Basic Facts about LusakaLusaka is the fast-growing capital city of Zambia in Southern Africa. Around 3 million people live in Lusaka making it Zambia's largest city and commercial center. The British established Lusaka as the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1935, it remained the capital once Zambia gained independence in 1964.
Lusaka has a modern looking business area, lots of scrambling shanties on its outskirts, lively markets, decent nightlife and some upscale hotels and restaurants. Cairo Road is the main avenue in town, lined with shops, banks and businesses, west of Cairo Road is considered the center of town. Click here for a basic tourist map.
Main languages spoken in Lusaka are English and Nyanja.
Travel to LusakaLusaka is not an unsafe city but petty theft is common given the high number of unemployed, so don't walk around with valuables and take a taxi at night.
What to see in Lusaka
Most people arrive at Lusaka's international airport and continue on to the Victoria Falls or one of Zambia's many excellent game reserves like South Luangwa. Lusaka is a friendly, relaxed city with some interesting sights:
- Lusaka National Museum - Zambian history, ethnography and contemporary art is on display.
- Munda Wanga Environmental Park has an impressive botanical garden, wildlife sanctuary, and swimming pool.
- Kalimba Reptile Park for your fill of snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, and chameleons. Sample a crocodile burger.
- Kabwata Cultural Village for local handicrafts, lots of wood carvings to bargain for.
- Markets - check out City Center and Soweto Markets.
Taj Pamodzi (high end, business, good Indian food), Southern Sun Ridgeway (high end), Inter Continental (high-end, diplomatic district) Eight Reedbuck Hotel (high end, boutique hotel); Lusaka Hotel (mid-range and central); KuOmboko Hostel (budget, backpacker accommodation); and Lusaka Backpackers (formerly Chachacha - popular, budget).
Where to Eat in Lusaka
There are Indian, European, Italian and Chinese restaurants in Lusaka. Try Chit chat cafe for excellent, informal dining; Fra-gigi for Italian food; and the Dil for Indian. Here's a full list.
Getting Around Lusaka
Minibus taxis are everywhere and ply set routes, a cheap way to get around. Private taxis can be called and will get you from A to B more efficiently.