Welcome to Zambia
| Read More | National Parks
Kafue National Park
Found in the center of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks. It covers a massive 8 649 mi².
First established as a National Park in the 1950’s, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa. Despite its size and prominent location only two hours’ drive from Livingstone, it remains little-known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife.
South Luangwa National Park
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa.
The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 3 498 mi² Park. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.
With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season.
Lower Zambezi National Park
This Park is still relatively undeveloped, its beauty lying in its wilderness state. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the Zambezi River is a massive wildlife sanctuary.
The River’s edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe, including ebony and fig trees. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees and huge acacias. The hills which form the backdrop to the Park are covered in broadleaf woodland.
Even though the Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 1 580 mi², most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end which acts as a physical barrier to most of the Park’s animal species. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the river’s edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are common. The Park also hosts good populations of lion and leopard, and listen too for the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle.
Kasanka National Park
This peaceful sanctuary, situated on the south western edge of the Lake Bangweulu basin, is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. It’s 174 mi² however, are so well endowed with rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos that it supports a uniquely wide range of animals and abundant birds and fish.
Do not expect to see large herds of animals round every corner, but it is surely one of the most picturesque parks in Zambia with superb birdlife.
Lochinvar National Park
Lochinvar, although not abundant in the larger mammals, is nonetheless a park of exceptional beauty and outstanding birding opportunities with over 420 recorded species in its 165 mi².
The Park is situated on the southern edge of the Kafue Flats, a wide floodplain of the Kafue River between Itezhi Tezhi dam in the west and Kafue Gorge in the east. The area extends for 21 miles from the Kafue River in the north to low wooded hills in the south. It includes the large, shallow Chunga Lagoon which fluctuates considerably in size with variations in river levels. The varying vegetation makes it an interesting park to visit with floodplains, woodlands and termitaria
It is particularly well known for the large herds of Kafue lechwe, unique to the Kafue flats. Other antelope are the blue wildebeest, kudu, oribi and buffalo. Waterbirds are especially abundant.
The Kafue Flats floodplain, in the northern section, floods from the Kafue River, and here you’ll find thousands upon thousands of the endemic Kafue lechwe, one of three subspecies of lechwe found in Zambia. More than 30 000 of them make the flats their home and move seasonally according to the flood level.
At high water, massive herds may be seen along the upper flood line and in the open grassland further south. As the floods recede the herds move north into the grassy floodplain. They feed on grasses and herbs in water up to a meter deep and are often seen wading or swimming in the Chunga Lagoon. Mating takes place mainly between December and January. Males fight over small territories known as leks and then mate with several females.
In the Termitaria Zone, trees and shrubs grow only on the large termite mounds with grasses and herbs covering the rest of the area, which often becomes waterlogged during the rainy season. There are also many small grey mounds which are always unvegetated. The magpie shrike is one of the birds to be seen in the scattered trees of this zone and the surrounding grassy plains are grazed by buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and oribi. Very much in evidence is the ‘candelabra’ tree.
The southern area is mainly woodland, dominated by Acacia albida and Combretum trees and is free from flooding. Bushbuck kudu, baboon, bushpig and vervet monkey inhabit this area.
The Gwisho Hot Springs occur along a geological fault here, surrounded by lush vegetation and vegetable ivory palms. The water rises by convection from depths of over 3 281 feet with temperatures ranging from 140° to 194° F. There are high concentrations of sodium, chlorine, calcium and sulphates in the water. A distinctive rock known as a ‘fault breccia’ occurs along the line of the fault and can be seen at Gwisho.
Sebanzi Hill is an archaeological site which has been excavated. It was the site of an Iron Age village, inhabited for most of the last century. Look out for The Baobab Tree with a hollow trunk large enough for several people to sleep in. Historically the tree was said to boast special powers which would protect passing travelers from wild animals. There is a curious rocky outcrop called Drum Rocks not far from the lodge, which produces a resonant sound when tapped. They are also part of local superstition in former times and passers-by had to stop and greet the rocks before proceeding.
This remote park in the far west is pristine wilderness, which, to the ardent bush-lover, is its biggest attraction, and the rewards are great indeed.
