The land of endless wonders
Zambia has one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, a trend reflected by the ever-increasing numbers of tourists flocking to the rich and diverse Southern African nation. Long celebrated for its peaceful history, rich and fertile land and the incredible natural wonders of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River, it is perhaps the sheer wealth of activities now available to tourists that has accelerated Zambia’s risen tourist rankings in recent years.
Zambia is one of the most highly urbanised countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 44% of the population concentrated in a few urban areas while rural areas are scarcely populated. Unemployment in urban areas remains a serious issue, while a vast number of rural Zambians engage in subsistence farming. The population comprises approximately of 72 ethnic groups, most of which are Bantu-speaking.
The Bank of Zambia serves as the Central Bank which implements monetary policies for the country. Presently, Zambia averages around $8 billion of exports annually. However, Zambia fell into poverty after international copper prices declined in the 1970s. The economy stagnated until the late 1990s. In 2007 Zambia recorded that inflation rates had dropped down from 30% to 8.9%, in 2000.
Zambia is still dealing with economic reform issues such as the size of the public sector and improving Zambia’s social sector delivery systems. It has been noted that Zambia’s economic regulations are extensive, and corruption is widespread.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper mining industry. However, government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy’s reliance on the copper industry, focusing more towards exploiting other components of its rich resource base by promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power.
While Zambia still has a long journey ahead in terms economic development, the tourism sector has been a rising popularity in the country and is sure to boost the economy extensively. The most prevailing sites that attract tourists worldwide is the Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.
While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft.) and height of 108 metres (354 ft.), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to discover Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855 from what is now known as Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. Livingstone named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria.
A popular feature is the naturally formed “Armchair” now referred to as the “Devil’s Pool”, situated near the edge of the falls. When the river flow is at a certain level, usually between September and December, a rock barrier forms, allowing adventurous swimmers to splash around in relative safety a few feet from the point where the water cascades over the falls.
For the rest of the year, anyone foolish enough to enter the waters would be instantly swept to their deaths. Apart from the Falls, Zambia boasts other equally exhilarating features and attractions, here’s what to look out for when visiting the adventurous terrain:
Zambia offers a range of action activities, from more pedestrian excursions such as guided lion walks to the more adventurous options including white water rafting down the raging waters of the incredible Zambezi or bungee jumping over the majestic Victoria Falls.
When it is time to kick back and enjoy time off, Zambia seizes to disappoint. Unwind in a luxurious spa, go for a round of 18 at the golf estate, explore the local villages or go on a sunset river cruise.
For those of you who have seen enough wildlife or had enough of an adrenaline rush, and prefer to relax, Zambia has plenty of quiet and peaceful places to enjoy a spot of fishing or a relaxing cruise on a private houseboat.
Zambia’s game reserves provide an immaculate sanctuary to a wide variety of wildlife, and boast some of the best game viewing. From the North and South Parks on the crocodile infested Luangwa River, to the wide expanse of the Lower Zambezi, a trip to Zambia is sure to fulfil all expectations.
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