Zambia is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa, although it is typically referred to as being in South-Central Africa. Its neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west.
There are numerous ecosystems in Zambia, such as forest, thicket, woodland and grassland vegetation types.
Zambia has approximately 12,505 identified species – 63% animal species, 33% plant species and 4% bacterial species and other microorganisms.
There are an estimated 3,543 species of wild flowering plants, consisting of sedges, herbaceous plants and woody plants. The Northern and North-Western provinces of the country especially have the highest diversity of flowering plants. Approximately 53% of flowering plants are rare and occur throughout the country. Lists, descriptions, and keys of all the plant species of Zambia, as well as several of the neighboring countries, are covered in the Flora Zambesiaca project directed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
A total of 242 mammal species are found in the country, with most occupying the woodland and grassland ecosystems. The Rhodesian giraffe and Kafue lechwe are some of the well-known subspecies that are endemic to Zambia.
An estimated 757 bird species have been seen in the country, of which 600 are either resident or Afrotropic migrants; 470 breed in the country; and 100 are non-breeding migrants. The Zambian barbet is a species endemic to Zambia.
Roughly 490 known fish species, belonging to 24 fish families, have been reported in Zambia, with Lake Tanganyika having the highest number of endemic species.
The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.5/10, ranking it 39th globally out of 172 countries.