Transport and infrastructure in Zambia

Our listing of the primary kinds of transport compares the infrastructure of Zambia with the average of all countries in Africa. The traffic routes have noticeable defects in many places and are often not in a particularly good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Zambia ranks 68th in the world with 0.17 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 3,126 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 297.00 million tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 4.19 million passenger-kilometers in 2018.

The waterways and ports listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals, as there is no direct access to the sea in Zambia.

Airports in Zambia

Back to overview: Zambia

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 67,671 km. For each of the country's 18.92 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 3.58 meters. This puts Zambia in 131st place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note the country's population density, which is very low at around 25 inhabitants per km². Like this, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 3434 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Zambia is considered rather mixed. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 20.6 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.2 in the USA and 17.1 worldwide.

In Zambia, left-hand traffic is the rule on the roads, i.e. you drive in the left lane and overtake on the right. Oncoming traffic comes to meet you on the right side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways67,700 km3,576.57 km89.92 m
Railroads3,100 km165.22 km4.15 m
Waterways2,250 km118.92 km2.99 m
Commercial harbors10.050.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways3,002,100 km2,186.19 km99.00 m
Railroads88,600 km64.51 km2.92 m
Waterways50,100 km36.46 km1.65 m
Commercial harbors7,8295.700.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Zambia: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in ZambiaThe 6 biggest airports and 2 airlines in Zambia with further information and data
Zambia: ClimateClimate details in ZambiaA climate analysis for Zambia incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, Rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing