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Lusaka, in Lusaka Province, is the capital of Zambia. It is a cosmopolitan city that is home to approximately one in ten Zambians.

For a city of its size, Lusaka has relatively few attractions, and most visitors do not spend much time here unless they have friends or business in the capital.


The residents of Lusaka come from all of Zambia's 70 or so tribes, and there are also small communities of Asians and Europeans. These different ethnic groups mostly get along extremely well together. The language of education and commerce is English, while the lingua franca on the street is 'Town Nyanja'. This language is a variant of the Nyanja spoken in Eastern Province (and neighbouring Malawi, where it is known as Chewa), but it is heavily mixed with expressions from other local languages and from English. Be warned that turning up in Lusaka speaking Nyanja/Chewa learned from books is like turning up in England speaking English learned from Shakespeare.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Gone are the days when getting to Lusaka meant flying via Johannesburg. Emirates are offering low cost connections via its middle east base alongside a much expanded Ethiopian network. Also Air Namibia also now offer low cost connections from Cape Town via Windhoek.

Lusaka remains well-served by flights from Johannesburg, Cairo, Dubai, Nairobi, Lilongwe and Addis Ababa. Emirates connects Lusaka with Dubai several times a week since 2012. South African Airways fly to Lusaka from Johannesburg with multiple flights per day, EgyptAir from Cairo, Kenya Airways from Nairobi and Ethiopian Airlines from Addis fly daily. Besides, air viva offers flights from 9 domestic cities.

(NB: in Johannesburg the airlines have no control over baggage in transit and the airport's baggage concessionaire is exempt from responsibility by contract, so lost and especially pilfered baggage can be an issue.)

Various other African airlines serve Lusaka. In December 1994, Zambia Airways went into liquidation, and Zambian Airways (former Mine Air Services) ceased operation in early 2009. Zambezi Airlines ceased operations in late 2011. Pro-Flight traditionally has specialized in serving tourist game lodges rather than trunk intercity flights, though this seems to be changing.

With effect from 15 July 2009, all Zambian airlines have been refused permission to operate services to the EU. This decision, by the EU Air Safety Committee, followed an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit of Zambia, which discovered significant shortcomings in the ability of the Zambian civil aviation authorities to ensure the safe operation of airlines licensed by them. The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends against flying with any Zambian-based airline if a reasonable alternative exists.[15]

International airlines that are represented in Lusaka include:

  • Air Angola - PO Box 37731, Lusaka; tel: 01 222401, 221684.
  • Air Botswana - c/o Steve Blaus Travel, Nkwazi Road, PO Box 31530, Lusaka; tel: 01 227739/40, 227285. [16]
  • Air France - c/o Steve Blaus Travel, Nkwazi Road, PO Box 31530, Lusaka; tel: 01 227739/40, 227285. [17]
  • Air India - 1st Floor, Shop 4, Findeco House, Cairo Road, PO Box 34471, Lusaka; tel: 01 223128, 226349. [18]
  • Air Malawi - ZNIB House, Dedan Kimathi Road, PO Box 36384, Lusaka; tel: 01 228120. [19]
  • Air Tanzania - 5300 Pandit Nehru Road, PO Box 32635, Lusaka; tel: 01 251189, 252499. [20]
  • Air Zimbabwe - Kariba House, 32 Chachacha Road, PO Box 35191, Lusaka; tel: 01 225431, 221750. [21]
  • British Airways - Southern Sun (ex Holiday Inn), PO Box 32006, Lusaka; tel: 01 254444, 255320, 254482. [22]
  • Emirates - 2nd Floor, 3rd Building, Acacia Park, Thabo Mbeki Road, PO box 30047, Lusaka; tel: 01 211 258 484. [23]
  • Kenya Airways/KLM - Church Road, PO Box 31856, Lusaka; tel: 01 228908/886. [24]
  • South African Airways - Room 242, Hotel InterContinental; tel: 01 254350. Airport tel: 01 271101. Open M-F 08.30-16.30, Sat 09.00-11.00. [25]

For domestic flights, there are various airlines, indluding Airwaves, Avocet Air Charters, Stabo Air Charters, Staravia and Ngwazi Air Charters [26].

