Lusaka, Zambia

By | November 25, 2022

The capital of Zambia is a small town consisting of a modern part and old, typical African quarters, where dusty markets coexist with Soviet-style skyscrapers. Despite the fact that Zambia is a fascinating country, Lusaka will never be the main point of attraction for tourists. There are several buildings with history, nice monuments and museums, but much more – a genuine African feeling, expressed in white-toothed smiles, general serenity and a certain dustiness.

What is really worth a visit here is the local markets, galleries and a couple of nightclubs on the weekends. But those who are forced to spend several days in Lusaka should not be sad: it’s hard to get bored in the capital of Zambia in 48-60 hours, but it’s easy to spend time pleasantly and relaxed.

How to get there

Buses and minibuses run from the capital to the surrounding towns, such as the resort of Siavonga (100 km, 6.50 USD) and the Chirundu fossil forest (40 km, 5.15 USD). Departure is from Lusaka City Market Bus Station (address: Lumumba Rd) or City Bus Station (end of Chachacha Rd), the latter is also called Kulima Towers Station.

  • Cachedhealth: Information about shopping and eating in Zambia.

The city is not rich in architectural and historical monuments, but there are more than all kinds of galleries and museums here.

Intercity buses depart from Lusaka Inter-City Bus Station (address: Dedan Kimathi Rd) in the directions: Ndola (8 USD, 5 hours), Kitwe (8.5 USD, 5 hours), Livingston (11.5 USD, 7 hours) and Chipata (18 USD, 8 hours). Buses of the private company JR Investments go to Mongu (12.5 USD, 12 hours) on Tuesdays and Fridays; CR Holdings buses – every day to Kitwe, via Ndola, as well as to Livingston, Mongu and Chipata.

The Zambezi Express train connects the capital to Livingston (USD 6/8/10/13 economy/standard/1st class/bedroom, 18 hours) via Choma. Departure from Lusaka at 19:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tickets can be purchased at the station ticket office (between Cairo & Dedan Kimathi Rds) from 15:00 to 17:00 the day before departure. It is worth arriving early and getting ready for the queue. Regular (read slow) trains leave for Ndola (5.50 USD, 8 hours) via Kapiri Mposhi, departing: Monday, Wednesday and Friday around 10pm.

Transport

Local minibuses ply along the main roads of Lusaka, but there are no identification marks or numbers on them. The standard fare is 0.50-0.75 USD.

Official taxis can be found by the number on the doors. They can be stopped on the streets, or caught in parking lots near large hotels and markets, near the Shoprite supermarket on Cairo Rd. The fare in the center is 4-5 USD, from the center to the airport – 20 USD.

Money and ATMs

There are branches of Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Indo-Zambian Bank and Stanbic Bank along Cairo Rd with ATMs. They also installed their ATMs at Manda Hill and Arcades Shopping Centers (Great East Rd).

To exchange money, look for the Zampost Bureau de Change (inside the post office, on the corner of Cairo & Church Rds); or Prosper Bureau de Change (Findeco House, South End Roundabout, Cairo Rd), which also exchanges American Express checks at a reasonable fee.

Lusaka Hotels

In Lusaka, you can stay in a first-class hotel for a few hundred dollars (for example, Intercontinental); or enjoy the same comfort in smaller hotels (like Ndeke) for about 50 USD. There are also budget accommodations: campsites (8 USD), hostels (15 USD), double rooms in low-star hotels 30 USD (for example, ChaChaCha Backpackers or Ku-omboka Backpackers).

Shopping and souvenirs

Adults may enjoy the Kamwala Craft Market, which occupies several shopping blocks south of the center of the capital. The market is located in the open air and with its color and noise resembles oriental bazaars.

Entertainment and attractions in Lusaka

The city is not rich in architectural and historical monuments, but there are more than all kinds of galleries and museums here. For example, the Anthropological Museum and the Village-Museum of African Life attract attention. The Zintu Community Museum deserves special attention, the exposition of which tells about the traditional applied art of the peoples of Zambia. Finally, it is worth visiting the National Museum.

As for galleries, the Henry Tayali Fine Art Gallery in the Showgrounds is considered the best. It hosts temporary exhibitions of local artists and sculptors, whose works can be purchased as a souvenir. Recently, African art will become more and more popular in the world, so buying a painting will also be a good investment. Also a worthy collection of artists can boast of the Mpala Gallery and the Sculpture Garden at the Garden House Hotel, which are located near the center of Lusaka.

The Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Crucifix (corner of Church Street and Independence Ave) attracts attention – an elegant building with tall stained-glass windows, which was opened on September 14, 1962.

But the children will be delighted with the zoo and the Lusaka Botanical Park. It is worth taking a trip with them to the Lilayi Wildlife Ranch. The ranch has a restaurant and pool.

Lusaka, Zambia