The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around the Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt to the northwest.
Zambia has been inhabited for thousands of years by hunter-gatherers and migrating tribes. After sporadic visits by European explorers starting in the 18th century, Zambia was gradually captured and occupied by the British as protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century.
On 24 October 1964, the protectorate gained independence as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river which flows through the country.