8 of the Largest Man-Made Lakes in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

8 of the Largest Man-Made Lakes in the World

Humans (and beavers) have been manipulating water flow for millennia, but it wasn’t until recently that we developed the materials we’d need to create enormous bodies of water. Once we did, we created some of the largest lakes and inland seas the Earth’s ever held. Here are eight of the largest man-made lakes in the world.

Williston Lake | British Columbia, Canada

Credit: WildLivingArts/iStock

70 Billion Cubic Meters

Williston Lake was formed in 1968 with the completion of W.A.C. Bennet Dam, blocking the Peace River and creating the largest body of freshwater in British Columbia. Besides being a huge source of electricity, the lake’s nice to look at. It’s bordered by the Cassiar Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east, both being striking natural features. In fact, Williston Lake comes close to a fjord in some respects.

Krasnoyarsk Reservoir | Divnogorsk, Russia

Credit: Evgeny Vorobyev/Shutterstock

73.3 Billion Cubic Meters

Besides its massive size (a size that’s earned it the informal name of the Krasnoyarsk Sea), the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir’s claim to fame is being the world’s largest power plant from 1971 to 1983. In 1983, it was unseated by the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. The reservoir and the dam also appear on the 10 ruble bill, meaning most Russians have at least seen the thing in a picture, if not in person. A final note on the dam is the fact that a substantial section of the river below it doesn’t freeze over, even though it’s in frigid Siberia. This is because the water’s moving much too fast coming out of the dam and for miles downstream.

Manicouagan Reservoir | Quebec, Canada

Credit: Elena11/Shutterstock

138 Billion Cubic Meters

The Manicouagan Reservoir is a perfect intersection of human engineering and natural phenomena. Human engineering produced the reservoir when the Daniel-Johnson Dam was built in the 1960s. The natural aspect concerns the reservoir’s unique ring shape. The shape was created by an asteroid impact roughly 214 million years ago. That means Manicouagan Reservoir is actually a flooded crater, similar to Crater Lake (except Crater Lake is far younger and a volcano). There’s a theory that the Manicouagan crater is actually part of a multiple impact event spanning modern day North America and Europe.

Guri Reservoir | Bolivar, Venezuela

Credit: CarmeloGil/iStock

138 Billion Cubic Meters

It doesn’t look like the publicity around the Guri Reservoir is entirely good. For one, apparently the Guri Dam generates more carbon emissions than the fossil fuel alternative, which is about as hard to do as you’d think. There have also been some substantial blackouts in the 21st century, and the reservoir has a tendency to fall below optimum levels for electrical production. Still, it’s a big lake, right?

Lake Volta | Ajena, Ghana

Credit: Robert_Ford/iStock

153 Billion Cubic Meters

Just like all the other lakes on this list, Lake Volta wouldn’t be around without a dam to fill it up. In this case, it’s Akosombo Dam, built between 1961 and 1965. Interesting to note about Lake Volta, before the dam was built, the Black Volta and White Volta rivers used to meet, but once the lake started filling in, that confluence was wiped away. It’s a navigable lake, which was probably part of the point of building the dam. With it, the trip from the savanna to the coast and vice versa got a lot easier.

Bratsk Reservoir | Bratsk, Russia

Credit: fibPhoto/Shutterstock

169 Billion Cubic Meters

As much as we hate to play into stereotypes, it seems like Russians really know how to handle the cold. The Bratsk Dam was built through Siberian winters, far away from the things needed to build it, including supplies, laborers and construction support. But they did it anyway and ended up with the Bratsk Reservoir to show for it. The reservoir is on the Angara River and just to show it’s not a one-off, there are four other power-producing facilities on the same river, with stations in Irkutsk, Ust-Ilim and Boguchany.

Lake Nasser | Egypt and Sudan

Credit: Shootdiem/Shutterstock

169 Billion Cubic Meters

The construction of the Aswan High Dam, and by extension the formation of Lake Nasser, came with some uniquely Egyptian challenges. Namely, the fact that a large number of historical sites would be submerged by the filling lake, with the tombs and temples of Philae and Abu Simbel at the greatest risk. Luckily, the Egyptian government didn’t plow ahead the way other countries have been known to. The Egyptians worked with UNESCO to move the sites to higher ground.

Lake Kariba | Zambia and Zimbabwe

Credit: Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock

180 Billion Cubic Meters

The impressive Lake Kariba is an excellent example of lake creation done right. The dam produces plenty of electricity for the surrounding area, and its existence has given rise to a thriving tourism industry and also increased biodiversity. There was a short five-year period when the rate of earthquakes increased, but that hasn’t stuck around. What has is the tiger fish, tilapia, catfish and vundu, all supporting a strong fishing industry. And the water. A truly awesome amount of water has stuck around. It’s closer to an inland sea than anything else.

6 Fascinating Facts About Victoria Falls

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 Fascinating Facts About Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Africa. When Scottish explorer David Livingstone became the first recorded European to see the waterfall in 1855 he proclaimed: “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. He named it after Queen Victoria; however, the Kalolo-Lozi people had been calling it Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders) for long before. The following facts will surely make you want to plan a visit.

The Waterfall is One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World

Credit: Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock.com

While the Seven Wonders of the World showcases the incredible talents of humankind, the Seven Natural Wonders of the Natural World is a celebration of Mother Nature. Compiled in 1997, the list spans most of the world’s seven continents. Victoria Falls lines up alongside the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Northern Lights, Mount Everest, and Paricutin cinder cone volcano.

It’s Shared Between Zambia and Zimbabwe

Credit: Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock.com

The falls are formed by a natural gorge situated almost halfway along the 1,599-mile long Zambezi river, which acts as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls Bridge crosses high above the river and is both a popular viewpoint and a heavily transited road, with hundreds of cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and trains crossing between the two countries every day. Both sides of the falls offer different perspectives. On the Zimbabwean side, the Victoria Falls National Park has well-marked trails that lead to wonderful views of Devil’s Cataract, Horseshoe Falls, and Rainbow Falls. Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park brings you within touching distance of the rushing water.

Curiously, this isn’t the only one of the world’s great waterfalls that sits on an international border. Canada and the U.S. share Niagara Falls while Argentina and Brazil share Iguazu Falls.

It’s the Largest Curtain Waterfall in the World

Credit: Artush/Shutterstock.com

Many claim that Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall. While this isn’t technically true—it is neither the tallest nor the widest—it does possess the biggest sheet of cascading water on the planet. In its entirety, this measures an incredible 354 feet in height and 5,600 feet in width. During the course of just one single minute, some 5 million cubic meters of water spill down the falls.

You Can Swim in a Natural Infinity Pool…

Credit: josto/Shutterstock.com

Thrill-seekers will be drawn to Devil’s Pool, a pool that forms naturally at the edge of the falls on the Zambian side. After jumping into the pool, the flow of the river takes you to a rock wall and a bird’s-eye view of the Zambezi. Devil’s Pool is generally accessible from mid-August to mid-January and toursdepart from Victoria Falls village and the Royal Livingstone Hotel. If the pool is inaccessible, then you can try Angel’s Pool. Both are close to Livingstone Island, where David Livingstone first glimpsed this magical sight.

…And Bungee Jump Over the Zambezi River

Credit: demerzel21/iStock

If the pools weren’t daring enough, at the center of Victoria Falls Bridge is one of the world’s highest, and arguably most scenic, bungee jumps. A 364-feet drop and 4-second free fall brings brave jumpers face-to-face with the roaring Zambezi, where hippos swim and crocodiles loiter. Adrenaline junkies can also opt for a bridge slide and bridge swing. Go here to find out more about activities you can book at the falls.

