Kafka uses Zookeeper to manage it’s internal state. So it is not possible to run Kafka without Zookeeper. Even if you don’t have access to Zookeeper in your organization, there is a Zookeeper cluster running which your Kafka cluster connects to.
So, how to list topics and execute other commands if we don’t have access to Zookeeper?
Eventually, this won’t even be a question, as Kafka already has production versions using KRaft, and by Kafka 4.0, there won’t be a Zookeeper to kick around anymore.