The game is spread out across the plains and to come upon a vast herd of blue wildebeest, a prowling wild dog, or a pride of dozing lions in this forgotten piece of Africa is especially fitting because of its completely natural and uncommercialised state.
The birdlife is abundant and the very dramatic storms and lightning rising up on the horizon, contrasting with the green and gold grasslands, create spectacular views and fantastic photographic opportunities.
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is situated along the upper Zambezi River. It includes the Victoria Falls and stretches for about 8 miles up the Zambezi River above the Falls.
It is only 25 mi², but there are plans to extend the Park further up river. Because the Park is small, it affords a wonderfully relaxing drive alongside the river for much of the circular route, and the wide variety of species can be easily seen. The Park provides a home for numerous antelope species, zebra, giraffe, warthog, and a variety of birds and smaller animals. Elephants cross the Zambezi and freely walk through the Park and the surrounding area.
Since there are no predators in the Park, the animals are very relaxed and afford some excellent photo opportunities. Recently elephant-back safaris have been introduced.
North Luangwa National Park
This remote tract of land, covering 1 790 mi², offers one of the finest wilderness experiences in Zambia, if not Africa itself. It is not open to the public and there are no permanent lodges there. Access is with one of the few safari operators granted permission to conduct walking safaris.
The beauty of visiting this Park is the truly remarkable opportunities to experience Africa as it was. It is wild and untouched and you are simply an unobtrusive witness to its natural beauty and drama. Although declared a wilderness area, the North Park, was not open to anyone other than Game Department rangers for more than thirty years. In 1984, Major John Harvey and his wife Lorna sought permission to conduct walking safaris in the area and for many years were the only operators in this remote wilderness.
Then in 1989, two scientists, Mark and Delia Owens, famous for their book ‘Cry of the Kalahari’, were granted permission to set up a research station in the Park. Through their influence and as a means of helping to curb poaching in the area, the authorities allowed entry to a few more safari operators who bring limited numbers into the Park for guided walking safaris and game drives. Their efforts in the North Luangwa are documented in their book ‘Survivors Song / The Eye of the Elephant’.
Like the South Park, it lies on the western bank of the Luangwa River bordered on the other side by the dramatic Muchinga Escarpment which rises over 3 280 feet from the valley floor. Its hazy outline can clearly be seen from the Luangwa River.
There are a number of tributary rivers running through the Park and into the Luangwa which play an important ecological role in the area. The crystal-clear Mwaleshi River trickles down the escarpment in a series of small waterfalls. It recedes in the dry season, leaving many pools along the way, drawing the animals from the bush to its banks in search of water. No game drives are permitted in the Mwaleshi area, and access is by organized walking safaris only.
The vegetation ranges from mopane woodland to riverine forest, open grasslands and acacia thicket. Trees include the beautiful sausage tree, vegetable ivory palms, red mahogany and leadwood.
Nsumbu National Park
Lying on the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Northern most tip of Zambia, Nsumbu National Park covers an area of just over 772 mi². It includes 62 miles of some of the most pristine shores of this vast Lake. Its beauty ranges from sandy beaches, vertical cliffs, rocky coves and natural bays to the rugged hills and deep valleys of the interior. The Lufubu River winds its way through the Park and pours into Lake Tanganyika.
The western boundary of Nsumbu National Park, or Sumbu as it is called locally, is buffered by Tondwa Game Management Area, an IUCN Category VIII Multiple Use Management Area of 133 437 acres. The much larger Kaputa Game Management Area (889 579 acre) is also contiguous with the National Park to the north-west and south-west, and therefore the National Park completely surrounds Tondwa. Nsumbu National Park and the two Game Management Areas thus form important parts of a network of Protected Areas in Zambia.
The Park is dissected from west to east by the sizeable and perennial Lufubu River, which also demarcates the eastern boundary of the Park up to the river’s discharge into Lake Tanganyika. Nkamba and Chisala Rivers are ephemeral and smaller than the Lufubu, draining Tondwa Swamp into Nkamba and Sumbu Bays respectively, the former through an attractive valley with abundant wildlife. Much of the park is covered by combretum thicket, but along the lakeshore there are many strangler figs and candelabra trees along with the strange and interesting boulders balanced on top of one another.
