The small Zambian capital of Lusaka is a delightful mix of traditional African style and modern influences. Although the city does not have an abundance of traditional tourist sites, it does have a genuine African feel and lively ambiance.
The Soweto Market is one of Lusaka’s highlights. Visitors to the modern covered market are thrust right into the heart of the city, where locals sell everything from used clothes to beans. You can also find spare parts for engines, traditional medicines, handicrafts, jewelry, produce, bootleg CDs and bicycles in the bustling marketplace.
The Anglican Cathedral at the corner of Independence Avenue and Church Road is one of the country’s most elegant and impressive buildings. Opened in 1962, the cathedral is best known for its stained glass windows that let in candy-colored beams of light.
There are few art museums in Zambia, but one of the best is the Henry Tayali Gallery. Located in Lusaka’s Showgrounds, the gallery regularly sponsors exhibitions of local art. Visitors are welcome to browse the collection or purchase professional and unique pieces.
Although it is dust and underfunded, the National Museum next to the Government Complex on Independence Avenue provides a good introduction to Zambian culture and history. The ground floor features a small collection of modern art, while the upstairs galleries are dedicated to the country’s colonial history, witchcraft and village life. On of the most interesting exhibits details the prejudiced views of the colonial officers through many old newspaper clippings. Allow at least one hour to explore the entire museum.
Another one of Lusaka’s gems is the Munda Wanga Environmental Park. Founded in 1956 as a private garden, the park has grown to become the premier environmental education facility in Zambia. More than 50,000 visitors explore the wildlife park and sanctuary each year to learn about the country’s natural heritage and environment. Many of the animals have been rescued from the illegal pet trade, and the sanctuary acts as a rehabilitation center before the animals are rereleased into the wild. Delicious foods and cold drinks are plentiful in the bar and restaurant, and the sprawling botanical gardens are a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center.
The private Lilayi Lodge is another wildlife park worth exploring. Visitors can see wild animals up close through the popular game drives and the site also has one of the city’s only pools.
Visitors who love to shop will find many opportunities to do so in Lusaka. Manda Hill is home to high-end boutiques, jewelry stores, bookshops, supermarkets, interior design stores and a number of eateries. At the Arcades, visitors can indulge in Western-style foods before catching a movie or bowling. The parking lots across from the stores host a market each Sunday where shoppers can get great deals on plants, handicrafts and clothes.
For a more African shopping experience, head to the Kabwata Cultural Village on Burma Road. Many authentic souvenirs are on sale from locals at reasonable prices, and haggling is both expected and welcome. The Saturday market at the Dutch Reformed Church is another great place to buy an assortment of souvenirs, including books, curios and art. Many of the products are made by locals with disabilities, and the whole market has an almost carnival-like vibe. Children can get their faces painted, and visitors can dance to traditional beats and feast on light meals.
Lusaka Geographical Location
Lusaka is located in central southern Zambia and is its largest city.
The approximate population of Lusaka is 1,750,000.
Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga, Lozi, Lunda, Kaonde, Luvale, and English are official languages of Zambia. English is used to conduct official business and within the school system.
Lusaka Predominant Religion
- 62.5% Christian
- 36.5% Muslim
- 1% Indigenous Beliefs
Although Christian is the official religion, Zambia also embraces other religions.
The Zambian Kwacha is the official currency of Zambia.
It is consistently warm in Lusaka with a wet season between December and March.
Lusaka Main Attractions
- Soweto Market
- Chaminuka Game Reserve
- Zambia National Museum
Other Attraction in Lusaka
- Munda Wanga Environmental Park
- Lilayi Lodge
- Parray’s Game Ranch
- The Anglican Cathedral