On the so-called miombo water, there are, among other
things, African elephant, African buffalo, sable antelope,
larger kudu, giraffe and common zebra. Rhinos have been
hunted hard for the horns and are now very rare. Predators
include: spotted hyena, jackals, hyen dog, lion, cheetah,
leopard and serval. The large amounts of termites on the
miombose water attract termite-eating mammals such as ground
pigs and earthworms.
The extensive swamp and flood areas
have a very species-specific and individual bird fauna with,
among other things. many species migrate and stork as well
as migratory birds from Eurasia and parts of Africa. There
are also screaming eagle (national bird), hippopotamus and
nile crocodile. Among the many snakes are night-worms, black
mamba, boom snake, spit cobra, rock surface and blindworms.
In 2010, there were 19 national parks in Zambia, and just
over 8% of the country's area was nature protected. The
largest park, Kafue, covers about 22 400 km2. A
large number of reserves have been allocated to protect
Countryaah, the country has a relatively low population density (23
residents per km2, 2019), which is further
accentuated by the fact that the population is relatively
unevenly distributed and that the country has a relatively
high degree of urbanization for African conditions (40
percent). Most of the country's major cities are along the
Ndola – Maramba (Livingstone) railway line.
Nearly 45 percent of the population live in cities. The
largest cities are the capital Lusaka (2.5 million
residents, 2018), Kitwe (692,100) and Ndola (563,100).
For information on life expectancy and other demographic
statistics, see Country facts.
Zambia's residents can discern some 70 ethnic groups, all
of whom are Slavic speakers. These can be divided into three
main groups: upper Zambezi group with bands other luyi
(115,000), lozi or rat (684,000), kwandi (27,000), kwangwa
(53,000), mwenyi (196,000) and mbowe (8,800)), and about ten
groups assimilated to luyi; ila-tonga group with ila
(80,000), tonga (1.4 million), lenje (175,000) and gowa
(38,000); bemba-lamba-kaonde group with bemba (2.8 million),
lala (401,000), lamba (215,000), kaonde (232,000), nkoya
(146,000), luapula (105,000), lungu (425,000)) et al. In
addition, in northern Zambia there are people belonging to
the Lund Empire, with its branches across the border between
Zambia and Congo (Kinshasa) - including ndembu (40,000).
(For the kinship terminology below, see pedigree.)
Most of the peoples of Zambia belong to the so-called
matrilinear belt in Central Africa, which is characterized
by matrilineal lineage, a prominent role for female maternal
spirits, special initiation rites for girls, a strong
emphasis on women's fertility and a relatively independent
role for the adult, married, whose interests are safeguarded
by her uncle. These elements are particularly strongly
emphasized within the bemba-lamba-kaonde group, which also
applies matrilocal residence and bridal service, ie. The
groom works for the bride's family instead of paying the
bride price. However, some people in the upper Zambezi group
have patrilinear features. Lozi differs from other peoples
by applying bilateral provenance principle. In addition, a
newlywed couple can choose where they want to settle.
The people of Zambia apply settlement in small, compact
villages with round huts and in the southern part often a
surrounding palisade with room for livestock. In northern
and eastern Zambia, however, livestock management is
prevented by rainforests and tsetse flies. Instead,
agriculture is complemented by hunting and fishing.
Agriculture is the main industry in both northern and
southern Zambia. Agriculture is managed by women, while
men's efforts limit themselves to burning and clearing new
land. The most important crops have traditionally been
sorghum, millet and fingerhirs, which, however, are
increasingly being forced out of maize. In addition, cassava
(cassava), peanuts, peas, beans, sesame and jams are grown.
At Lukanga Lake, there is a Lenin-speaking fisherman
population that is classified as lukanga twee (see twee). In
the Bangweul outcrop lives another fisher population, also
called twee and once studied by the Swedish ethnographer
Eric von Rosen. At the moist meadows along the Kafue River,
kafwe twee and related groups live, also as fishermen and
collectors. Also in the Luapula swamp are two groups that
live as fishermen and collectors. In the south-eastern parts
of the country there is a small hunter group called kwandu
(5,500). There are also san (1,600) in the western parts of
The traditional political organization rests mainly on
local chiefdom, although there are still remnants of the
sacred kingdom, especially in the northern parts of the
country. Like its neighbors in southern Congo (Kinshasa),
the people of Zambia have a richly developed ritual life,
partly in connection with so-called regional cults, where
the soil's fertility is the focus, and in connection with a
variety of spirit cults, which are mainly associated with
healing. In addition, rituals with spirit possession of
deceased relatives are common. Especially in the northern
parts of the country, there is a richly developed wood
sculpture tradition alongside a similarly rich musical life,
which has its main roots in ritual contexts.
Within the country, some thirty native languages are
spoken, all of which belong to the bantu languages. English
is the official language at the national level, but seven of
the native languages - bemba (spoken by 25%), nyanja
(12%), tonga (12%), lozi (6%), kaonde (3%), lunda (3 %) and
luvale (2%) - recognized as regional official languages.
In Zambia, over 85% of the population is Christian. There
are almost 90 different Christian communities (2010). The
oldest are the communities established with missionaries in
the late 1800s.
The Catholic Church, which began its operations in the
country in 1889, is the single largest Christian community
with an estimated 35% of its population as members. About 8%
of the population belongs to Baptist, Pentecostal and
Charismatic communities. Although Zambia, named Northern
Rhodesia, was for many years a British colony, only about 2%
of the population are members of the Anglican Church's over
More than 10% of the population is said to be primarily
practitioners of traditional indigenous religion. Almost 2%
of the population is said to belong to the Bahai and just
over 1% are Muslims. In the country there are small groups
of Hindus, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox,
Methodists, Presbyterians, Menonites and those belonging to
an independent African Zionist church.
According to the 1996 Constitution, Christianity is state
religion. The Constitution and other laws guarantee freedom
of religion. However, religious political parties are
prohibited and religious groups must be registered.
Religious groups that are not registered can be fined and
their members can be sentenced to prison. Teaching in and
about Christianity is compulsory in all public schools
through seventh grade. Teaching in other religions, e.g.
Islam, not given in public schools but well in private.
The following days are national holidays: Good Friday,
Easter Eve, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.