It’s Possible to Witness a Lunar Rainbow

Credit: 2630ben/iStock

Rainbows are omnipresent around the waterfalls, but on full moon nights another natural phenomenon occurs. Once a month, the light of the moon is bright enough for it to disperse, reflect, and retract with the spray of the falls in the same way that sunlight creates a rainbow. Knife’s Edge Bridge, on the Zambian side, is one of the best spots to watch the “moon-bow.”

The 5 Fastest Growing Cities in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Fastest Growing Cities in the World

5

Fastest Growing Cities in the World

The world’s population is urbanizing at an incredible rate. Of all the cities experiencing rapid growth, a sizable chunk are in Africa. More accurately, they’re all in Africa. These are the five fastest growing cities in the world.

Data and rankings come from both World Atlas and the United Nations.

Lusaka, Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia

Credit: Makhh/Shutterstock

  • Current Population: 1.5 million
  • 2030 Population: 2.1 million
  • Annual Rate of Change: 4.6%

By Zambia’s own admission, Lusaka is experiencing problems common to rapidly expanding cities. There aren’t enough jobs in the city, so unemployment is high, and municipal services are having a hard time keeping up with demand. At the same time, Lusaka is defying expectations by maintaining low crime rates and impressive diversity. The city also contains lively markets and restaurants. It’s almost as if the people know things aren’t great right now but that they’ll improve exponentially in the near future.

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

Credit: emre topdemir/Shutterstock

  • Current Population: 2 million
  • 2030 Population: 3.9 million
  • Annual Rate of Change: 4.8%

Kampala frequently tops quality of life surveys conducted in East Africa, so the bar for the city already starts high. There’s always something going on in the city and it seems like there are enough signature dishes in Kampala (and Uganda in general) that you could probably eat a different national dish for almost every meal no matter how long you stay there. Apparently this is going to be one of those cities where you have to take a crash course in local languages, though. The official language is English, but most people speak a Ugandan English dialect called Uglish, a form where their most common expressions can be hard to understand, even if you’re a master of contextual language.

Bamako, Mali

Bamako, Mali

Credit: Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock

  • Current Population: 2.7 million
  • 2030 Population: 5.3 million
  • Annual Rate of Change: 4.9%

The French influence still left in Mali might find its best example in the city’s standard breakfast bread. Most other meals are full of traditional Malian foods, but for some reason, breakfast is an exception. There isn’t really a name for it, but it’s the bread that’s fueling a huge boost in population and productivity. There are colleges, manufacturers, zoos, botanical gardens and markets throughout the city, but the majority seems to be very much of the a working class, blue-collar type.

Category IconGeography
2pts

Daily trivia question

Test Your Knowledge!

Which U.S. state has the most area covered by water?

PLAY!Plane icon

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Credit: E X P L O R E R/Shutterstock

  • Current Population: 5.4 million
  • 2030 Population: 10.8 million
  • Annual Rate of Change: 4.9%

Dar es Salaam wears its colonial history on its sleeve. You can see elements of German and British occupation are all over the city’s architectural landmarks, left over from when both countries used Dar es Salaam as a major hub in their empires. Today, the city maintains its importance in trade and government, as the main port of Tanzania as well as the main offices for government organizations. Naturally, as Tanzania improves its economic standing, more people are flocking to the city.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Credit: Thierry Boitier/Shutterstock

  • Current Population: 2.9 million
  • 2030 Population: 5.9 million
  • Annual Rate of Change: 5%

The city of Ouagadougou is usually shortened to Ouaga, and for good reason. Ouagadougou is a mouthful no matter who you are. Its main attraction would be the Rood Wooko market in the center of the city. It’s the kind of place that has everything in the way that having everything actually means having every thing. You could leave the market with a collection of items that would otherwise require about 15 separate trips to accumulate.

5 Of The Most Stunning Waterfalls In The World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Most Stunning Waterfalls in the World

5

Most Stunning Waterfalls in the World

The power and beauty of waterfalls have inspired travelers for centuries. The most stunning of the bunch aren’t necessarily the biggest or the ones that boast the largest volume of water flow. Sometimes it’s the surroundings, graceful composition or incredible location that makes them worthy of a visit.