Sioma Ngwezi National Park
Sioma Ngwezi National Park is mainly covered by Kalahari woodland. It is the third largest Park in Zambia covering a total area of more than 1 931 mi². The Park has been heavily poached, but the situation is improving and wildlife is recovering. As an example elephants are returning to the Park, seen at the southeast border where elephants have re-established an old migration route, now very visible with several tracks in a corridor extending over more than a mile. In the Park most wild game associated with the African bush may be encountered although up to now in fairly low numbers. The park holds a huge variety of game species such as elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, eland, sable, roan, tsessebe, zebra, impala, kudu, duiker, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and sitatunga as well as a great number of birds.
| Read More | Rich Rivers
Blessed with 3 major rivers, several substantial tributaries, and many smaller rivers, as well as vast natural lakes and the enormous Kariba dam, Zambia is one of the most water rich countries in Africa. The source of the Zambezi is in northwest Zambia and runs through the Barotse Floodplains until it forms the border with Zimbabwe. After providing power from Kariba Dam, it is joined by the Kafue River and later the Luangwa before heading out to the Indian Ocean. The Kafue and Luangwa Rivers are the life blood of the Kafue and Luangwa National Parks, teeming with hippos, crocodiles, waterbirds and plains game coming to drink. Many other rivers traverse the country with an abundance of delightful waterfalls.
The Kafue River
The Kafue River plays a large role in Zambia’s eco- system. It is a major tributary to the Zambezi River and is the largest and longest river lying entirely within Zambia. Other tributaries include the Lufupa and Lunga rivers in the north, the Musa and the Luansanza in the centre and the Nanzhila in the south. Its course changes between slow flowing reaches to fast swift channels and mighty rapids. The streams which feed the river often have sandy banks which are perfect nesting sites for bee-eaters while the sandy shores are often occupied by hippos, crocodiles, otters and water monitors. Both the Musa River and the Kafue River flow into Lake Itezhi- Tezhi in an area that covers 143 mi²of serene water. The area is great for wildlife enthusiasts, fisherman and boating- fans.
The river follows a course of approximately 597 miles. It is one of the most prominent rivers in Zambia as its water is used for irrigation as well as hydroelectric power. It also breathes life into its surroundings with an abundance of life found around its banks. The river rises on the Congo/ Zambia border and then makes its way southward before turning west near the Lukanga Swamp. From here the river continues south and then east through the Kafue Gorge and the Kafue Flats. It then joins the famous Zambezi River near Chirundu in Zimbabwe. The river runs through the extensive Kafue National Park where it is a source of life for an abundance of wild animals. The river roughly dissects the park creating a north and south separation.
The Luangwa River
The Luangwa Valley is one of Africa’s prime wildlife sanctuaries, with concentrations and varieties of game and birdlife that have made it world famous. This is the landscape of the ‘Real Africa’, with herds of antelope sheltering under thorn trees, or roaming the plains, predators skulking in the shadows and primordial drama in every vale.
The ‘Valley’ lies at the tail end of the Great Rift Valley, that continental fault which runs from the Red Sea down the length of East Africa. This accounts for the spectacular escarpment scenery in East Africa as well as the African Lakes.
As the Rift reaches Zambia, it divides; one arm to the east encompasses Lake Malawi and the western arm becomes the Luangwa Valley, which stretches some 435 miles at an average width of about 62 miles.
In the west, the Muchinga Mountain range forms the limit of both the Valley and the parks. In the east is a similar, though less well defined escarpment. The Valley floor is about a thousand meters lower than the surrounding plateau.
Down the center of the valley flows the Luangwa River, fed by dozens of sand rivers that come down during the rainy season. The Luangwa carves a tortuous course along the floor and when in flood rapidly erodes the outer bends, depositing silt within the loops. Eventually the river cuts a new course, leaving the old course to silt up, forming ‘ox bow’ lagoons. These lagoons are very important to the ecology of the riverine zone and account for the high carrying capacity of the area.
