I'm just back from spending a year in rural zambia and i found this site, while aimlessly browsing the net for info on zambia(reverse homesickness??) and i really like it. as far as i can tell all of the info is correct.
As we need to create a map for this country, what would be sensible travel regions? --globe-trotter 09:11, 24 January 2010 (EST)
Zambia is vast and also one of the more important countries for travellers in Africa. There are 9 provinces which is not a bad starting point. This topo map is very helpful when trying to figure out the geography. I would propose something like:
Northern Plateau (Northern and Luapula Provinces) - high plateaus with lots in common culturally and geographically with DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi
East (Eastern Province) - lower elevations with two major national parks. Could call this region Luangwa Valley but that also description also applies to part of the Northern region.
Zambezi Basin (Western, North Western and Southern Provinces) - lots of visitors due to Victoria Falls NP, but very remote in northern parts
Copperbelt (Copperbelt province) - relatively small region but this is the most densely populated and industrialised area. Not many tourists but lots of business visitors I would imagine.
Central (Central and Lusaka provinces) - several National Parks/Game Reserves and lots of visitors for that reason. Also the capital city.
Five might not be enough, but at least the discussion is underway! --Burmesedays 11:17, 24 January 2010 (EST)
I don't know a lot about Zambia, but this region breakup looks good. AHeneen 16:37, 24 January 2010 (EST)
Speaking with the vast wealth of knowledge gained from spending nearly one week in the country, the split sounds reasonable to me — it also corresponds roughly to the linguistic/tribal divisions (see People). Jpatokal 04:23, 25 January 2010 (EST)
That's about one week's knowledge more than the rest of us :). GT - are you going to do this map? Be great if you did. --Burmesedays 04:31, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Awesome, yes, I'll be working on Zambia. --globe-trotter 11:13, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Wouldn't it make sense to cut a piece of Northern Plateau and make the Luanda Valley one region? --globe-trotter 11:48, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Looking at the maps again, probably yes. But please do not call it Luanda as that is the capital of Angola:-). --Burmesedays 21:31, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Oops, I meant Luanga Valley! --globe-trotter 22:02, 25 January 2010 (EST)
I was looking at maps of Zambia at lunch today trying to figure out some regions... the five regions above match pretty closely to what I came up with. I like the idea of the Luanga Valley being its own region too. Shaund 22:36, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Are you talking about the Luangwa valley of South Luangwa National Park fame? It's very much part of the East if you ask me, the only remotely passable road in passes through Chipata and that's how most visitors arrive. Jpatokal 01:08, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Yep that is an alternative spelling - the Luanga or Luangwa River. I think that would make a good, less bland name for that region. And the top of the valley which is in Northern Province can easily be absorbed into this region. --Burmesedays 01:18, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Yeah, just to clarify, I meant I support renaming the East region to "Luangwa Valley" (since it's the dominant feature) as opposed to making it a separate region from the East (I'm not if it was clear re-reading it!). Shaund 01:27, 26 January 2010 (EST)
I'm afraid I disagree. While "East" is a boring name, the area is locally universally known as the "Eastern Province", and most of its major towns (Chipata, Lundazi, Chama, etc) are not in the Luangwa valley, but along another valley near the Malawi border. Jpatokal 20:51, 26 January 2010 (EST)
That is good feedback from somebody who has actually visited the country and I suggest the name stays at East. --Burmesedays 23:11, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Zambia has a fairly evolved rail system and I suggest the network is shown on the map. --Burmesedays 23:10, 26 January 2010 (EST)
I think the name Luangwa Valley is better, most travelers go there to visit the national parks of the same name. A name doesn't necessarily have to cover exactly every part of the area, Bangkok/Khao San Road officially would have to be named Banglamphu, but most travelers go there for the Road itself, and most travellers would think of that name belong to the area. I think a similar situation applies here. --globe-trotter 23:24, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Here's a link to some railroad info  which might be helpful. I hear what you're saying on a name doesn't necesarily have to cover exactly every part of an area. Although sometimes it works better than others and I don't know Zambia well enough to know if it would work here. Based on Jani's comment, I'd lean towards leaving the name as East. Shaund 00:02, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Another issue with East is that the Luangwa Valley and its national parks would be split into 2 separate regions (while for travel purposes it makes sense to place the valley in one region). --globe-trotter 09:25, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Both South and North Luangwa NPs are in practiced always accessed through east, so there is no need to put them in the Northern region. Jpatokal 09:50, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, but the national parks are located in the northern region if we follow province boundaries. --globe-trotter 10:32, 27 January 2010 (EST)
I think what Jani is saying is to have a region called East or Eastern which includes both the Luangwa National Parks, not to follow the Eastern Province administrative division.--Burmesedays 11:22, 27 January 2010 (EST)
That's right. We can just call it "Eastern Zambia", not "Eastern Province (Zambia)". Jpatokal 20:43, 27 January 2010 (EST)