We scoured the globe and found five awesomely impressive waterfalls to add to your bucket list:

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

Credit: R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock.com

The Iguazu Falls are nothing short of breathtaking. The tremendous collection of 275 cascades range from 60 to 82 meters tall, and they spread over two miles, making this the biggest waterfall system in the world. The 700-meter long Devil’s Throat is undoubtedly the most spectacular sight, funneling the Iguazu River’s water down its 82-meter drop.

Iguazu Falls is protected by National Parks in both Argentina and Brazil. Arrange a visa for both countries beforehand so you can see the falls from different perspectives.

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Credit: Preto Perola/Shutterstock.com

Nestled in the pristine jungle on the outskirts of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Falls wins major points for location. It may not be the biggest in the world, but it made its way onto the list courtesy of its tranquil vibe and stunning cobalt-blue water.

Kuang Si Falls is composed of three distinct tiers that break off into multiple cascades and snake their way into several big rock pools. The welcoming water begs visitors to take a dip on a hot day. It’s chilly, but we bet that rope swing will encourage you to jump in.

Follow the dirt path, letting the sound of gushing water guide you to the waterfalls’ tallest point. The 50-foot crevasse gushes water that flows from an unseen origin, one hidden in the dense green canopy above. The curious will venture a bit farther and embark on the steep, 30-minute climb to reach the top of the falls. Your reward is viewing the source—a private oasis with shallow pools tucked in a jungle.

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Credit: Mike Mareen/Shutterstock.com

A visit to this park should be a priority for any nature or outdoor lover. The Plitvice National Park, bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina, boasts 16 spectacular cascading lakes. Each body of water flows into the next as the sequence of lakes follows the water flow. The spilling over of these lakes creates some 90 waterfalls throughout the park. A vista more stunning than the last awaits around each turn, making it difficult to pinpoint a highlight. However, you have to see the giant, haphazard spillover of Veliki Slap (aka the Big Waterfall) and complete the trek to the viewpoint above.

Insider Tip: Break up your tour of this sprawling park into two days. Spend one day exploring the Upper Lakes section and the second exploring the Lower Lakes section. Both areas are walkable and it’s advised to take your time so you don’t miss an inch of its splendor.

Category IconHistory
3pts

Daily trivia question

Test Your Knowledge!

Who was the first pilot to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean?

PLAY!Plane icon

Yosemite Falls, California, U.S.A.

Yosemite Falls, California, U.S.A.

Credit: A.Hornung/Shutterstock.com

At 739 meters, this plunging-tiered waterfall is the highest in California. Located in Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls is one of its greatest attractions. The Upper Yosemite Falls spouts water out of a stoic cliff face, letting it tuble down a staggering 440 meters. This section alone makes Yosemite Falls one of the tallest waterfalls in the U.S. The middle section drops another several hundred meters via a series of cascades. Finally, the Lower Yosemite Falls dives 90 meters into the base pool. You can reach the top of the falls with a strenuous hike. However, there are plenty of excellent viewpoints throughout the length of Yosemite Valley.

Insider Tip: Visit in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Credit: Torsten Reuter/Shutterstock.com

In the 1800s, the local Kololo tribe named this mighty flow of water Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “The Smoke That Thunders.” This seems like the most fitting name for Victoria Falls, a cosmically powerfully waterfall fed by the Zambezi River, with clouds of spray that can be seen from miles away.

Victoria Falls is commonly referred to as the largest waterfall in the world in terms of combined width and height. It stretches nearly 2 kilometers along the Zambia-Zimbabwe border before plunging into a gorge more than 100 meters below. Facing the falls is another cliff of the same height, creating a fatally enticing entrance to Middle Earth.

Multiple viewing platforms create perfect vantage points for visitors and dramatic photo opportunities. Getting up close and personal with Victoria promises to be a spiritual experience.

Insider Tip: Victoria Falls can be viewed from both Zambia and Zimbabwe. We recommend posting up in the Zambian town of Livingston for cheaper accommodation, cheaper National Park entrance and multiple viewing platforms.

