Languages in Zambia

multiple languages in zambia Multiple ethnicity in Zambia mean a plethora of languages and dialects

Zambia’s official language is English, but there are more than 70 different languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. Almost everyone will speak or understand some English and most Zambians living in the urban centres speak it fluently.

Signs and official documentation are almost always in English and/or Bemba and Nyanja, the country’s two most widely spoken local languages. Bemba is spoken by more than two million Zambians and is used frequently in education and administration. Nyanja, a Bantu language spoken by approximately one million Zambians, is also prominent in major centres, especially Lusaka and Livingstone.

Nyanja is the official language of the police and also spoken in neighbouring Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. Tonga is spoken by about 11% of the population, and is commonly used in the media.

Other major languages include Lozi (about 500000 speakers), Tumbuka (about 400000 speakers), Nsenga (about 300000 speakers), Lunda (about 200000 speakers) and Luvale (also about 200000 speakers). Luyana, Mambwe-Lungu, Mashi, Mbunda, Nkoya-Mbwela, Luchazi, and Nyika make up the rest of Zambia’s main languages, spoken by various groups across the country.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Best of Zambia Safari

day 1 to 4

Welcome to Zambia

day 5 to 7

Most relaxed and unique camp

day 8 to 9

Explore the mighty Victoria Falls

day 10

We're sad to see you leave!

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Zambia vs Namibia

Zambia and Namibia are two of Southern Africa’s best safari destinations, but in many ways, they couldn’t be more different. Both have vast, isolated wilderness areas where intrepid travellers can find themselves entirely alone. But where Zambia offers a more traditional safari experience of lush, sprawling parks and abundant wildlife, Namibia is far more desolate, with breath-taking…

A luxury Zambia safari

Zambia has a number of superb luxury tented camps and lodges, located in some of the most remote, unspoiled wildlife areas in Africa. Private, all-inclusive luxury packages are available from between $600 and $1200 a day, which is good value compared with luxury safaris in Botswana and South Africa. At the lower end of this rather wide price range, the quality is still of a very high…

Cash and payments in Zambia

The Zambian kwacha The currency in Zambia is the kwacha (K). Official regulations state that all payments within the country must be made in kwacha, but US dollars are widely accepted by many of the larger hotels, lodges and tour operators. Indeed, prices for visas at the border, import taxes, and national park fees are all quoted in US dollars, which confuses the matter even more. If…

Medical emergencies in Zambia

Many safari operators include emergency medical insurance in their rates, but this may only cover the immediate situation and exclude further treatment and/or repatriation. In any event, it’s essential to be fully insured, especially if you’re headed into Zambia’s more remote regions. Every travel insurance policy is different so make sure you know how yours operates. Some policies…

Languages in Zambia

Multiple ethnicity in Zambia mean a plethora of languages and dialects Zambia’s official language is English, but there are more than 70 different languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. Almost everyone will speak or understand some English and most Zambians living in the urban centres speak it fluently. Signs and official documentation are almost always in English…

Zambia in May

May is arguably Zambia’s most beautiful month, with the vegetation at its lush best and Victoria Falls in full flow. By May, all of Zambia’s southern camps and lodges have reopened after the rains and across the south the dirt roads are drying, allowing self-drivers back into the parks. May is not yet prime time for wildlife viewing – the thick vegetation makes animals harder to…

Popular Zambia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Romantic view | Cape Town, Kruger & Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

 | Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

Camp fire | Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Best of Zambia Safari

Best of Zambia Safari

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

 | South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Victoria Falls | Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

Best of Zambia Luxury Safari

Combine water and wildlife in a journey that takes you from the Victoria Falls to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – Zambia at its best...

Boat at sunset | Zambian Odyssey

Zambian Odyssey - Safari to Three National Parks

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

 | Southern Africa safari adventure

Southern Africa safari adventure

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

 | 10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Experience the best of the migration and wildlife in Kenya, then travel to Zambia to witness Victoria Falls, ending your adventure at Hwange National Park....

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa Group needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Submitting your inquiry

Oops something went wrong.

We couldn't save your enquiry, sorry for that.

Please sent us an email on: info@discoverafrica.com

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2