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Zambia Geography Profile

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Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates
15 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references
total: 752,618 sq km
land: 743,398 sq km
water: 9,220 sq km
Area - comparative
almost five times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Texas
Land boundaries
total: 6,043.15 km
border countries (8): Angola 1065 km, Botswana 0.15 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2332 km, Malawi 847 km, Mozambique 439 km, Namibia 244 km, Tanzania 353 km, Zimbabwe 763 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 1,138 m
lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed elevation in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
Natural resources
copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Land use
agricultural land: 31.7% (2011 est.)
arable land: 4.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 26.9% (2011 est.)
forest: 66.3% (2011 est.)
other: 2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
1,560 sq km (2012)
Population distribution
one of the highest levels of urbanization in Africa; high density in the central area, particularly around the cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, and Mufulira as shown in this population distribution map
Natural hazards
periodic drought; tropical storms (November to April)
Environment - current issues
air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; loss of biodiversity; 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
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)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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