Lusaka International Airport (LUN) is well-signposted and is situated 25km from the centre, off Great East Road. There is no public transportation at the airport, and a taxi to/from downtown costs K150,000. Going to the airport, however, it is possible to take a minibus (K4,000, 30min with stops) from along Great East Road to the taxi rank on Palm Road in Chelston. Ask to get off at the "(Water) Tank". From there, it is possible to negotiate a taxi fare to the airport for around K50,000 (15min).

By road[edit]

Since it is the commercial center and governmental seat of Zambia, all the arterial roads lead to Lusaka. Buses run between Livingstone and Kitwe. Operators of this route regularly change, so ask locally before you travel. Currently, Mazhandu is the most reliable option.

Buses For buses within Zambia, to and from Lusaka, Mazhandu Family Bus Service [27] is widely considered to be the best, most reliable line, by both locals and expatriates. Buses leave from Inter-City terminal, near downtown Lusaka. Prices may be slightly higher than the competitors, but they always run true to schedule, have a large fleet of buses with extras to be called into service in case of a break down, make stops at well-lit areas with decent bathrooms, tag your bags for you, and have courteous bus attendants. The owner is almost always around, making sure everything goes smoothly.

There are 7 buses a day between Lusaka and Livingstone, including the overnight bus. Several buses are "business class" with wider seats and greater legroom for Kwacha 10,000 more.

InterCape, one of the main long distance bus operators in South Africa, now offers services from Johannesburg Park Station to Zambia via Zimbabwe. Stops in Zambia include Livingstone, Choma, Monze, Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola, Kitwe and Kasumbalesa. It is a long journey, however the coaches are very comfortable and their safety record is excellent.

Kob's Coach runs two buses a week from Lilongwe in Malawi to Lusaka, leaving their office in Lilongwe's Old Town Tu/F 06:00. On other days, one must first take a minibus to the border town of Mchinji (2-3hr, 1,700 MWK), a shared taxi to the border (30min, 500 MWK), another taxi to Chipata, and then a bus to Lusaka. Buses leave Chipata for Lusaka at 05:00, 05:30, 08:00, 10:00 and 14:00 (8hr, K130). It is hence possible, albeit tight, to make it from Lilongwe to Lusaka in a day, with much dependent on how long each shared vehicle takes to fill up.

By train[edit]

Few travellers use Zambia's ordinary trains for transport, but if you have a lot of patience, try them. Lines link Lusaka with Livingstone and the Copperbelt in the north. Express trains to Livingstone leave at 19.30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and take about 12 hours. Slower trains, which stop even more frequently, leave every morning.

Get around[edit]

Minibuses are ubiquitous, cheap, and fast. For a few kwacha, you can get into or out of town easily - though travel around the edges of the city or away from main roads is difficult by bus. Bus routes are not posted, and a novice may get lost. Do not be afraid to ask a conductor where he's headed. Minibuses do run into the evenings, but become decreasingly frequent at the evening wears on. Fares are theoretically standardised and depend on the route, but in practice, pleading locals may get away with less than the official fare on short routes, while visitors are occasionally overcharged. The conductor may give you change, but it's sensible not to hand over more than what you think the fare should be / what you see your fellow passengers paying. At busy times passengers are jammed in tightly, particularly in the smaller buses: larger buses are less uncomfortable but slightly more expensive (though to most visitors the price difference is trivial).

For the uninitiated, a taxi might be a better option, at least initially. Taxis come in two colours - sky blue, and a light grey, and are usually Toyota Corollas. There are no meters in Zambia's taxis, so prices are somewhat negotiable but always on the high side for Africa. Be sure to set a price before getting in the cab. (Tip: 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.)

Take down a taxi driver's mobile number, most will be happy to do an all day deal, wait for you while you explore, pick you up early or late and take you to and from the airport.

Walking is an option as distances are not that large, and there are a fair number of street names to help orientate yourself. However walking at night does have its hazards - manhole covers are not Lusaka's strong point and there are many uncovered drains that could swallow you whole, hence a torch is a good idea - and drivers seem allergic to moving over for pedestrians walking on the road - so best to stick to the dirt paths at the side of the roads (these are more common than pavements / sidewalks).

Like in most fast-growing African cities, traffic is atrocious - avoid going in and out of the city centre by any route during rush hour, if you can. Increasingly slow traffic does at least help reduce the awful death rate on Lusaka's roads. Better enforcement of drink-driving laws would reduce it considerably more.

See[edit][add listing]

Lusaka unfortunately isn't a city of sights. There isn't much of a city center, aside from Cairo Rd serving as the hub of business activity. Locals mostly stick to the new malls and wait until evening when there is plenty of nightlife.

  • Soweto Market the front is a modern covered market. Behind it lies a massive market selling everthing from beans to used clothes. In it you can find traditional medicines, bicycle repair men and engine spare parts. (Ensure you hold onto your handbag and any other items)
  • The Anglican Cathedral (on the corner of Church Road and Independence Avenue) is an elegant concrete building with tall stained glass windows. Properly titled the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, it opened for worship on 14th September, 1962.
  • Henry Tayali Gallery in the city Showgrounds; holds exhibitions of local art. Unique and professional pieces are available and the staff will be happy to pack your work for safe travel.
  • Munda Wanga Environmental Park Wildlife Park and Sanctuary, Botanical Gardens, Recreational Village and Environmental Education Centre. Started in 1956 as private garden and has grown to be Zambia's Premier Environmental Education Facility. With over 50,000 visitors a year Munda Wanga reaches out to the future of Zambia to learn about their environment and natural heritage. Recently Phoenix the baby elephant has been released back to the wild, 20 baboons are on their way to a new life in the bush. However, there are still plenty of animals that find their way in to the sanctuary after being found in the illegal pet-trade. The Botanical Gardens are a place to relax and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you. The Terrace Bar and Restaurant has nice food and cold drinks available.
  • Lilayi Lodge a wildlife ranch. Take a game drive and see animals as close to the wild as they can be in the city. Lilayi lodge has an excellent restaurant and hosts Sunday buffets which can be eaten while lounging in around the pool.
  • The National Museum, Independence Avenue (next to the new Government Complex). 9am-4.30 7 days a week. A classic dusty, underfunded African museum that is worth a visit if you are at a loose end. An amusingly stark 'collection' of modern art on the ground floor, coupled with a more engaging exhibition upstairs covering Zambia's colonial history, village life, and witchcraft. Lots of old newspaper cuttings giving an interesting glimpse in to the prejudiced views of British Colonial Officers and their attitudes towards the 'natives'. Give yourself at least 1 hour, but keep your expectations low. K10,000.  edit

Wakmaf Bus Services (Max Katyamba), Lusaka, Zambia, 260 977-417331, [1]. Maxwell Katyamba has worked for World Vision for 13 years and has now decided to start his own business. Wakmaf Bus Services can accomodate from 1-7 people or up to 29 people for larger groups. Max has driven me across Zambia in August 2011 and will do so again in 2012' I would highly recommend him if you need a reliable, safe, friendly driver or need to accommodate a large group. Thank you for your time. Joanne Hutchinson Toronto, Canada Wakmaf Bus Services Maxwell Katyamba [email protected]  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Explore the city with its diverse suburbs and informal settlements. Take a map and explore the city's markets, its second class shopping area and many other nooks. The only precautions recommended would be to leave your valuables at your hotel and take only the cash needed for the day as would apply in any major city.
  • Parray's Game Ranch is located 21 km from the town centre. Available are game drives, swimming and a playground. There you can see Zebra, Kudu and other herbivores
  • Chaminuka Lodge Located near the airport, amazing lodge and facilities. The privately owned park is home to a range of antelopes, a family of elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions and hyenas. [28]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Manda Hill. Lusaka's first official mall, opened in 2000, and the reception was huge. GAME Stores, the South African version of Walmart, is the anchor, and the mall also features some high-end boutiques, a bookshop, a Subway restaurant, some memorabilia shops, and after expansion a wide range of shops (supermarket, general store, clothes, jewelry, books, interior design, electronics, and food places with outside seating).
  • Arcades. The capital's second mall, featuring a relatively cheap Spar supermarket, where you can find your Western food goods. There are also cinemas (Ster-Kinokor) with air-con and a lot of space when watching a movie. A ticket is around K10,000. Right next to the cinema there is a bowling alley with a pretty good standard, and they also do disco-bowling in the late evening. There is a Sunday market on every Sunday (handicraft, clothes, plants) across parts of the parking lots.
  • Kabwata Cultural Village, Burma Road. Shopping with a more "African" feel, with 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.
  • Dutch Reformed Church Market. Held on the last Saturday of each month and has been going for several years. There you can buy an assortment of curios, books and Art. A special feature is the large number of goods available from other countries such as Congo and Zimbabwe. You can have a light Indian or Chinese meal while children have their faces painted. Look for stand selling products made from recycled glass bottles and handicrafts made by people with disabilities.
  • Jackal & Hide, Sugarbush Farm, Leopards Hill Lusaka, Zambia, [2]. Hidden away in Sugar Bush Farm is a beautiful shop that sells fantastic genuine African leather bags and other leather accessories. Good quality, attractive designs and reasonable prices. They opened a cafe too so good for a lunchtime visit.  edit
  • Levy 1, Church Road. A new (as of 2012) shopping mall, with yet more South African shops for you to browse, including a huge Pick'n'Pay. The cinema should be open by mid 2012.  edit
  • Lusaka City Market is probably the nicest market in town if you are looking for an 'African' market experience - its just east of the main downtown area. The 'Town Centre' market is pretty grim and has lots of traffic clogging up the streets.
  • MP3 CDs. Lusaka, strategically located next to several countries with a strong musical heritage (Congo, Zimbabwe) is a great place for adding to your African music collection. In the indoor bit of Lusaka City Market there are several places that will burn MP3s or transfer gigabytes of music to your flashdisk or phone for about K10,000.

