 20,000 BC.
Useful Facts About Zambia For Tourists
World Biggest Waterfalls
Here is a fact about Zambia you probably didn’t know. It co-hosts one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The waterfall is about 108 meters high. Named after Queen Victoria II, it is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
The people of Zambia call it “Mosi-oa-Tunya” in their local dialect, which means the “smoke that thunders.”
The Big Five
Here is a fun fact about animals in Zambia. This is one of few African countries where you can spot “The Big Five.” That is why it is a great destination for a safari. You can see Buffalos, Elephants, Leopards, Lions, and Rhinos in Zambia.
Over 30% of Zambia’s land area is dedicated to National Park. On your safari journey, you are sure to get a feast for your eyes.
Largest Man-Made Lake In The World
One of the interesting Zambia facts is that it houses Lake Kariba. This is the largest man-made lake in the world. Some will argue that the lake Belongs to Zimbabwe but in reality, it is owned by both countries.
Lake Kariba is a large water reservoir with a length of 226km and a width of around 40km in some areas. It sits on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and serves as a source of electricity for both countries.
Agriculture in Zambia is not restricted to land, and Lake Kariba actually hosts a lucrative commercial fish farming industry. Interestingly, you may even spot crocodiles and hippos in Lake Kariba.
Although beaches are not something you associate with Zambia considering it has no coastline, there are beautiful beaches in Zambia.
These are some of the best spots for unwinding in Zambia. The different beaches offer their own unique type of serenity.
One of the most popular beaches in Zambia is the Samfya beach of the Samfya Lake. This beach with beautiful white sand is located on the shores of Samfya Lake.
If you love white sand beaches, this is a must-stop location. Although it is a bit far from the country’s capital, it is worth the drive.
Adventure In Zambia
For travelers who love adventure, you will always have fun things to do in Zambia. Some of the most popular tourist activities in Zambia beyond safari are water rafting in the Zambezi River, flying a chopper over Victoria falls, and swinging off some of the massive gorges in the country.
Zambia is one of only six countries where you can spot the endangered wild dog species. Get an opportunity to see these beautiful creatures in the Luangwa National Park in the country’s southern region.
The government of Zambia does a good job of protecting these creatures, which will hopefully prevent these rarer breeds from going extinct.
Cultural Fun Facts Of Zambia
Nshima The National Dish
Zambia has many exciting dishes, but Nshima is the most typical and national dish. It is common among many ethnic groups across the country.
In fact, you may be able to find this popular dish across the whole African continent. It is a meal made from maize flour, mixed with hot water, and pasted until it thickens.
This Zambian food is made thick so that it can be molded easily. You eat it with your hands. It is mostly served with relish soup known as Ndiwo in the country. Ever so often, it is also accompanied by meat or fish.
Don’t forget to sink your teeth into some delicious Zambian cuisine when you visit.
Languages In Zambia
There are at least 70 distinct languages spoken in Zambia, with over 70 ethnic groups in Zambia accounting for them. However, the official languages in Zambia are English, Nyanja, and Bemba.
Although languages like Tonga, Lozi, Konde, and Luvale are taught in schools across the country, Bemba is the lingua franca (common language) in Zambia.
Lobola is a very important part of the Zambian culture. In other countries, it is known as dowry or bride price. This is a tradition common to most African countries.
Lobola is a price the groom is asked to pay as a form of appreciation to the bride’s family. It is a token to show your respect to them for raising your intended bride well.
In urban regions, the lobola is often monetary; while in rural areas, it comes in the form of livestock.
Respect For Elders In Zambia
Zambians have a unique way of showing respect to elders. When greeting or serving elders, younger ones kneel.
When elders are speaking, it is rude to contribute unless you are directly asked to do so. Accepting anything with your left hand is also considered rude, even if an elder offers it to you with their left hand.
Rejecting Food Is Rude
How about this for a funny Zambia fact? You better not visit anyone when you are full or don’t feel like eating. It is considered rude to reject food in Zambia. Interestingly, even if the meal has been eaten before it is offered to you, rejecting it is still considered rude.
