Luapula Province

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Luapula Province showing its districts
Luapula Province showing its districts
Country Zambia
 • Total50,567 km2 (19,524 sq mi)
Population (2015)
 • Total1,127,453
 • Density22/km2 (58/sq mi)

Luapula Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces, and is located in the north of the country. The provincial capital is Mansa. Luapula Province was named after the Luapula River.

It extends along the northern and eastern banks of the river from Lake Bangweulu to Lake Mweru, including waters and islands of those lakes, and is inhabited by Bemba-speaking peoples (including the Lunda, Kabende, Aushi, Chishinga and Bemba). The major economic activity is fishing. The chief artery of the province is the Samfya-Mansa-Mwansabombwe-Nchelenge highway known informally as the Zambia Way.

The province is bordered along the Luapula River, through Lake Mweru and to its north by DR Congo which at times has led to disputes and conflict. The Congo Pedicle comes between the province and the industrial and commercial heartland of the Copperbelt which has caused problems partly resolved by construction of the Luapula Bridge and the Samfya-Serenje road, and being further alleviated by the construction of the Chembe Bridge.


In the 19th century the valley was dominated by the Lunda kingdom of Mwata Kazembe.

The boundaries of the province between Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo were disputed for many years, running from an 1894 treaty into the late 1960s.

National Parks and wildlife areas

For further details see Luapula Province in Wildlife of Zambia
  • Lusenga Plain National Park is inaccessible, needs management and has been depleted by poaching.
  • Lake Mweru-Luapula River system: bird life, aquatic animals, fish (rather depleted).
  • Lake Bangweulu and its wetlands: bird life, aquatic animals, fish.

Statistics and features

As of the 2010 Zambian Census, the district had a population of 985,976 peoples of which 467,613 are males and 491,363 are female with an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent.

The province has four main physical features, namely the valley along the Luapula River, the plateau running parallel to Luapula River in the North - South direction, Lakes Mweru in Nchelenge and Chienge Districts and Bangweulu in Samfya District, and finally the wet lands of Lunga District.

The province has a surface area of approximately 50.566 (km)^2 which falls roughly between 8^0 and(12)^0 (24)^' South latitude and (28)^(0 ) (30)^0 East longitude.


Luapula Province is divided into 11 districts:

See also