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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.
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.
Luapula Province is divided into 8 districts:
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