Zambia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘CIA FACT BOOK’)

 

Zambia

Introduction The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. The new president launched an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe high-level corruption during the previous administration. In 2006-07, this task force successfully prosecuted four cases, including a landmark civil case in the UK in which former President CHILUBA and numerous others were found liable for USD 41 million. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair. Upon his abrupt death in August 2008, he was succeeded by his Vice-president Rupiah BANDA, who subsequently won a special presidential election in October 2008.
History The area of modern Zambia was inhabited by Khoisan hunter-gatherers until around AD 300, when technologically-advanced migrating tribes began to displace or absorb them. In the 12th century, major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Batonga) were the first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the east near the “big sea”. The Nkoya people also arrived early in the expansion, coming from the Luba-Lunda kingdoms located in the southern parts of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola, followed by a much larger influx, especially between the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 18th century, the Nsokolo people settled in the Mbala district of Northern province. During the 19th century, the Ngoni peoples arrived from the south. By the late 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were established in the areas they currently occupy.

The earliest account of a European visiting the area was Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century, followed by other explorers in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through the “3 C’s” (Christianity, Commerce and Civilization). He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. Locally the falls are known “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “(the) thundering smoke” (in the Lozi or Kololo dialect). The town of Livingstone, near the falls, is named after him. Highly publicized accounts of his journeys motivated a wave of explorers, missionaries and traders after his death in 1873.

In 1888, the British South Africa Company, (BSA Company) led by Cecil Rhodes, obtained mineral rights from the Litunga, the king of the Lozi for the area which later became North-Western Rhodesia.[6] To the east, King Mpezeni of the Ngoni resisted but was defeated in battle and that part of the country came to be known as North-Eastern Rhodesia. The two were administered as separate units until 1911 when they were merged to form Northern Rhodesia. In 1923, the Company ceded control of Northern Rhodesia to the British Government after the government decided not to renew the Company’s charter.

That same year, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which was also administered by the BSA Company, became self-governing. In 1924, after negotiations, administration of Northern Rhodesia transferred to the British Colonial Office. In 1953, the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland grouped together Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi) as a single semi-autonomous region. This was undertaken despite opposition from a sizeable minority of Africans, who demonstrated against it in 1960-61. Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crisis characterizing the federation in its last years. Initially, Harry Nkumbula’s African National Congress (ANC) led the campaign that Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP) subsequently took up.

A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia’s secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. The federation was dissolved on 31 December 1963, and in January 1964, Kaunda won the first and only election for Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. The Colonial Governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, was very close to Kaunda and urged him to stand for the post. Soon afterwards there was an uprising in the north of the country known as the Lumpa Uprising led by Alice Lenshina – Kaunda’s first internal conflict as leader of the nation.

Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964, with Kaunda as the first president.

At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. There were 70,000 Europeans in Zambia in 1964. Three neighboring countries – Angola, Mozambique and Southern Rhodesia – remained under colonial rule. Southern Rhodesia’s white-ruled government unilaterally declared independence in November 1965. In addition, Zambia shared a border with South West Africa (Namibia) which was administered by South Africa. Zambian sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial or white-dominated rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia (subsequently called Rhodesia). During the next decade, it actively supported movements such as UNITA in Angola; the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU); the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa; and the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO).

Conflict with Rhodesia resulted in the closure of the border with that country in 1973 and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country’s requirements for electricity (despite the fact that the control centre was on the Rhodesian side of the border). A railway to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railway lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola. Until the completion of the railway, however, Zambia’s major artery for imports and the critical export of copper was along the TanZam Road, running from Zambia to the port cities in Tanzania. A pipeline for oil was also built from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola in Zambia.

By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, however Zambia’s problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies created an influx of refugees and caused continuing transportation problems. The Benguela railway, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia’s strong support for the ANC, which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided ANC targets in Zambia.

