African champions Zambia are now in title defence mood as they have settled at their base in Nelspruit ahead of the start of Africa's biggest football spectacle this weekend.

While hosts South Africa get the 29th edition of the Africa Cup underway on the 19th against debutants Cape Verde, the reigning kings of African football commence their campaign to retain the title they won last February in Gabon against Ethiopia on the 21st of January.

Zambia also plays Nigeria and Burkina Faso in other Group C matches which will all be played at the Mbombela Stadium.

The Chipolopolo arrived in Nelspruit after connecting from Johannesburg as they returned from Ndola where they played their final international preparatory match - a goalless draw against Norway at Levy Mwanawasa.

Over the next six days, the team will focus on the final touches and tactical approaches to the games.

African coach of the year 2012 Herve Renard says his team will be ready for the 21st of January and will be looking forward to a great tournament.

"We will be ready; what we want now is for the fans to come and support us. We are here to defend our trophy with the same determination and motivation we had last year. We believe we can do a great tournament," Renard told fazfootball.com in South Africa.