The countryside is spectacular in its rugged beauty, the vegetation thick and, near the Luangwa River and its many tributaries, a lush riverine forest occurs that is green all year round. Flanking the rivers western banks are the North and South Luangwa National Parks separated by the 19 mile Munyamadzi corridor. To the east, between the two main parks is another small and as yet undeveloped Park called Luambe. Further east on the rocky uplands beyond the flood plain is the Lukusuzi National Park, also undeveloped but plans are in the pipeline.
The Zambezi River
The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth largest River system, after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers. It runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Its unique value is that it is less developed than others in terms of human settlement and many areas along its banks enjoy protected status.
Its power has carved the spectacular Victoria Falls and the zigzagging Batoka Gorge, and has been harnessed at various points along the way including the massive Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe and Cabora Bassa Dam in Mozambique.
Running for a length of 1 678 miles, it begins its journey as an insignificant little spring in the corner of north-west Zambia in the Mwinilunga District. It bubbles up between the roots of a tree, very close to the border where Zambia, Angola and Zaire meet. It enters Angola for about 143 miles, where it accumulates the bulk of its headwater drainage, and re-enters Zambia again at Cholwezi rapids flowing due south but substantially enlarged by the entry of various tributaries.
This upper part of the river is thinly populated by pastoralists, farmers and fishermen and although wildlife is sparse it is remarkably free of pollution. This is also the scene of the remarkable Ku-omboka Ceremony where thousands of inhabitants move annually to higher ground as the Zambezi floods into the low lying plains.
It passes through the flat sandy country of the Western Province, then traverses the broad, annually flooding Barotse Plains, where much of the water is lost to evaporation, then over rockier country where its tranquil course is interrupted by the Ngonye falls and rapids. As it turns to an easterly direction it forms the border between Zambia and Namibia and eventually joins up with the Chobe River in the Caprivi Swamps, briefly forming a border with Botswana.
For the next 311 miles it serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe thundering over the Victoria Falls and through the narrow, steadily deepening Batoka Gorge, providing a fantastic playground for white water rafting, kayaking, river boarding and jet boating. From here the steep sides of the gorge eventually flatten out at the broad Gwembe Valley. Then it flows into the Kariba dam for 175 miles – it’s width at one point being 25 miles.
From the dam wall the river travels due north, heading east again at Chirundu. Here it is flanked by the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side and Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean side. This middle zone supports one of Africa’s most important wilderness areas. After the Luangwa confluence, it’s a much larger Zambezi that flows into Mozambique and out towards the Indian Ocean, having provided power, food, pleasure and transport for many and a home for untold numbers of wildlife along its journey.
| Read More | Spectacular Waterfalls
Zambia is one of the most water-rich countries in Africa and her many rivers cascade into fabulous displays of falling water as they wind over the undulating landscape. The most spectacular is of course the not-to-be-missed Victoria Falls, but there are 17 other beautiful falls dotted around the country.
Some major waterfalls are:
The Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly 1.25 miles, into a gorge over 328 feet below. The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
Facing the Falls is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor prepared to brave the tremendous spray, with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.
One special vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where you can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls Bridge, Devils Pool and the Lookout Tree, both of which command panoramic views across the Main Falls.
The Kalambo Falls
The impressive Kalambo Falls can be found in the Northern Province, 21 miles from Mbala on the Kalambo River, which forms the border between Zambia and Tanzania. This spectacular jet of water falls in a single uninterrupted stream 725 feet down into the gorge below and then on into Lake Tanganyika. They are the second highest falls in Africa and the twelfth highest in the world. The rare Maribou stork nests in the gorge below the falls.
The Kundalila Falls
East of the Great North Road near Kanona in Central Province, in an area of spectacular scenic beauty, the Kaombe River falls 230 feet, breaking into thin veils and nourishing a natural botanical garden that surrounds the Falls. Visitors may swim in the deep natural pool at the foot of the falls and there is a camping site nearby. The top of these Falls offer one of the most spectacular views over the vast Luangwa Valley, while at the foot is a delightful natural pool of great scenic beauty famed for its wild flowers. The name means “cooing dove”, one of the many bird sounds you will hear in this tranquil setting.
