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Zambia - Enviornment

Zambia Environment

Land-locked Zambia is one of Africa's most eccentric legacies of colonialism. Shaped like a crumpled figure-eight, its borders don't correspond to any tribal or linguistic area. It's bordered by Angola to the west, the Congo (Zaïre) to the west and north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, and Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south. Zambia sits on an undulating plateau, sloping to the south. Areas of high ground include the Copperbelt Highlands and the Nyika Plateau on the border with Malawi, which contains Mwanda Peak (2150m/7050ft), the country's highest point. Zambia's main rivers are the Zambezi, which rises in the west of the country and forms the border between Zambia and Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; the Kafue, which rises in the highlands between Zambia and the Congo (Zaïre); and the Luangwa, which flows from the north into the Zambezi.

Zambia's great wildlife parks are home to a very wide range of mammals and birds. Aside from the marquee names like lions, elephants, hippos, buffalos, zebras and giraffes, commonly sighted species include warthogs, mongooses, honey badgers, baboons, African striped weasels and Lichtenstein's hartebeests. Zambia's varied birdlife includes ostriches, hornbills, woodhoopoes and starlings. Most of Zambia is moist savanna woodland, where broadleaf deciduous trees grow far enough apart to allow grasses and other plants to grow on the woodland floor. In the wetter north, bushveld covers much of the drier southwest. In drier areas, especially the valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa you'll see sprawling branches of stout baobab trees, some thousands of years old.

Along with much of southern Africa, Zambia's altitude creates a temperate climate. There are three distinct seasons: cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry from September to October, and rainy between November and April (summer).

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