Zambia is a landlocked country within the tropics in Southern Africa. It shares borders with 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. Zambia has a total area of 752 618 km2 of which 11,890 km² are water including lakes Bangweulu, Mweru, Kariba and Tanganyika. The terrain of Zambia is mostly high plateau (>900 m), with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. It is mostly drained by two major river basins: the Zambezi basin in the south covering about three-quarters of the country; and the Congo basin in the north. The Zambezi River itself forms the southern border with neighbouring countries. It is broken by the Victoria Falls, located in the south-west corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba which is shared with Zimbabwe. Two of the Zambezi's longest and largest tributaries, the Kafue and the Luangwa, flow mainly in Zambia. The NE-SW Luangwa Valley is a graben that splits the plateau. Lake Tanganyika on the northeast border with Tanzania, the second deepest natural lake in the world, lies within the Great Rift Valley.


The geology of Zambia can be subdivided into a composite granitic Basement Complex, comprising Paleoproterozoic Ubendian System high-grade metamorphics and metasediments-metavolcanics of the Mesoproterozoic Kibaran System; Neoproterozoic metamorphic units of the "Pan African" Mozambique Belt and low grade metamorphics, intrusive rocks and sediments of the Muva and Katanga Supergroups. The Muva Supergroup exhibits a tectonic contact with the Basement complex sequences and the Katanga supergrop overlies the Basement and/or Muva sequences with a marked angular unconformity. The Katanga Supergroup is exposed throughout the Copper Belt and NW Zambia and hosts the bulk of the Cu-Co mineralisation. Jurassic to Cretaceous Karoo Supergroup sequences occupy the rift valleys and the western region of the country. The lower part of the Karoo comprises conglomerates, sandstones and carbonaceous silt-mudstones; the unconformably overlying upper Karoo comprises a series of clastic sediments passing up into mudstones and finally basalts. Overlying the Karoo are late Mesozoic sandstones and mudstones of the Kalahari Group plus Tertiary and Quaternary sediments.