Zambia Travel Information

Photo The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the South Africa Company from 1891 until takeover by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence 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 subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. Most of the country has savanna-type vegetation—grasslands interspersed with trees. Teak forests are in the southwest. Animals include elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, and several varieties of antelope. Of overwhelming importance are the rich mineral veins of the country's copper belt. The belt extends down into Zambia from southern DRC and contains major deposits of copper, cobalt, and other minerals. Zambia also has substantial hydroelectric potential. The Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River is the country's main power source. Zambia shares the Kariba system with Zimbabwe. Other stations on the Lunsemfwa and Mulungushi rivers serve Kabwe. Installations have also been built on the Kafue River. In 1998 the total output of electricity was 8.2 billion kilowatt-hours, nearly all of which was produced by hydroelectric plants. Despite progress in privatization and budgetary reform, Zambia's economy has a long way to go. The recent privatization of the huge government-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) should greatly improve Zambia's prospects for international debt relief, as the government will no longer have to cover the mammoth losses generated by that sector. Inflation and unemployment rates remain high, however.

Important: Travel to Zambia may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Zambia visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Zambia
Capital city: Lusaka
Area: 752,618 sq km
Population: 13,817,479
Ethnic groups: African 99.5%
Languages: Bemba
Religions: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Michael Chilufya SATA
Head of Government: President Michael Chilufya SATA
GDP: 21.88 billion
GDP per captia: 1,600
Annual growth rate: 6.6%
Inflation: 8.7%
Agriculture: corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava
Major industries: copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
Natural resources: copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Location: Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Trade Partners - exports: China 34.8%, Switzerland 18.2%, South Africa 7.8%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.4%, South Korea 4.4%
Trade Partners - imports: South Africa 36.7%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 20.6%, China 10%, Kuwait 5.9%