Zambia and Gambia explained

Jan. 16, 2024 /Human Interest/ — Zambia and Gambia, despite their similar-sounding names, are quite different countries in Southern and West Africa, respectively. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences:


  • Location: Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordering Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gambia is a narrow country on the west coast of Africa, almost entirely surrounded by Senegal.
  • Size: Zambia is significantly larger than Gambia, with a land area of 752,614 square kilometers compared to Gambia’s 10,000 square kilometers.

People and Culture:

  • Population: Zambia has a population of around 18 million, while Gambia has about 2.5 million people.
  • Ethnicity: Zambia is more ethnically diverse, with over 70 different ethnic groups. The largest ethnic group in Gambia is the Mandinka, followed by the Fula and Wolof.
  • Languages: English is the official language in both countries. However, Zambia has over 70 indigenous languages, while Gambia has six main languages.
  • Religion: Zambia is predominantly Christian, while Gambia is mainly Muslim.


  • Main industries: Zambia’s economy is largely based on mining, agriculture, and tourism. Gambia’s economy relies heavily on tourism, agriculture, and peanut production.
  • Currency: Zambia uses the Zambian kwacha (ZMW), while Gambia uses the Gambian dalasi (GMD).


  • Political system: Both Zambia and Gambia are republics. Zambia has a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Gambia has a president who is both head of state and head of government.

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences:

Feature Zambia Gambia
Location Southern Africa West Africa
Size 752,614 sq km 10,000 sq km
Population 18 million 2.5 million
Main languages English, 70+ indigenous languages English, 6 main languages
Religion Christian Muslim
Main industries Mining, agriculture, tourism Tourism, agriculture, peanut production
Currency Zambian kwacha (ZMW) Gambian dalasi (GMD)
Political system Republic with president and prime minister Republic with president