It is impossible to describe fully a country like Zambia in a few words – so I am not going to try! What I would recommend to anyone reading this is to go and visit it if you can – it is a wonderful place. What follows is a short summary as well as information on useful websites to visit.
Zambia is a landlocked coutry with eight neighbours: Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a large country (752,614 sq km) with a population of approximately 12 million – but a very low population density (approx 17 people per square km, compared to 60 per sq. km in Ireland, 255 per sq. km in Britain and 6,349 per sq. km in Hong Kong.
There are 72 different languages spoken within Zambia although English is the official language. Of the 72 vernacular languages the most widely understood and spoken are Bemba and Nyanja. Approximately two and a half million people live in the two main urban centres – Lusaka, the capital city, and the Cobberbelt, with the remainder living in the vast rural areas.
Life expectancy in Zambia is low, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on these figures is significant. Average life expectancy is 38.5 years. In recent years great strides have been made in the provision of treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, both through donor funding and government leadership.
There are many websites you can go to for information about Zambia, and here I will list a few of them for you.
This is the official Zambian tourism site and will introduce you to the natural wonders of Zambia, The Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates as The Smoke that Thunders) ; the beautiful game reserves; the lakes; the magnificent rivers; the cities and the wide range of adventure sports.
Mbendi A country overview including politics, economy and general info.
Bantu Pathfinders – An extremely helpful tour operating company based in Livingstone and run by Zambians.
Wikipedia is worth a look for information on Zambia’s history.
The SOS Children’s Villages are active in Zambia, they have three villages there and also other programmes. You can help some of the children who have lost their own parents by sponsoring a child through SOS.
The |Times of Zambia A local newspaper in Zambia, state owned.
The Post newspaper, privately owned.
Avert – Information and stats on HIV/AIDS
An interesting artiucle written on the problem of HIV/AIDS in Zambia appearing in The Watchdog.
Spirit of the Land The website of photographer Stephen Robinson.
Below are some pictures that will give you some sense of the beauty of the country.
An avenue of Baobabs on the way to Ingombe Ilede in Zambia
Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke which Thunders
Elephants in the Luangwa Valley
Hippos on the banks of the Zambezi river
Lusaka, the capital city
Lions at play
Beautiful hand carved rhino
School children hard at work
Lusaka City Market