The Lumangwe Falls
Near the Chipembe Pontoon in the Northern Province, an astounding drop in the middle of nowhere creates what looks like a smaller version of Victoria Falls. 115 feet high and 328 feet across, the falls nourish a small rain forest on the Kalungwishi River. The Falls are said to be the home of the Great Snake Spirit called Lumangwe. In the olden days, this snake was said to have stretched itself between the Lumangwe and Kabweluma Falls, a distance of slightly over 5 miles.
The Ngonye Falls
Also known as Sioma Falls because these Falls are near the village of Sioma. These beautiful Falls mark the transition point of the Zambezi Rivers’ flow from Kalahari sand floodplain to basalt dyke – the latter eventually contributing to the magnificent gorges of the Victoria Falls. The horseshoe-shaped Ngonye Falls are mostly impressive because of the sheer volume of water that cascades over the staggered, twenty meter drop. An interesting aspect is that the river flows underneath the rock on either side of the falls. It is quite remarkable to stand upon them, feeling and hearing the underground flow.
| Read More | Vast Lakes
Despite being landlocked, there can be few places in the world as blessed as Zambia when it comes to water resources. And the nation’s vast and beautiful lakes are as breathtaking as the mighty Zambezi River and Victoria Falls. Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world, while Lake Kariba is Africa’s largest man made dam and rapidly becoming Zambia’s very own French Riviera. For the more intrepid traveler, the tropical and wild Lake Mweru offers a fascinating glimpse of village life that lines the shores of this vast lake in the far north…overall, they are well worth a visit.
Lake Kariba is Zambia’s undiscovered Riviera! It offers spectacular views, stunning sunsets, great fishing, boating opportunities, water sports or wonderful relaxing holidays or weekends just soaking up the sunshine. The weather here is mostly sunny and fine. It can get quite hot in mid-summer, but even mid-winter days are warm and the nights are balmy.
This is Africa’s largest man made dam, 140 miles long and in places up to 25 miles wide. It provides considerable electric power to both Zambia and Zimbabwe and supports a thriving commercial fishing industry. The sheer size of it makes one forget it’s a dam and in certain places it almost feels like an ocean!
This truly beautiful lake is located on the far north-west border of Zambia and is shared more or less equally with Zaire/DRC. The Luapula River flows in from the south having formed the official border between northern Zambia and Zaire. It also drains out from the lake in the north. The Kalungwishi River flows in from the east. Both river mouths form important deltas that serve as fish breeding grounds.
Not so long ago there were just a few villages dotted around the lake, but as the tar road arrived in Nchelenge in 1987, so the population increased as people began to make a living from the wealth of the Lake. The area, once surrounded by wildlife became peri-urban and the animals that weren’t poached drifted off to quieter areas. Now there are thousands of people living on the shores of this massive expanse of water which provides both food and a means of living.
The lake has spawned a dynamic population, rich in culture, fervent in trade and colorful in nature. The area is almost a microcosm of what Tropical Africa could be if left to its own devices. Water temperatures range from 70° F to 84° F. While air temperatures range from 81.5° F to 95° F. The lake is chemically very fertile and contributes substantially to the fishing industry in Zambia.
Known to only a handful of visitors, the lake lies on the edge of Mweru Wantipa National Park. Though the thriving crocodile and elephant populations once found within the National Park have been almost entirely wiped out by poaching, the park remains a good place for viewing various waterbirds. There are also a number of scenic waterfalls along the Luapula River that feeds the lake.
This vast inland sea was first made known to the European world in the mid 1800’s by the English explorers Richard Burton and John Speke. They pursued it as the source of the Nile, arriving at its shores in February of 1858, only to discover that the Ruzizi River in the north, which they thought to be the Nile, flowed into and not out of the lake.
Tanganyika’s waters lap Tanzania, Burundi, Congo DR and Zambia. It is the longest fresh water lake in the world and the second deepest after lake Baikal in Russia. The immense depth is because it lies in the Great Rift Valley, which also has created its steep shoreline. It reaches a depth of 4 700 feet, which is an astounding 702 yards below sea level.
