Vegetation of Zambia

Vegetation of Zambia

It is estimated that 60 percent of the country’s total land area (752 000 km2) is covered with natural forests. Of these forests, about 7.2 million hectares are under government control in the form of forest reserves, which are 432 in number. In addition, there are 6.4 million hectares of national parks and 15.6 million hectares of game management areas. There are also about 15.4 million hectares of forest under traditional or customary land.

While it is true that Zambia lacks the spectacular mountains of most of its neighbors, it has more intact miombo woodland than any other country. It also has many large lakes and vast floodplains. The Zambezi and several of its tributaries are larger than any river to the south. There are larger and more spectacular waterfalls in Zambia than in the whole of the rest of the subcontinent, including five major waterfalls on the Kalungwishi River system alone.

Zambia occupies a central position in the Zambesian Region, which is the summer-rainfall belt of southern tropical Africa. Within the region, the natural vegetation is largely determined by altitude, rainfall, and soils.

In countries where the English language has been in use for centuries, such as the United States, South Africa, and Australia, many plants are known by common English names. Zambia has vegetation quite different from those countries and very few species have accepted English names. The tendency to borrow names like “Wild Medlar” is of little help to local Zambians who are never likely to see a Medlar, and would not recognize the similarity if they did.

When is the green season in Zambia?

November to May is known as the Green Season. Heavy rains arrive; promoting lush growth that sparkles green vegetation under hot skies particularly In Zambia’s Luangwa Valley making those traveling during that time experience extraordinary landscapes though it can be slippery in the National parks.

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