20 Fascinating Facts About Zambia
1. Zambia is a landlocked country located in Africa. A landlocked nation is enclosed by land with no access to the open sea. Currently, there are 45 landlocked countries and five partially recognized nations in the world.
2. In 1921, the Broken Hill skull was discovered in Zambia. Estimated to be about 299,000 years, the skull is one of the best-preserved fossils of an ancient human species called Homo heidelbergensis.
3. It is believed that modern humans, Homo sapiens, have inhabited the region since 20,000 BC.
4. During the 12th Century, the Shona people arrived in the area and established the empire of the Mwene Mutapa, which included southern Zambia.
5. During the 16th Century, people from the Luba and Lunda empires of Zaire (modern-day DR Congo) set up small kingdoms in Zambia.
6. Zambia has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations with the UN projecting that its population will triple by 2050 from 13 million in 2011.
7. In 1889, Britain established control over Zambia calling it Northern Rhodesia after a man called Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes and his British South Africa Company used a British mandate to lead the colonization of Zambia and Zimbabwe during the 19th century.
8. In 1964, Northern Rhodesia gained independence and was renamed Zambia, ending 73 years of British rule.
9. Zambia’s first post-independence leader was President Kenneth Kaunda who ruled the country for 27 years from 1964 to 1991.
10. Unlike many of its neighbors in the region, Zambia has managed to avoid the war and upheaval that has marked many African nations’ post-colonial years. As such, Zambia has earned a reputation for political stability.
11. In Zambia, it’s possible to see the celebrated big five game animals of lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo.
12. Zambia boasts 20 national parks and reserves, 34 Game Management Areas, and protects over 30% of its land.
13. It’s thought that Zambia has more than 70 languages, although many of them are considered dialects. Other than English, all of Zambia’s major languages are members of the Bantu family.
14. Zambia is Africa’s second-largest copper producer after DR Congo and the world’s seventh-largest.
15. Zambia’s flag has a green background with an orange eagle and vertical stripes of red, black, and orange at the fly end. The green symbolizes agriculture, red is for the freedom struggle, black is for the African people, and orange is for copper. The eagle symbolizes freedom and the ability of the Zambian people to rise above national problems.
16. The African fish eagle depicted in the flag is also Zambia’s national symbol.
17. Zambia is home to the UNESCO-listed Victoria Falls – the world’s largest curtain of falling water. The falls span the entire breadth of the Zambezi River more than 1,700m wide and drop approximately 108m. Zambia shares the falls with Zimbabwe.
18. The falls were named in 1855 after the British Queen Victoria, by Scottish explorer David Livingstone. They are known locally by the Kalolo-Lozi people as Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders.’
19. In 2019, Victoria Falls diminished to just a trickle of water following the worst drought in the region for a century.
20. Victoria Falls are home to the Devil’s Pool, a natural pool that can be safely swum in during the dry season. At first glance, the pool looks extremely dangerous but due to an underwater lip, it’s actually quite safe.