Zambia Geography - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


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 1,065 km; Botswana 0.15 km; Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,332 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


highest point: Mafinga Central 2,330 m

lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m

mean elevation: 1,138 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

agricultural land: 31.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 26.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 66.3% (2018 est.)

other: 2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,560 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Tanganyika (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Burundi) - 32,000 sq km; Lake Mweru (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo) - 4,350 sq km; Lake Bangweulu - 4,000-15,000 sq km seasonal variation

Major rivers (by length in km)

Congo river source (shared with Angola, Republic of Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo [m]) - 4,700 km; Zambezi river source (shared with Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 2,740 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km)
Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)

Major aquifers

Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

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)

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)

NOTE: The information regarding Zambia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Zambia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Zambia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.