Although Zambia can only lay claim to 7% of its surface area, it stretches north to south a distance of 420 miles and averages about 31 miles. The clear waters host more than 350 different species of fish and is well known for aquarium fish exports and excellent angling. The fertile circulating surface water, although not tidal, provides abundant plankton for its inhabitants which in turn provides much needed protein for both the local and export markets. The stiff winds that blow off the surrounding mountains aid the continual movement which inhibits the spread of bilharzia, the parasitic disease carried by shallow water snails.
It is essentially a landlocked sea but in years of heavy rain the lake overflows into the Lukuga River which in turn feeds Congo DR’s Lualaba River
Despite the ferocious surface storms that occur, driving waves up to 20 foot, no mixing of the lower relict waters occur. The bottom 3 936 feet of the lake remain ‘dead’ – either too high in hydrogen sulphide or too low in oxygen to support life. This ‘fossil water’ may be as old as 20 million years. By contrast, the oceans, because of currents and upwelling’s have life forms even as low as 36 080 feet.
Lake Tanganyika has a remarkably uniform temperature. The lower regions are only a mere 37.4° F colder than the surface. The reason for this strange phenomenon has yet to be discovered.
Lake Tanganyika boasts over 350 species of fish of which most are endemic. Like Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika is extremely old, and the combination of its age and ecological isolation has led to the evolution of unique fish populations. Since new species are being discovered continually in these remarkable lakes, it is difficult to determine which has the highest diversity, but they at least share the distinction of being the top two lakes in the world in terms of biodiversity, whilst Lake Tanganyika has the highest proportion of endemicity, concentrated mainly in the Zambian waters of the lake.
Species of particular note include the Giant Nile Perch (Lates angustifrons) and Small Nile Perch (Luciolates stappersii) which are important commercial and sports fishing species, Goliath Tiger (Hydrocynus goliath) and the English Fish or Lake Tanganyika yellow-belly (Boulengerochromis microlepis) which are important angling species (the latter being especially prized for its good eating), the Kapenta (Limnothrissa miodon) which is an important source of fish-protein in Zambia, the rare Bichir (Polypterus congicus), and a great variety of endemic Cichlids.
When one looks out over Lake Bangweulu, the grey blue waters disappear into the horizon, blending in completely with the color of the sky. It is difficult to tell just where the horizon is. ‘Bangweulu’ means ‘The Place Where the Water Meets the Sky.’
The main catches in the Lake are Cychlids (bream, tigerfish, yellow belly) and catfish. About 57 000 metric tons of fish are harvested from the Lake each year.
The Great Bangweulu Basin, incorporating the vast Bangweulu Lake and a massive Wetland area, lies in a shallow depression in the center of an ancient cratonic platform, the North Zambian Plateau. The basin is fed by 17 principle rivers from a catchment area of 73 359 mi², but is drained by only one river, the Luapula. The area floods in the wet season between November and March, and receives an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm, but 90% of the water entering the system is lost to evapotranspiration. The resultant effect is that the water level in the center of the basin varies between one and two meters, causing the flood line to advance and retreat by as much as 28 miles at the periphery. It is this seasonal rising and falling of the flood waters that dictates life in the swamps.
|Location:||Southern Africa, east of Angola between latitudes 8°S and between 20°E and 35°E, landlocked with 8 neighbors (Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo.|
|Country Size:||Zambia covers an area of 290 586 mi² - an area the size of Germany combined with Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Hungary|
|Topography:||Most of Zambia is part of the high, undulating plateau that forms the backbone of Africa. The plateau's altitude is typically 3 280 - 5 240 feet above sea level. It is deeply incised by great valleys: the Zambezi, the Kafue, the Luangwa and the Luapula. There are several large lakes on Zambia's borders: Tanganyika and Mweru in the north, and the man-made Kariba in the south. Lake Bangweulu, and its swamps and floodplain, dominate a large area of the interior.|
|Independence Day:||October 24, 1964|
|President||Michael Chilufya Sata|
|Ethnic groups:||Zambia comprises an amazing 72 ethnic groups, most of which are bantu-speaking. About 90% of the population fall into 9 major ethnolinguistic groups: the Nyanja-Chewa; Bemba; Tonga; Tumbuka; Lunda; Luvale; Kaonde; Nkoya; and Lozi.|
|Natural Resources:||copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower|
|Electricity:||220V, delivered at 50Hz|