Zambia is mainly situated on a vast plateau 3,000m above sea level, and boasts the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa rivers - as well as one of the largest waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls, which it shares with neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Most of the country has a mild, pleasant climate, while the river valleys are hotter and more humid; the extreme north becomes tropical on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, one of Zambia's ten large lakes. While Lusaka is the country's capital, Livingstone, just ten kilometres from the Falls, is more well known to travellers as the 'adventure capital' offering adrenalin-packed activities on and around the Falls and the Zambezi River.
When it comes to wildlife, Zambia offers impressive diversity as well as large concentrations and numbers, and some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent. Endemic subspecies of giraffe and wildebeest are found in the Luangwa, while enormous herds of black lechwe inhabit the floodplains of the Bangweulu. Birdlife is particularly prolific, with 740 bird species found here, including many specials; it is the southernmost extreme of the bizarre-looking African shoebill's range for example and one of the best places to see this sought-after species.
It was in Zambia that the concept of walking safaris originated as the best way of enjoying the rich flora and fauna of the country's 19 national parks. Add to this numerous adrenalin activities on the Zambezi River, such as river rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling and canoeing, and Zambia qualifies as an all-round excellent travel destination.
Here one can catch some of the biggest tiger fish in Africa within sight of a large elephant herd on the Lower Zambezi, fly over the mighty Victoria Falls in a microlight, or view leopard on a kill at night in the South Luangwa.