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History of Zambia

History of Zambia

Discover the heritage and history of Zambia with our travel tips.

Zambia tours are a great way to learn about the country’s early human history, which is thought to begin in the Stone Age with the nomadic hunter-gatherer Bushmen. Around the 11th century, the agricultural culture of the Luangwa grew near the confluence of the country’s two main rivers, the Zambezi and the Kafue. Over the next few centuries, kingdoms developed and in the 16th century, the Portuguese landed and traded goods to local rulers in return for slaves.

By the early 1800s the Zulu ruler Shaka conquered much of southern and central Africa, and there was much human migration in Zambia at this time. In 1851 the missionary explorer David Livingstone arrived and saw the stunning Victoria Falls, renaming them after his Queen. Livingstone tried to form a mission in the Kololo kingdom and end the slave trade but failed so the country was once again left alone for a few more decades. Today, a Victoria Falls tour is a main attraction of the country.

In 1889, the British took charge in order to mine the rich minerals in the land. This was agreed by a local king in return for an annual fee and protection of the Ndebele people. When other native tribes refused to work with the British colonists, troops would be brought in. In the 1920s cobalt and copper were discovered, which led to the country becoming a major mining and export country and Zambia became a British protectorate.

North Rhodesia, as it was known, was given its new name of Zambia when it gained independence in 1964. In the 1970s Zambia was part of the Rhodesian Bush War, a civil war over the unrecognized territory of Rhodesia. Today the country is peaceful and economically progressive, and Zambia tours have flourished.

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