In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia’s principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. In Zambia’s situation, the cost of transporting the copper great distances to market was an additional strain. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief, but, as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia’s per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.

Geography Location: Southern Africa, east of Angola
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 752,614 sq km
land: 740,724 sq km
water: 11,890 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly larger than Texas
Land boundaries: total: 5,664 km
border countries: Angola 1,110 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,930 km, Malawi 837 km, Mozambique 419 km, Namibia 233 km, Tanzania 338 km, Zimbabwe 797 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
Terrain: mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed location in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
Natural resources: copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 6.99%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 92.97% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,560 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 105.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.74 cu km/yr (17%/7%/76%)
per capita: 149 cu m/yr (2000)
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; 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
Politics Zambian politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Zambia is both head of state and head of government in a pluriform multi-party system. The government exercises executive power, whilst legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964.
People Population: 11,862,740
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 45.1% (male 2,685,142/female 2,659,771)
15-64 years: 52.6% (male 3,122,305/female 3,116,846)
65 years and over: 2.3% (male 114,477/female 164,199) (2009 est.)
Median age: total: 17 years
male: 16.9 years
female: 17.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.631% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 40.52 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 21.35 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 101.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 105.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 96.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 38.63 years
male: 38.53 years
female: 38.73 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.15 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 15.2% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.1 million (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 56,000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2008)
Nationality: noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian
Ethnic groups: African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%
Religions: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Languages: English (official), major vernaculars – Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 80.6%
male: 86.8%
female: 74.8% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 7 years
male: 7 years
female: 7 years (2000)
Education expenditures: 2% of GDP (2005)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Zambia
conventional short form: Zambia
former: Northern Rhodesia
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Lusaka
geographic coordinates: 15 25 S, 28 17 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, North-Western, Southern, Western
Independence: 24 October 1964 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 24 October (1964)
Constitution: 24 August 1991; amended in 1996 to establish presidential term limits
Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in an ad hoc constitutional council; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Rupiah BANDA (since 19 August 2008); Vice President George KUNDA (since 14 November 2008); note – President BANDA was acting president since the illness and eventual death of President Levy MWANAWASA on 18 August 2008, he was then elected president on 30 October 2008 to serve out the remainder of MWANAWASA’s term; the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Rupiah BANDA (since 19 August 2008); Vice President George KUNDA (since 14 November 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 30 October 2008 (next to be held in 2011); vice president appointed by the president; note – due to the untimely death of former President Levy MWANAWASA, early elections were held to identify a replacement to serve out the remainder of his term
election results: Rupiah BANDA elected president; percent of vote – Rupiah BANDA 40.1%, Michael SATA 38.1%, Hakainde HICHILEMA 19.7%, Godfrey MIYANDA 0.8%, other 1.3%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (158 seats; 150 members are elected by popular vote, 8 members are appointed by the president, to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 28 September 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – MMD 72, PF 44, UDA 27, ULP 2, NDF 1, independents 2; seats not determined 2
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (the final court of appeal; justices are appointed by the president); High Court (has unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases)
Political parties and leaders: Forum for Democracy and Development or FDD [Edith NAWAKWI]; Heritage Party or HP [Godfrey MIYANDA]; Movement for Multiparty Democracy or MMD [vacant]; Patriotic Front or PF [Michael SATA]; Party of Unity for Democracy and Development or PUDD [Dan PULE]; Reform Party [Nevers MUMBA]; United Democratic Alliance or UDA (a coalition of RP, ZADECO, PUDD, and ZRP); United Liberal Party or ULP [Sakwiba SIKOTA]; United National Independence Party or UNIP [Tilyenji KAUNDA]; United Party for National Development or UPND [Hakainde HICHILEMA]; Zambia Democratic Congress or ZADECO [Langton SICHONE]; Zambian Republican Party or ZRP [Benjamin MWILA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MONUC, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Inonge MBIKUSITA-LEWANIKA
chancery: 2419 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-9717 through 9719
FAX: [1] (202) 332-0826
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Donald E. BOOTH
embassy: corner of Independence and United Nations Avenues, Lusaka
mailing address: P. O. Box 31617, Lusaka
telephone: [260] (211) 250-955
FAX: [260] (211) 252-225
Flag description: green field with a panel of three vertical bands of red (hoist side), black, and orange below a soaring orange eagle, on the outer edge of the flag
Culture The culture of Zambia is mainly indigenous Bantu culture mixed with European influences. Prior to the establishment of modern Zambia, the indigenous people lived in independent tribes, each with their own ways of life. One of the results of the colonial era was the growth of urbanisation. Different ethnic groups started living together in towns and cities, influencing each other as well as adopting a lot of the European culture. The original cultures have largely survived in the rural areas. In the urban setting there is a continuous integration and evolution of these cultures to produce what is now called “Zambian culture”.