Eat[edit][add listing]

New restaurants are opening constantly in Lusaka, with some top end, well priced choices available and lots of quick bites. The three major malls - Manda Hill, Arcades, and Levy Junction - all have a wide selection of fast food and sit down options. Chindo Road is the closest thing that Lusaka has to a restaurant strip.

  • Four Seasons, next to Smuggler's Inn, is run by Zambian chef Jamie who specializes in game meat brought in fresh every day, which means the menu is recreated every day based on the selection. Vegetables are brought in from Jamie's private garden. Entrees range from 65-85 Kwacha. Try the cardamom creme brulee (if they don't run out for the night)!
  • Eviva is a new seafood restaurant in Rhodes Park (+260 (0) 211 846 465) catered to fine dining. Service is great and the selection ranges from sushi to prawns to steak and chips.
  • Portico's is a well established Italian restaurant with probably the best pizza in town. Located at the Showgrounds by the polo ground. Groovy decor and new, expanded outdoor area. However, service can be dreadful, so order up some drinks and enjoy the wait.
  • Misty's in Levy Junction is a fancy restaurant with stage usually playing live jazz music. The menu has a wide selection of options, all very good. Reservations are suggested for weekends. There is also a hip lounge in the front.
  • Rhapsody's is a cornerstone at Arcades mall. It serves a good variety of western style dishes. Also a popular night hangout for those heading to Club 101 next door.
  • The gelato store on Cairo Rd has fantastic dessert. This place is brand new and is a quirky modern anomaly on an otherwise run down strip.

The little “Abbeyfresh Restaurant” is one of the best lunch places in Lusaka: fresh fish, meat and vegetables, cheap prices (around 20 kwacha for a complete meal), and very quick and friendly service. It’s in on Katondo Street between Cairo Rd and the city market, on the South side in the building marked “Yalelo”.

South Asian

  • Arabian Nights Restaurant Ltd (Arabian Nights), Unit 37, Arcades Shopping Centre (Opposite Investrust Bank at Arcades Shopping Centre), 257085, [3]. 11-22.00. Fine fusion cuisine - Pakistani curries, steaks, continental, seafood, game meat, wraps, salads and home made ice-creams. Take-aways available. Their Kitwe branch won the "Best Restaurant in Zambia" award from the Tourism Council and this place is just about equally great. They also have their own ice-cream parlour (vanilla) which makes home-made ice-cream from basic ingredients. It's pricey, but then so is Ben & Jerry's.  edit
  • Dil offers some of the best Indian food anywhere and is reasonably priced (though not dirt-cheap). It's located in the Ibex Hill area of town, about 15 minutes drive from the city centre, provided there's no traffic. Well worth the drive but a taxi fare each way will cost more than a meal.
  • Muskaan Good Indian & Pakistani food, slightly cheaper than Dil. There are two sister restaurants in Kabulonga (Muskaan I and Muskaan II). Muskaan I on Chindo road is slightly more consistent (tel: 265976). Muskaan II is on the corner of Haile Selassie Ave & United Nations Ave near the Intercontinental hotel. Menu prices exclude 26% extra in VAT and service - so mains cost around K50,000 and up.
  • Shamiana, Birdcage Walk (in the Millennium Village behind Intercontinential hotel). evenings. Unfussy Indian restaurant with a talented head chef. Mains around K35,000.  edit
  • Oriental Garden United National Avenue, opp. German Embassy Indian restaurant and bar - with a nice little terrace and garden.

East Asian

  • Diane's Kitchen / Korean Cuisine, On Saise Road (Plot 5018) off of Addis Ababa drive (look for the 'Korean Cuisine' signs). While owned by a Chinese couple, this restaurant serves pretty good Korean dishes. It even has a separate room with low 'cook at your table' tables. Try the Korean barbecue. Mains from K40,000.
  • Dong Fang Good local Chinese fare in Long Acres, near Ndeke Hotel.
  • The Courtyard Hotel at the Corner of Thabo Mbeki & Nangwenya Roads near ZNBC's Mass Media Complex must be the premier vegetarian dining spot in the country. superb mid-priced food ranging across the indian/thai/malay spectrum.


  • Savanna at the Intercontinental Hotel. Does standard international hotel food in a nice setting by the pool. Both a-la carte and all you can eat buffet 365 days a year. Expect to pay around k100,000 for a meal.
  • The Marlin Restaurant at the Lusaka Club, Los Angeles Boulevard, Longacres, +260 (0) 211 252 206, [4]. provides quality steaks and Chinese food in a "country club atmosphere" for around $10.  edit
  • Taj Pamodzi This upmarket hotel has 2 restaurants for evening meals - one offering buffets that vary according to the day and another a grill bar. Indian ownership reflected in the food served. Check out crocodile kebabs on the grill or some of the excellent vegetarian options. Expect to pay $15+ for a meal.
  • Marlin [29]. The Lusaka Club, Los Angeles Boulevard, Longacres. Long a staple of the Lusaka dining scene Marlin is notorious for for its pepper steak. Other meats and some Chinese on the menu also. The restaurant has a definite 70s feel, but is always pretty busy (reservations needed for busy times), and the beef is pretty good (porterhouse a better option than the fillet). Prices exclude 27% in VAT and service. The wine list is exclusively Nederburg. Mains from K70,000.


  • Melsim Lodge Ethiopian Restaurant. [30] Alick Nkhata Road north of the old airport, behind Flamingo Supermarket, (GPS coordinates -15.40801°, 28.32935°). Run by an Ethiopian lady the lodge's restaurant offers some pretty authentic Ethiopian cuisine - better to eat in the bar under the thatch rather than in the wedding hall-esque dining area. Meal costs around K50,000 per person.
  • Debonair's Pizza delivers for about $5.
  • Gerritz Local German restaurant.
  • Chit Chat Cafe Great outdoor seating and cosy atmosphere, but be prepared to wait - the kitchen can be a bit slow. You must try the Moroccan chicken and Asian chicken salads as well as the wraps.
  • LA Fast Foods Near the Intercontinental Hotel. The upstairs restaurant has now closed.
  • La Mimosa, Arcades. Sandwiches and possibly Lusaka's best milkshake at 10 pin (K10,000).
  • Kilimanjaro Nice cafe at Manda Hill serving yummy sandwiches, crepes, and the best coffee frappucino.
  • Cedars Lebanese Restaurant New place, off church road. Definitely worth a look.
  • Vanilla Ice-Cream Parlour, Arcades, [5]. Nestled with Arabian Nights this gelaterie serves the best ice-cream I have ever had anywhere! Prices start from K10,000 for a single scoop cone to K36,000 for a sundae but I guess that's because they don't use any artificial flavours or colours. Well worth going to for dessert!  edit
  • Mint Cafe, Arcades Mall Lusaka. Small coffee shop in Arcades Shopping Mall. Serving milkshakes, a variety of coffees including lattes, cappucinos and a great assortment of cakes.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

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

  • Arcades Mall hosts 5 restaurants/bars. Times Cafe and Rhapsody's are popular lounges at night and are open till late. Times charges a 20 Kwacha cover on weekends. Club 101 is a busy night club playing hits until sunrise. Cover is 50 Kwacha.
  • Vegas in North Mead plays live music Thursday nights and gets packed with locals.
  • Kalahari is a large outdoor bar with stage playing Congolese music on weekends. Great place to chill when the weather is warm.
  • Smuggler's Inn is a football themed bar with an indoor and outdoor bar in Rhodes Park. The place could use some renovation though.
  • East Point is an outdoor bar and club. This place gets packed at night and is notorious for pickpockets.
  • Xenon nightclub in Northmead, often many young people here
  • Chez Ntemba* has several branches, plays Rumba and African rhythms until the last person leaves
  • Majestic Casino has an excellent bar, casino complete with blackjack and roulette tables and slot machines
  • Cattleman's Grill at Chrismar hotel hosts live local bands and has a dance floor and restaurant
  • Johnny's Chinese is centrally located (now closed)
  • Sam's Sports Bar is on Cairo Road in the town centre
  • The Polo Grill has outdoor seating overlooking the Lusaka Polo Club also has a small casino
  • Northmead Shopping Centre has an array of clubs and bars including some open 24 hours a day the infamous alpha bar should be tested by all travellers.
  • The Cha Bar, 161 Mulobwa Close, Fairview, Lusaka, [6]. 12 - 12. This busy, fun and friendly bar is in Lusaka Backpackers, (until its recent revamp called ChaChaCha Backpackers). Its the most easy going place in the centre of the city, and even has great food. Its used by locals and tourists alike and is the place to be if you want to meet people in a place where you don't need to dress up first. You'll get local businessmen in suits for their after work beer and tourists getting out of the pool. There's even an informal taxi rank outside to get you home when you've finished your evening on the local Mosi beer.  edit
  • Queen of Sheba Restaurant, Nalubutu Rd off Addis Ababa Drive, Lusaka (Driving up Addis Ababa drive from Manda Hill, turn left after the mosque), +2600969480946. Tuesday to Saturday, lunch and evening. Lovely simple atmospheric restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Traditional Ethiopian food and coffee. Very central location. They also do catering. 50-100 kwacha per head.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


There are 3 backpackers hostels and an overland travellers lodge all located close to each other along Broads Rd and Bwimjimfumo Road, close to Levy Junction, .

  • Broads Backpackers, on Broads Road, off Makishi Road. This seems to be the choice for locals, so you'll encounter many Zambians staying. However, numerous break-ins have been reported into the private rooms, likely coordinated with staff. Be very cautious with leaving things behind.
  • Kalulu Backpackers, also on Broads Road, is equally priced to Lusaka Backpackers but not as nice.
  • Lusaka Backpackers [31] email [email protected] Situated off Bwimjimfumo Road, two-thirds of the way down Mulombwa Close on the right-hand side. This place has a good reputation and caters more to the expat travelers. Very close to the bus station and Manda Hill but if you don't fancy the walk all the taxi drivers know where it is. The prices are only slightly higher than Broads and Kalulu but its money well spent.Decent dorm beds ($15), or private rooms and ensuite rooms are available ($50). There is a nice bar on site, a they do great value hearty food all day, the gardens are full of shady Avo trees and the icing on the cake is the swimming pool. They will organise all your excursions and tours round Zambia and to South Africa. This place used to be called Chachacha backpackers so you may need both names for your cab driver.
  • Wanderers Lodge [32] email [email protected] Just up Addis Ababba Road from Manda Hill Shopping Centre this place probably has the best location of any of the budget/mid range lodges. Set up to cater for self drive overlanders and backpackers its one turn off the Great East Road, the main road through town. It's got dorms, some private rooms, a large camping area and dedicated camping spaces for overlanders. Overlanders will appreciate how near to Manda Hill Shopping this place is. This place is probably the only place in town where you can set up your roof tent and leave the vehicle in the safety of the lodge and walk to the shops, there is no need to pack up everything and drive! This place is very new so you may need to help any taxi driver with directions, but if you get stuck it has the same owners as Lusaka Backpackers so just go there and they will help you out.


