- Except for some mountains in the east, most of the country is situated on a plateau.
- The climate is sub-tropical due to the high elevation.
- The savannah features some of the densest wildlife populations in Africa.1
- Deforestation, land degradation, poaching and pollution from poor mining practices are threats
- 66% of the labor force depends on agriculture,2 which contributes 17% of GDP.3
- Crops include maize, wheat, millet, sorghum, cassava, groundnuts and bananas; cotton and cattle production have declined.4
- Tobacco is its most important cash crop.
- Land reform issues have undermined food production in some areas.
- One of the world’s largest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, lies in the northwest and is fed by the Zambezi River.
- The country is bordered by the Limpopo River in the south.
- Average annual rainfall is 650 mm, and only 37% of the country receives adequate rainfall for agriculture.5
- A lack of capital and water availability limit irrigation.
- Coal is the main energy source.6
- The country imports two-fifths of its electricity; power outages are common.7
- The Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River provides Zambia and Zimbabwe 1,600 MW of electricity annually.8
- Completed in 1959, the dam faces major structural issues with its foundation.9
- Hyperinflation, along with food and fuel shortages, has undermined stable economic growth.
- 72% of the population lives below the poverty line.10
- Since the 1990s, 20% of the population has left.11
- Many households depend on aid and remittances.12
- The mining sector remains robust with large reserves of gold, platinum and diamonds.13
Photos:1,2,3,5-David Brazier/IWMI; 4-Dave Cross/Creative Commons;