Traditional culture is very visible through colourful annual Zambian traditional ceremonies. Some of the more prominent are: Kuomboka and Kathanga (Western Province), Mutomboko (Luapula Province), Ncwala (Eastern Province), Lwiindi and Shimunenga (Southern Province), Likumbi Lyamize (North Western), Chibwela Kumushi (Central Province), Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena (Northern Province).

Popular traditional arts are mainly in pottery, basketry (such as Tonga baskets), stools, fabrics, mats, wooden carvings, ivory carvings, wire craft and copper crafts. Most Zambian traditional music is based on drums (and other percussion instruments) with a lot of singing and dancing. In the urban areas foreign genres of music are popular, in particular Congolese rumba, African-American music and Jamaican reggae.

The Zambian staple diet is based on maize. It is normally eaten as a thick porridge, called Nshima, prepared from maize flour commonly known as mealie meal. This may be eaten with a variety of vegetables, beans, meat, fish or sour milk depending on geographical location/origin. Nshima is also prepared from cassava, a staple food in some parts of the country.

Economy Economy – overview: Zambia’s economy has experienced strong growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-08 about 6% per year. Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and foreign investment. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, consisting of approximately USD 6 billion in debt relief. Zambia experienced a bumper harvest in 2007, which helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports and contain inflation. Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade. The decline in world commodity prices and demand will hurt GDP growth in 2009, and elections and campaign promises are likely to weaken Zambia’s improved fiscal stance.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $17.83 billion (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $15.23 billion (2008 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 6.2% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $1,500 (2008 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 16.7%
industry: 26%
services: 57.3% (2008 est.)
Labor force: 5.093 million (2008 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 85%
industry: 6%
services: 9% (2004)
Unemployment rate: 50% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 86% (1993)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 38.8% (2004)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 50.8 (2004)
Investment (gross fixed): 26% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budget: revenues: $3.777 billion
expenditures: $4.104 billion (2008 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Public debt: 25.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11.8% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 11.73% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 18.89% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $995.8 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $1.709 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $1.968 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $2.346 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture – products: corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides
Industries: copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2008 est.)
Electricity – production: 9.289 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 8.625 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – exports: 255 million kWh (2006)
Electricity – imports: 68 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 0.5%
hydro: 99.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Oil – production: 150 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil – consumption: 14,760 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil – exports: 191 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – imports: 13,810 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – proved reserves: NA
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$478 million (2008 est.)
Exports: $5.632 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports – commodities: copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton
Exports – partners: Switzerland 41.8%, South Africa 12%, Thailand 5.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.3%, Egypt 5%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, China 4.1% (2007)
Imports: $4.423 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports – commodities: machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports – partners: South Africa 47.4%, UAE 6.3%, China 6%, India 4.1%, UK 4% (2007)
Economic aid – recipient: $504 million (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.35 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt – external: $2.913 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $NA
Currency (code): Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Currency code: ZMK
Exchange rates: Zambian kwacha (ZMK) per US dollar – 3,512.9 (2008 est.), 3,990.2 (2007), 3,601.5 (2006), 4,463.5 (2005), 4,778.9 (2004)
Communications Telephones – main lines in use: 91,800 (2007)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 2.639 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: facilities are aging but still among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa
domestic: high-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities; several cellular telephone services in operation and network coverage is improving; Internet service is widely available; very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms
international: country code – 260; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 19, FM 5, shortwave 4 (2001)
Radios: 1.2 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations: 9 (2001)
Televisions: 277,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .zm
Internet hosts: 7,610 (2008)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2001)
Internet users: 500,000 (2007)
Transportation Airports: 107 (2007)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 9
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 98
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 64
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Pipelines: oil 771 km (2008)
Railways: total: 2,157 km
narrow gauge: 2,157 km 1.067-m gauge
note: includes 891 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) (2006)
Roadways: total: 91,440 km
paved: 20,117 km
unpaved: 71,323 km (2001)
Waterways: 2,250 km (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula rivers) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Mpulungu
Military Military branches: Zambian National Defense Force (ZNDF): Zambian Army, Zambian Air Force, National Service (2009)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); mandatory HIV testing on enlistment; no conscription (2009)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 2,678,668
females age 16-49: 2,567,433 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 1,364,173
females age 16-49: 1,245,220 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 149,567
female: 148,889 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes – international: in 2004, Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river; 42,250 Congolese refugees in Zambia are offered voluntary repatriation in November 2006, most of whom are expected to return in the next two years; Angolan refugees too have been repatriating but 26,450 still remain with 90,000 others from other neighboring states in 2006
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 42,565 (Angola); 60,874 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,100 (Rwanda) (2007)
Trafficking in persons: current situation: Zambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; many Zambian child laborers, particularly those in the agriculture, domestic service, and fishing sectors, are also victims of human trafficking; Zambian women, lured by false employment or marriage offers abroad, are trafficked to South Africa via Zimbabwe and to Europe via Malawi for sexual exploitation; Zambia is a transit point for regional trafficking of women and children, particularly from Angola to Namibia and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Africa for agricultural labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Zambia is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking, particularly in regard to its inability to bring alleged traffickers to justice through prosecutions and convictions; unlike 2006, there were no new prosecutions or convictions of alleged traffickers in 2007; government efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained extremely limited throughout the year (2008)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis

Trump Opens Up U.S. Market To Elephant Poachers/Hunters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

African elephant and calf walking, Masai Mara N.R, Kenya
African elephant and calf walking, Masai Mara N.R, Kenya
Anup Shah—Getty Images

By Justin Worland

11:58 AM EST

The Trump administration on Thursday said it had reversed a ban on hunters importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

The FWS said the move, which reverses a prohibition enacted by the Obama administration in 2014, follows a revaluation based on new information about the elephant populations and their management in those countries. New estimates show there are 80,000 elephants in Zimbabwe, according to the FWS. The agency does not say what the estimate was in 2014. The government of Zimbabwe issues permits to hunt 500 elephants annually, collecting fees that hunting backers say supports conservation.

“Sport hunting, as part of a sound wildlife management program, can provide benefits to conservation,” the FWS said in a bulletin announcing the decision. “When the Service announced an interim suspension on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe on April 4, 2014, we based our decision on the limited information available to us… the facts on the ground have changed and improved.”

The agency will immediately begin issuing permits to carry elephant trophies — typically the elephant’s severed head — back to the U.S. as a symbol of the hunt. The practice received public outcry in 2015 after reports that an American dentist had killed a lion in Zimbabwe illegally. Still, trophy hunting remains popular among a small group of hunters, including the president’s children, Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric.

Trophy hunting remains controversial in the U.S. with animal protection groups arguing that it contributes to unsustainable population decline in a slew of threatened species. Elephants, in particular, remain an endangered species with a rapid decline continuing as a result of poaching and the ivory trade.

“The global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade,” said Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle in a blog post. “And now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”

The FWS service said it was still evaluating whether to allow hunters to import elephant remains from Tanzania.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT