With a population of 2,198,996, Lusaka is the biggest city in Zambia. The charming hospitality of her people awaits you!
This bustling city has grown from a mere village of chief Lusaka to being the biggest city and capital since 1935.
The British colonialists made it capital of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1935 and the newly independent country declared the town their capital city at independence in 1964.
The seat of government and all government offices are in the city. Most of government offices are based at government house near the kamwala trading area.
The town is situated in the southern part of the country, approximately 100 kilometres from the border with Zimbabwe.
If you plan to come in by air, there are about 27 kilometers from the International Airport to the city center. But if you are using the road, you will be on Kafue road if you are coming from the south, Great East road if you coming from the east and Great North road if you are from the north.
Any mode you use, the chances are that you will pass through the country’s busiest street, Cairo road. It stretches from Kabwe roundabout to the Kafue round about in the south. Geographically, the city is situated at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level. It enjoys a pleasant climate, with clear, mild winters and warm and sunny summer days.
Scheduled flights from here to any part of the country are available. You can fly to the Copperbelt, Mfuwe, Chipata and Livingstone. If you want to travel by road, the intercity bus terminus is where you will find buses going to most destinations in the country and to some neighbouring countries.
Most suburbs are found along any of its major roads leading out of the city centre.
Some of the places are :Avondale, Bauleni, Bonventure Makeni, Chainda, Chalala, Chawama, Chelstone, Chilenje, Chinika, Chipata Compound, Chudleigh, Emasdale, Garden Compound, Helen Kaunda, Ibex Hill, Kabanana Site and service, Kabulonga, Thornpark, Kaunda square 1and 2.
Others are: Kabwata, Kalingalinga, Kalundu, Kamwala, Kanyama, Libala, Longacres, Makeni, Mandevu, Matero, Mutendere, Ndeke Village, New Kasama, Ngwerere, Northmead, Nyumba Yanga, Olympia Park, Rhodes Park, Roma Township, Six Miles, Woodlands.
There are some shanty compounds which are advisable to visit with a local resident. Most shanty compounds are located on the fringes of the city.
If you happen to be in the city centre around dusk and you need accommodation, the Lusaka hotel and Protea hotel, both on Cairo road, come in handy.
But if the city centre is not ideal for you, the Taj Pamodzi hotel is an alternative. Conveniently located, 22 kilometres from the airport and 5 kilometres from the city centre, it offers a comprehensive range of services. The menu includes mouth-watering Indian and International cuisines.
Across the road is the recently refurbished Southern Sun Ridgeway hotel, offering en suite guest rooms, with Satellite TV and internet.
Alternatively, you can try the Inter-Continental hotel, situated in the Diplomatic district. With a lot of amenities and services, this five star hotel won’t disappoint you. Top class restaurants and bars are at your disposal. All rooms are en suite with satellite TV and access to internet.
Apart from the hotels mentioned above, the place is full of budget hotels spread all over the city. This is supplemented by the ever mushrooming motels, guest houses and lodges. If you want to sample the low side of life, and interact with the local people, try one of these low budget hotels. This is where the local people usually patronize. The five star hotels are beyond the reach of most of the people in the area.
Traveling within the city is another challenge. You can use the 12 seater taxis commonly known as mini buses or you can use a cab.
Most banks and bureau de change are found along Cairo road which passes through the heart of the city. Some of the banks available are Barclays bank, Zambia National Commercial bank (ZNCB), Indo Zambia Bank, Access bank and Stanchart.
Lusaka National Museum on Independence Avenue explores Zambia’s cultural history, focusing on contemporary art, ethnography and archaeology; there is also a shop and snack bar. Other historical attractions include the house of Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, at number 394 Chilenje township, and Freedom Statue near the National Museum.
Exhibitions of local art and handcrafts take place at the Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre and Nampundwe art Gallery. Original artworks and souvenirs may also be found at Kabwata Cultural Centre on Buma Road, the Dutch Reformed Church Maket every last Saturday of the month, Northmead Market and the Arcades. Specialist curio stores include Ababa House, Kubu Crafts at Manda Hill and Lyn’s Ceramics at Kabulonga.
There are other places worth visiting, in and around Lusaka. Munda Wanga Botanical Environmental Park is one of the city’s foremost attractions.
It comprises an environmental Education Centre as well as a purpose-built wild life park and sanctuary specialising in native Zambian species, including lions, elephants, African wild dogs and primates.
The botanical gardens, which contain over 1000 plant, have been redeveloped and are good place for picnicking.
The water theme park and recreation centre of adventure city has waterslides, rock pools and a large jungle gym.
Another place where you can see wild life is at the Lilayi lodge. The lodge has an excellent restaurant and you can eat and dine while lounging at the pool.
20 minutes’ drive from Lusaka City International Airport and 40 minutes from Lusaka central town is the Chaminuka game reserve. You can enjoy wild life at a short distance from the city. Currently, there are more than 72 species available. You can also take a tour of the Chaminuka art gallery.
Don’t also forget to visit Kalimba Reptile Park, a premier Lusaka attraction and day excursion that suits all kinds of people.
There are some good shopping malls such as Manda Hill on the Great East Road, the nearby Arcades (which has more of an entertainment focus), and the Downtown Shopping Centre on the Kafue Road. Smaller suburban complexes include Crossroads in Leopard’s Hill and Kabulonga, Makeni Mall along Kafue Road and Woodlands Shopping Mall.
One of the city’s biggest attractions are its markets, where you will find restaurants , hairdressers, fishmongers, fruit sellers and the popular salaula (second hand clothes).
There is the City market and also the Soweto Market where many middle class residents of Lusaka do their shopping. This is true of Kamwala market as well.
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