Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.  It occupies an area of 291,000 square miles which means it is more than three times the area of the UK. Formerly called Northern Rhodesia, Zambia became independent from the UK in 1964.

Most of the country is on the high plateau and is classed as Subtropical.  Temperatures are cooled by altitude but in summer average 33 degrees centigrade and in winter a very warm 23 degrees.  Winter is very dry but during the rainy season, monsoon-like floods are commonplace.

There is some tourism mainly around Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe border and in South Luangua National Park.  Main roads have improved but bi-roads are basic and often unpassable after heavy rains.

Zambia is a poor country globally and by African standards too.  60% of the 16 million population are below the poverty line and 43% are regarded as extremely poor, even higher in rural areas.   Typically on average two thirds of household income is spent on basic foodstuffs.

There is an over reliance on mining particular copper and the country is highly vulnerable to global price changes in metals.  There is a relatively stable political climate by African standards.

About 20% of adults are infected with HIV/AIDS although this statistic is slowly improving.  Typical health problems also include malaria and tuberculosis.  Life expectancy was atrocious a decade ago at less than 40 but has now climbed to just over 50.