The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa,[7] neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east,Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest.

Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region was colonised during the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, Zambia became the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. For most of the colonial period, the country was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.

On 24 October 1964, the country became independent of the United Kingdom and then-prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991. From 1972 to 1991 Zambia was a single-party state with the UNIP as the sole legal political party under the motto 'One Zambia, One Nation'. Kaunda was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 1991, beginning a period of social-economic growth and government decentralisation. Levy Mwanawasa, Chiluba's chosen successor, presided over the country from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, and is credited with campaigns to reduce corruption and increase the standard of living. After Mwanawasa's death, Rupiah Banda presided as Acting President before being elected President in 2008. Holding office for only three years, Banda stepped down after his defeat in the 2011 elections by Patriotic Front party leader Michael Chilufya Sata.

In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world's fastest economically reformed countries. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Lusaka.

Pre-colonial
The area of modern Zambia was inhabited by Khoisan hunter-gatherers until around AD 300, when the more technologically advanced migrating Bantu began to displace or absorb them. In the 12th century, major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Ba-Tonga, "Ba-" meaning "men") were the first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the east near the "big sea".

The Nkoya people also arrived early in the expansion coming from the Luba–Lunda kingdoms located in the southern parts of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola, followed by a much larger influx, especially between the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

At the end of the 18th century some of the Mbunda migrated to Barotseland, Mongu. upon the migration of among others, the Ciyengele. The Aluyi and their leader, the Litunga Mulambwa, especially valued the Mbunda for their fighting ability.

In the early 19th century, the Nsokolo people settled in the Mbala district of Northern Province. During the 19th century, the Ngoni and Sotho peoples arrived from the south. By the late 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were established their current areas. The arrival of Europeans was one more such influx.

A statue of Scottish explorer David Livingstone on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.
The earliest European to visit the area was Portuguese explorer Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century. This territory, located between Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Angola was claimed and explored by Portugal in that period. Other European visitors followed in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through the "3 Cs": Christianity, Commerce and Civilization.

He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them "Victoria Falls" after Queen Victoria. He described them thus: "Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". Locally the falls are known as "Mosi-o-Tunya" or "thundering smoke" in the Lozi or Kololo dialect. The town of Livingstone, near the Falls, is named after him. Highly publicised accounts of his journeys motivated a wave of European visitors, missionaries and traders after his death in 1873