Zambia, formerly known as Northern Rhodesia, lies on the Central African Plateau. The country extends over 752 615 sq. km (half the size of Europe) and has one of the fastest developing countries in Southern and Central Africa, with only 13 million people. Zambia is characterized by non violent, peaceful people and one of the most urbanised countries in Africa. About one fifth of the population lives on the Copperbelt to the north of the capital, Lusaka, while the largest concentration lives in Lusaka itself. This has resulted in vast, relatively uninhabited areas across most of the country.
Most visitors to Zambia come to enjoy the country’s magnificent national parks and wilderness areas. The country’s many national parks areas teem with a wide variety of wildlife and are also famous for the diverse bird life. The mighty Zambezi River is one of the longest rivers in the world. It originates in north-western Zambia and forms most of Zambia’s southern border.
Zambia’s contemporary culture is a blend of the values, norms and traditions of more than 70 ethnically diverse people. Most of the tribes moved into the area in a series of migratory waves from neighbouring areas a few centuries ago, growing in number and traveling in search of new pastures and territories.
Before the colonial period, the region now known as Zambia had comprehensive economic links with the outside world along trade routes on the east and west coast of Africa. Ruins still visible are evidence of the Arabian slave trade centuries ago. The main exports included copper, ivory and slaves, which were exchanged for textiles, jewellery, salt and hardware.