Zambia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Zambia?

Overview:

Zambia, in central southern Africa, is mostly a high plateau, 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level. Lusaka is one of the higher points in the country at 4200 ft. The highest point is Mwanda Peak at 7045ft on the border with Malawi. There are four major valleys: the Zambezi, the Kafue, the Luangwa and the Luapula. Zambia has several large lakes: man-made Kariba in the South, lakes Tanganyika and Mweru in the North, and Lake Bangweulu in the interior.

Zambia is landlocked and has borders with Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The protruding southeastern area of the DRC nearly bisects Zambia into two major geographic areas. The 90 mile-long corridor in the region known as the Copperbelt contains some of the world’s largest proven copper deposits.

There are nine provinces: Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, North-Western, Southern and Western. The provinces are subdivided into a total of 72 districts.

Geography - note:

landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)

Climate:

Zambia lies between 8 and 18 degrees south of the Equator. The pleasant climate rivals that of Southern California, having three seasons: the warm-wet season (December to April), the cool-dry season (May to August) and the hot-dry season (September to November). Humidity is quite low except during the rainy season, and the temperature rarely exceeds 95°F; it can get into the 40s during the winter months (June and July). Summer clothing is worn from mid-August to mid-May. Light woolens are useful in winter (mid-May to mid-August). Generally, summer evenings are cool, and winter days are sunny and warm.

Annual rainfall during the rainy season averages 34 inches. At the season’s beginning and end, showers are brief. During January, however, heavier rains punctuated by thunderstorms often occur.

Zambia’s vegetation is mostly savannah, with areas of tropical grassland and woodland. There are 19 national parks and 32 game management areas. The native fauna is classic big game found in Southern Africa (e.g., leopards and lions). Zambia has a great variety of birds, both resident and migrant, totaling more than 700 species.

Zambia Use of Natural Resources

Zambia Environment

Climate:

Zambia lies between 8 and 18 degrees south of the Equator. The pleasant climate rivals that of Southern California, having three seasons: the warm-wet season (December to April), the cool-dry season (May to August) and the hot-dry season (September to November). Humidity is quite low except during the rainy season, and the temperature rarely exceeds 95°F; it can get into the 40s during the winter months (June and July). Summer clothing is worn from mid-August to mid-May. Light woolens are useful in winter (mid-May to mid-August). Generally, summer evenings are cool, and winter days are sunny and warm.

Annual rainfall during the rainy season averages 34 inches. At the season’s beginning and end, showers are brief. During January, however, heavier rains punctuated by thunderstorms often occur.

Zambia’s vegetation is mostly savannah, with areas of tropical grassland and woodland. There are 19 national parks and 32 game management areas. The native fauna is classic big game found in Southern Africa (e.g., leopards and lions). Zambia has a great variety of birds, both resident and migrant, totaling more than 700 species.

Terrain:

mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains

Natural Resources:

copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

periodic drought, tropical storms (November to April)

Irrigated Land:

602 Square Miles
1,559 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; poaching seriously threatens rhinoceros, elephant, antelope, and large cat populations; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; lack of adequate water treatment presents human health risks

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Zambia Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 290,586 Square Miles
752,618 Square Kilometers
Land Area 287,026 Square Miles
743,398 Square Kilometers
Water Area 3,560 Square Miles
9,220 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 3,519 Miles
5,664 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 602 Square Miles
1,559 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Angola 1,110 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,930 km, Malawi 837 km, Mozambique 419 km, Namibia 233 km, Tanzania 338 km, Zimbabwe 797 km
Geographic Coordinates 15 00 S, 30 00 E
Terrain mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
Highest Point 2,301 Meters
Highest Point Location unnamed location in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
Lowest Point 329 Meters
Lowest Point Location Zambezi river 329 m
Natural Resources copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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