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Zambia is one of the most amazing and spectacular countries in Africa. Its nature attracts many tourists, particulary adventurers, around the World. There's potential growth for adventure tourism and ecotourism.

Geography

Zambia a landlocked country bordered along Zimbabwe in the south divided by Victoria Falls, Congo-Kinshasa in the north, Tanzania on the northeast, Malawi on the east and Mozambique on the southeast. The general topography of the country is characterized by uplifted plantation surfaces. The general elevation of the nation as a whole is tended towards West to East from the Kalahari Basin. The level of land falls from the upper Congo towards the Zambezi depression in the South forming a plateau.

Zambia is drained by two major river basins: the Zambezi/Kafue basin in the centre, west and south covering about three-quarters of the country; and the Congo basin in the north covering about one-quarter of the country. A very small area in the northeast forms part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Rukwa in Tanzania.

In the Zambezi basin, there are a number of major rivers flowing wholly or partially through Zambia: the Kabompo, Lungwebungu, Kafue, Luangwa, and the Zambezi itself, which flows through the country in the west and then forms its southern border with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. 

Two of the Zambezi's longest and largest tributaries, the Kafue and the Luangwa, flow mainly in Zambia. Their confluences with the Zambezi are on the border with Zimbabwe at Chirundu and Luangwa town respectively. Before its confluence, the Luangwa River forms part of Zambia's border with Mozambique. From Luangwa town, the Zambezi leaves Zambia and flows into Mozambique, and eventually into the Mozambique Channel.

The Zambezi falls about 100 metres over the 1.6 km wide Victoria Falls, located in the south-west corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba. The Zambezi valley, running along the southern border, is both deep and wide.

The north of Zambia is very flat with broad plains. In the west the most notable being the Barotse Floodplain on the Zambezi, which floods from December to June, lagging behind the annual rainy season (typically November to April). The flood dominates the natural environment and the lives, society and culture of the inhabitants and those of other smaller, floodplains throughout the country.

In Eastern Zambia the plateau which extends between the Zambezi and Lake Tanganyika valleys is tilted upwards to the north, and so rises imperceptibly from about 900 m in the south to 1,200 m in the centre, reaching 1,800 m (5,906 ft) in the north near Mbala. 

Eastern Zambia shows also great diversity. The Luangwa Valley splits the plateau in a curve north east to south west, extended west into the heart of the plateau by the deep valley of the Lunsemfwa River. Hills and mountains are found by the side of some sections of the valley.

The Muchinga Mountains, the watershed between the Zambezi and Congo drainage basins, run parallel to the deep valley of the Luangwa River and form a sharp backdrop to its northern edge, although they are almost everywhere below 1,700 m. Their culminating peak Mumpu is at the western end and at 1,892 m is the highest point in Zambia away from the eastern border region. 

Lake Tanganyika is the other major hydrographic feature that belongs to the Congo basin. Its south-eastern end receives water from the Kalambo River, which forms part of Zambia's border with Tanzania. This river has Africa's second highest uninterrupted waterfall, the Kalambo Falls.

Climate

Zambia appears to be squarely in the tropics, but thanks to its landlocked and elevated position it does have distinct seasons that run as follows:

  • Dry season — May to August. The coolest time of the year, with temperatures 24-28°C during the day, can drop as low as 7°C at night. Probably the best time of year to visit Zambia: come early in the dry season for birdwatching or to see Vic Falls at their biggest, or later when the bush has dried up for good game-spotting on safari.
  • Hot season — September to November. Temperatures rocket up to a scorching 38-42°C and clouds of swirling dust make driving on dirt roads an asthmatic's nightmare. If you can take the heat, though, it's a good time for safaris as wildlife clusters around the few remaining watering holes.
  • Wet season — December to April. Temperatures cool down to 32°C or so and, true to the name, there is a lot of rain — sometimes just an hour or two, sometimes for days on end. Unsealed roads become impassable muddy nightmares, and many safari lodges close.

Biodiversity

There are 14 ecosystems in Zambia, classed into Forest, Thicket, Woodland and Grassland vegetation types.

Zambia is endowed with approximately 12,505 species—63% animal species, 33% plant species and 4% bacterial and microorganism species .

There are an estimated 3,543 species of wild flowering plants, consisting of sedges, herbaceous plants and woody plants . The Northern and North-Western parts of the country especially have the highest diversity of flowering plants. Approximately 53% of flowering plants are rate and occur throughout the country.

A total of 242 mammalian species exist, with most endemic ones occupying the woodland and grassland ecosystems. The Rhodesian giraffe and Kafue Lechwe are some of the well-known species that are endemic to Zambia.

An estimated 757 bird species are known to exist, of which 600 are either resident or afrotropic migrants; 470 breed in the country; and 100 are non-breding migrants. The Zambian barbet is a well-known species endemic to Zambia.

Roughly 490 known fish species, belonging to 24 fish families have been reported in Zambia, with Lake Tanganyika having the highest diverse and endemic species.

Zambia National Parks:

  • Blue Lagoon National Park
  • Kafue National Park
  • Lochinvar National Park
  • Lower Zambezi National Park
  • North Luangwa National Park
  • Nsumbu National Park
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • West Lunga National Park

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