The Republic of Zambia, located in south central Africa, lies between latitudes 8° and 18° S and between longitudes 25° and 32° 30´ E. It is bounded on the north by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) and Tanzania; on the east by Malawi; on the south-east by Mozambique; on the south by Zimbabwe, Botswana, and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia; and on the west by Angola. The south-eastern tip of Zaire penetrates deeply into the country in its middle. In the north the country touches Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika, and in the south it reaches Lake Kariba on the Zambezi River. It covers 752 612 km2, most of it between 900 and 1 500 m elevation. Some areas are a little more elevated in the northern part of the country and along the eastern border.
Five physiographic regions are generally distinguished:
- The main plateau region stretching along the main Zaire-Zambezi watershed from Kabwe (Broken Hill) to Isoka;
- The southern plateau (region of Choma-Kalomo), very similar to the main plateau;
- The eastern plateau; and
- Two main extensions of the main plateau:
- The highlands surrounding the Lake Bangweulu area from Kasama to Mansa (Fort Rosebery) in the northern part; and
- The Copperbelt-Solwezi-Kasempa area, in the north-western part.
While tropical, because of its altitude Zambia has a milder climate than might be expected. The hot season lasts only from September through November. The average temperature in Lusaka during July, the coldest month of the year, is 16° C; the hottest month, January, has an average temperature of 21° C. Annual rainfall ranges from 600 to 900 mm in the south to over 1 250 mm in the north. The rainy season extends from October or November to April.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.