Not finishing a meal is also frowned upon. Zambians serve most of their traditional meal in a buffet style. So, before you pounce on any meal, make sure you take only what you can finish.
Fascinating Zambia Facts For Kids
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. Interestingly, it ranks as the fastest-developing city in southern Africa. The capital houses over 10% of the country’s population.
It is the central point of the country, also acting as the economic hub of the country. Lusaka has an elevation of about 1279 meters above sea level and a land area of 360 square km.
Did you know termite hills can grow to be as big as a house? Perhaps one of the more creepy facts about Zambia, you can find termite hills the size of a small house there.
Zambia is one of the landlocked countries in Africa, it does not have any coastline. Seven countries border it to the north, west, east, and south. These include Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, DR Congo, Angola, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Although Nicaragua Falls in North America is the most famous of the two impressive waterfalls, Victoria fall is almost twice as high as Nicaragua.
Named After A River
Here is another cool Zambia fact for kids, the country is named after an African river, “The Zambezi.”
The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa, behind only river Nile, Congo River, and the Niger River. Zambezi flows along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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Other Interesting Facts About Zambia
Did you know this fact about Zambia’s economy? It is heavily dependent on copper production. Zambia exports over 1.5 million tonnes of copper per year.
It ranks as the world’s 7th largest producer of copper and 2nd in Africa behind DR Congo. It is fair to say Zambia is an important contributor to the world. Copper is a major element in electrical sockets; almost every building in the world has at least one socket.
Copper production accounts for over 70% of the country’s revenue. Zambia produces at least 4% of the world’s copper. Also, it is one of the world’s largest producers of Cobalt.
Zambian Currency is one of the strongest currencies on the African continent. Regulated by the Central Bank of Zimbabwe, the official notes in Zambia include 100 kwacha, 50 kwacha, 20 kwacha, 10 kwacha, 5 kwacha, and 2 kwacha.
The notes are quite beautiful and artistic carrying some unique colors. Under the country’s regulation, only kwacha is accepted as payment. However, tour operators, large hotels, and lodges accept US Dollars as payments within the country.
Like most African countries, the flag of Zambia holds great significance to the people of Zambia. The flag has a green background with a tricolor block with red, black, and orange at the bottom left corner of the flag. In addition, the color block has an orange eagle flying over it.
The red, black, and orange represent the struggle for freedom, the people of Zambia, and the nation’s mineral wealth, respectively. The background green represents the natural resources in the country, and the eagle represents freedom.
Zambia Population Burst
Zambia has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. Currently, the country has approximately 20 million people. According to the UN (United Nations), Zambia’s population is expected to triple by 2050.
This is largely due to the country’s high fertility rate. On average Zambian women have an estimated birthrate of 5 to 6 children per woman.
Zambians love afternoon tea; it is not so much of a surprise, considering they were colonized by the British. Afternoon tea in Zambia is usually taken around 4:00 pm, also dubbed 16 hours.
The tea is always accompanied by bread, cake, or biscuit.
Although it is not the capital, Chiangola is often considered the most beautiful city in Zambia. The city was established in 1943. It features some charming architecture, stadiums, clubs, and hotels, not to mention gardens with lots of flowers.
Chingola also has a vibrant nightlife. If you love the night scene, then this is also a good city to visit.
Here is an interesting fact about Zambia, it is one of the most stable countries in Africa. Unlike many countries surrounding it, Zambia has never experienced any civil or internal war since gaining independence.
That is a feat not many African countries can match. It makes it the most stable country in Africa. If you are looking for an African nation to invest in, this might be one to put on your watchlist.
Discovering More Fun Facts about Zambia
Zambia is a fascinating country that might not be known to many. From its rich copper production to the vibrant nightlife in Chingola, there’s always something new and exciting to discover about this African nation.
With all these interesting facts about Zambia, you can see why so many people are eager to learn more about this amazing place! If you get the chance, this is one country to visit and discover a less-discovered part of the world.