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Lusaka

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Africa : Southern Africa : Zambia : Central Zambia : Lusaka
Revision as of 19:54, 30 December 2004 by Willy (Talk | contribs)

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Lusaka, in Lusaka Province, is the capital of Zambia.

Get in

Get around

Minibuses are ubiquitous, cheap, and fast. For under a dollar, you can get almost anywhere in the city. The problem, is that bus routes are not posted, and a novice is likely to get lost. Do not be afraid to ask a conductor where he's headed.

For the uninitiated, then, a taxi might be a better option, at least initially. There are no meters in Zambia's taxis, so prices are somewhat negotiable. Be sure to set a price before getting in the cab. (A tip for newbies: Ask at a hotel lobby how much your trip should cost. If the cab driver states a higher price, mention that you're happy to ride a mini-bus. Watch the price drop. )

See

Do

Buy

In 2000, Lusaka got its first official mall, and the reception was huge. The South African equivalent of Wal-Mart -- GAME Stores -- was the anchor, and locals and ex-pats alike flocked to it. The mall also features some high-end boutiques, a bookshop, a Subway restaurant (but without turkey!?), some memorabilia shops, and some clothing stores.

For a more "African" feel, though, you need to go Kabwata Cultural Village on Burma Road. There you will find dozens of curio-makers and salesmen. You will quickly learn that "looking is free," but the goods are not. Be prepared to spend a while, and don't be afraid to dicker.

Eat

  • The Dil offers the best Indian food in Africa for under $10. It's somewhat out of town, but well worth the drive.
  • The Intercontinental Hotel does the best brunch in Zambia, for about $10.
  • Fra-gigi's serves authentic Italian food for about $6. Look for the Mona Lisa portrait on the wall.
  • The Lusaka Club provides quality steaks and Chinese food in a "country club atmosphere" for around $10.
  • Spur's, the restaurant for the Holiday Inn, provides serviceable Western-styled meals for $5-$10.
  • Debonair's Pizza delivers for about $5.

Drink

Lusaka boasts many Western-styled bars (e.g., Brown's and McGinty's, mainly used by tourists, and ex-pats). However, Zambians love to drink; there are, therefore, a number of bars frequented by locals, as well. However, these change often.

Sleep

Accommodation in Lusaka runs the gamut.

Budget

  • If you're traveling on the cheap, try ChaChaCha Backpackers. Wade, the owner, provides space to pitch a tent ($3), dorm beds ($5), or private rooms ($8-10). There is a good restaurant on-site, and Wade is happy to organize excursions -- safari, cultural, camping, etc. -- too.

Mid-Range

There are a number of mid-range accommodation options, as well.

  • The Abundant Life is an impeccably clean hostel run by a local church. No alcohol allowed on the premises. Staff is extremely friendly. They offer en suite rooms and genuine suites, too, for about $20. Keep in mind Abundant Life is also a church, and they offer worship services on-site. Don't be surprised (or afraid) if you wake to the sound of the congregation speaking in tongues!
  • For more of a hotel feel, try The Ndeke Hotel for about $45/night. The rooms have double beds and satellite TV, and the hotel features a nice pool, a good bar, and a clean restaurant.

Splurge

  • The Intercontinental Hotel is probably the nicest in Lusaka. The Pamodzi is a close second. Finally, The Holiday Inn is casual and comfortable, but expensive. Expect to spend anywhere from $100-$300 night for rooms in these hotels.

Get out

Of course, there are game parks scattered throughout Zambia, and many Lusakans visit them on the weekends. Heading to Livingstone for a few days is also a popular choice. Finally, some people like the laid-back feel of Lake Malawi.

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