Your guide to being an expatriate in Zambia

Caffeinate Your Zambia Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, bordered by eight other countries. Its location at the heart of the continent has led to a rich and diverse heritage, with influences from neighbouring countries and its own unique cultural traditions. The country's economy has been transformed in recent years, buoyed by a surge in foreign investment and the development of its resources sector. However, Zambia is still one of the least developed countries in the region, with high poverty and inequality levels.


Expat destinations in Zambia

Demographics of Zambia:

Ethnic groups

Lozi: 10.6%

Bemba: 22.2%

Chewa: 7.5%

Lunda: 6.3%

Ng'wi: 1.6%

Other: 20.2%

Tonga: 18.6%

Nyanja: 7.2%

Tswana: 13.1%


Lala: spoken by approximately 0.3% of the population

Lozi: (also known as Siyoka): spoken by approximately 10.6% of the population

Ushi: spoken by approximately 0.3% of the population

Bemba: (also known as Burya or Lambya): spoken by approximately 22% of the population

Chewa: (also known as Nyanja): spoken by approximately 7.5% of the population

Lunda: (also known as Chokwe): spoken by approximately 6.3% of the population

Other: spoken by approximately 32.1% of the population

Tonga: (also known as Ng'wuni): spoken by approximately 18.6% of the population

Tswana: (also known as Setswana): spoken by approximately 13.1% of the population

English: official

Religion Overview

Religion plays a significant role in Zambian society, with Christianity being the most widely practiced faith. Traditional African religions and Islam also have a presence in the country.

Major Religions


Zambia has a tropical climate, with hot and rainy summers (December to March) and cooler and drier winters (June to August). The country's location in the rain shadow of the Congo Basin means that some areas are prone to droughts, while others experience flooding.

Economy Overview

Zambia's economy has grown rapidly in recent years, driven by a mining boom and increased foreign investment. The country is rich in resources, with copper being a major export. However, the economy remains fragile and is heavily reliant on international markets.

Key Industries

  • Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism

Major Companies

  • First Quantum Minerals
  • Glencore
  • Konkola Copper Mines
  • Zamsure Nickel
  • Lusaka Stock Exchange

Culture and Language Overview

Zambia's culture is shaped by its diverse population and varied geography. Music, dance, and storytelling are central to traditional African culture, with many communities preserving traditional practices alongside more modern influences.

Cultural Highlights

  • Kalabushi Mine Memorial: honours the thousands of miners who lost their lives during Zambia's Africanisation era
  • Shiwa Ng'andu: a historic European-style village showcasing the region's colonial heritage
  • Lusaka Arcades Market: a bustling market in the capital city, selling everything from fresh produce to second-hand clothes and electronics

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Zambia's geography is hugely diverse, with the country spanning numerous biomes from dense rainforests to vast grasslands. Many areas of the country remain wild and unspoilt, making it an attractive destination for nature lovers.

Notable Landmarks

  • Kafue National Park: one of the largest national parks in Africa, containing a rich variety of flora and fauna
  • Victoria Falls: one of the world's largest waterfalls, straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Beyondo National Park: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Africa's first transfrontier conservation area

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (1st January)
  • Independence Day (24th October)
  • Boxing Day (26th December)
  • Labor Day (1st May)
  • Good Friday (Date varies)
  • Easter Sunday (Date varies)
  • Easter Monday (Date varies)
  • Ascension Day (Date varies)
  • Whit Monday (Date varies)

Political Stability

Zambia has experienced significant political turmoil in recent years, with President Michael Sata's death in 2014 triggering a wave of unrest and protests. Tensions between the ruling party and opposition groups have also led to sporadic violence and political instability. The country's position as a key player in the region's political landscape means that international events can also impact its domestic politics.

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