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Religion and Languages of ZambiaOn the so-called miombo water, there are, among other things, African elephant, African buffalo, sable antelope, larger kudu, giraffe and common zebra. Rhinos have been hunted hard for the horns and are now very rare. Predators include: spotted hyena, jackals, hyen dog, lion, cheetah, leopard and serval. The large amounts of termites on the miombose water attract termite-eating mammals such as ground pigs and earthworms.

The extensive swamp and flood areas have a very species-specific and individual bird fauna with, among other things. many species migrate and stork as well as migratory birds from Eurasia and parts of Africa. There are also screaming eagle (national bird), hippopotamus and nile crocodile. Among the many snakes are night-worms, black mamba, boom snake, spit cobra, rock surface and blindworms.

Religion and Languages of Zambia

Nature conservation

In 2010, there were 19 national parks in Zambia, and just over 8% of the country's area was nature protected. The largest park, Kafue, covers about 22 400 km2. A large number of reserves have been allocated to protect plant life.


According to Countryaah, the country has a relatively low population density (23 residents per km2, 2019), which is further accentuated by the fact that the population is relatively unevenly distributed and that the country has a relatively high degree of urbanization for African conditions (40 percent). Most of the country's major cities are along the Ndola – Maramba (Livingstone) railway line.

Nearly 45 percent of the population live in cities. The largest cities are the capital Lusaka (2.5 million residents, 2018), Kitwe (692,100) and Ndola (563,100).

For information on life expectancy and other demographic statistics, see Country facts.

Zambia's residents can discern some 70 ethnic groups, all of whom are Slavic speakers. These can be divided into three main groups: upper Zambezi group with bands other luyi (115,000), lozi or rat (684,000), kwandi (27,000), kwangwa (53,000), mwenyi (196,000) and mbowe (8,800)), and about ten groups assimilated to luyi; ila-tonga group with ila (80,000), tonga (1.4 million), lenje (175,000) and gowa (38,000); bemba-lamba-kaonde group with bemba (2.8 million), lala (401,000), lamba (215,000), kaonde (232,000), nkoya (146,000), luapula (105,000), lungu (425,000)) et al. In addition, in northern Zambia there are people belonging to the Lund Empire, with its branches across the border between Zambia and Congo (Kinshasa) - including ndembu (40,000).

(For the kinship terminology below, see pedigree.)

Most of the peoples of Zambia belong to the so-called matrilinear belt in Central Africa, which is characterized by matrilineal lineage, a prominent role for female maternal spirits, special initiation rites for girls, a strong emphasis on women's fertility and a relatively independent role for the adult, married, whose interests are safeguarded by her uncle. These elements are particularly strongly emphasized within the bemba-lamba-kaonde group, which also applies matrilocal residence and bridal service, ie. The groom works for the bride's family instead of paying the bride price. However, some people in the upper Zambezi group have patrilinear features. Lozi differs from other peoples by applying bilateral provenance principle. In addition, a newlywed couple can choose where they want to settle.

The people of Zambia apply settlement in small, compact villages with round huts and in the southern part often a surrounding palisade with room for livestock. In northern and eastern Zambia, however, livestock management is prevented by rainforests and tsetse flies. Instead, agriculture is complemented by hunting and fishing. Agriculture is the main industry in both northern and southern Zambia. Agriculture is managed by women, while men's efforts limit themselves to burning and clearing new land. The most important crops have traditionally been sorghum, millet and fingerhirs, which, however, are increasingly being forced out of maize. In addition, cassava (cassava), peanuts, peas, beans, sesame and jams are grown.

At Lukanga Lake, there is a Lenin-speaking fisherman population that is classified as lukanga twee (see twee). In the Bangweul outcrop lives another fisher population, also called twee and once studied by the Swedish ethnographer Eric von Rosen. At the moist meadows along the Kafue River, kafwe twee and related groups live, also as fishermen and collectors. Also in the Luapula swamp are two groups that live as fishermen and collectors. In the south-eastern parts of the country there is a small hunter group called kwandu (5,500). There are also san (1,600) in the western parts of the country.

The traditional political organization rests mainly on local chiefdom, although there are still remnants of the sacred kingdom, especially in the northern parts of the country. Like its neighbors in southern Congo (Kinshasa), the people of Zambia have a richly developed ritual life, partly in connection with so-called regional cults, where the soil's fertility is the focus, and in connection with a variety of spirit cults, which are mainly associated with healing. In addition, rituals with spirit possession of deceased relatives are common. Especially in the northern parts of the country, there is a richly developed wood sculpture tradition alongside a similarly rich musical life, which has its main roots in ritual contexts.


Within the country, some thirty native languages ​​are spoken, all of which belong to the bantu languages. English is the official language at the national level, but seven of the native languages ​​- bemba (spoken by 25%), nyanja (12%), tonga (12%), lozi (6%), kaonde (3%), lunda (3 %) and luvale (2%) - recognized as regional official languages.


In Zambia, over 85% of the population is Christian. There are almost 90 different Christian communities (2010). The oldest are the communities established with missionaries in the late 1800s.

The Catholic Church, which began its operations in the country in 1889, is the single largest Christian community with an estimated 35% of its population as members. About 8% of the population belongs to Baptist, Pentecostal and Charismatic communities. Although Zambia, named Northern Rhodesia, was for many years a British colony, only about 2% of the population are members of the Anglican Church's over 650 parishes.

More than 10% of the population is said to be primarily practitioners of traditional indigenous religion. Almost 2% of the population is said to belong to the Bahai and just over 1% are Muslims. In the country there are small groups of Hindus, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox, Methodists, Presbyterians, Menonites and those belonging to an independent African Zionist church.

According to the 1996 Constitution, Christianity is state religion. The Constitution and other laws guarantee freedom of religion. However, religious political parties are prohibited and religious groups must be registered. Religious groups that are not registered can be fined and their members can be sentenced to prison. Teaching in and about Christianity is compulsory in all public schools through seventh grade. Teaching in other religions, e.g. Islam, not given in public schools but well in private.

The following days are national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Eve, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

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