The explorer David Livingstone turned up here in 1855 and ended up visiting the Victoria Falls, though that’s not what the locals called them at the time.
In 1888, Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSAC) secured some local mineral rights, and in 1890 Lewanika, King of Barotseland, made a deal with Rhodes to accept protection. In 1891, the British government also accepted BSAC control of the area.
The Portuguese, meanwhile, hadn’t been too keen on British control of the area, since they themselves wanted it as part of the link between their territories on the east coast of Africa and their territories on the west coast. In the Anglo-Portuguese Crisis of 1889–90 they lost out to us.
We got control over other parts of what is now Zambia in different ways. For instance, in 1898–99, a succession crisis in the Bemba tribe in the northern part of what is now Zambia led to us taking control there.
In 1964 Northern Rhodesia, as we had called it, became independent as Zambia.