There are a number of mid-range accommodation options, as well. Of particular note are the 'executive lodge' type places - these are aimed at Zambian businessmen and Civil Servants on their travels and usually comprise a bedroom, breakfast, a pleasant bar and off-street parking. Mid range hotels are usually modern and clean and less than half the price of the top-end hotels, although the high end backpackers offerings such as Lusaka Backpackers in Mulombwa Close are nipping at their heels and shouldn't be discounted, a high end backpackers offers the same basic clean en suite rooms but with a dose more personality and someone to talk to at the bar.

  • StayEasy [33] is a new business hotel on Church Road, by Cairo Road across from Levy Mall. Rooms are $125 per night and include good breakfast and Internet, plus a pool. Great value if you want to stay at a nice hotel without paying the upscale price. Levy Mall across the street offers restaurants, shops, banks, and a cinema.
  • Protea Lusaka Hotel is located near Arcades and is the newest hotel in Lusaka and will run you about $150/night for a singe room with a king sized bed. The price includes a breakfast buffet and free wifi accessible from most areas of the hotel. The hotel and restaurant bar area is usually pretty quiet unless there is a conference being held at the hotel. If there is a conference the a la carte restaurant menu is not available, but there is a lunch buffet for about $25. However, the best part of the hotel is its location in the Arcades, which houses a few of the city's better restaurants. Be wary of a room on the first floor as there is a nightclub in the casino below the hotel, which is noisy on Wednesday and Friday nights.
  • Around 10 minutes from Lusaka center there's Makeni Guesthouse [34] which is quite a relaxed guesthouse run by Jane. The rooms are basic but clean. It's got a nice relaxed feel to it and weirdly for this part of the world, has no public bar which is a welcome break if you want somewhere quieter.
  • 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. (0211 251734)
  • Cresta Golfview Hotel is a great place with everything to offer the modest traveler.
  • Chita Lodge [35] is close to Manda Hill shopping center, has 10 rooms (8 doubles, 2 twin doubles). Cost is around 100 USD per night.


Expect to spend anywhere from $200-$400 night for rooms in these hotels.

  • The Pamodzi Hotel [36] is probably the nicest in Lusaka, having recently undergone a US$ 7 million renovation. Helpful staff. However, the food is generally disappointing.
  • The Intercontinental Hotel is a close second. Restaurant service can be slow.
  • The Southern Sun (ex. Holiday Inn, ex Ridgeway Hotel) is casual and comfortable, but expensive ($200 USD per night). Best food of the three Splurge hotels but rooms not the greatest and most are close to a main road.

All three of these hotels offer wireless internet, for approximately $12-20 USD per day. Unfortunately, the billing system for each requires you to repeatedly obtain new passwords and user-ids, rather than simply keeping track of your total usage during the stay. It's as if you had to get a new user-id and password every day to use the pool or minibar!

Stay safe[edit]

Lusaka seems to have obtained a bad reputation for being a city plagued by crime, but in reality, this is exaggerated - other African cities, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Lagos for example, are much more risky. However, travellers should appreciate that walking around the city at night is foolish and that you will become a target for pickpockets if you make your valuables visible. Remember that the Zambian GDP is extremely low; with unemployment reaching 14%, many Zambians live in abject poverty. Pickpocketing for some is the easiest and most practical way to stay well-fed.

In fact, Zambians seem to take a perverse sort of pride in the idea that they are nonviolent criminals: in the unlikely event that you are in fact accosted by a crook who is demanding money, your best bet is simply to give in to him. They're not after you, just after money. You may be shaken up by the experience, but you'll likely walk away (only with lighter pockets). Some situations have deteriorated into violence when foreigners attempt to stand their ground or threaten.

Also, one should remember that HIV/AIDS is endemic here, and exercise caution when in intimate sexual situations.


Embassies and High Commissions[edit]

British High Commission
5210 Independence Avenue, P.O. Box 50050, 15101 Ridgeway, Lusaka 10101. The British High Commission

The entwined history of the two countries and the close friendly relationship between the people of the UK and Zambia means this is often the first place for advice and help for everyone. The UKHC has an active social media page for information and advice.
The UKHC is first port of call for UK citizens & citizens of Commonwealth countries if the country does not have representation in Zambia.
Contact details: email : [email protected] Telephone : +260 211 423 200
The UKHC is open Monday to Thursday: 8 am to 1 pm/2 pm to 4:45 pm and Friday: 8 am to 1 pm but has a 24 hour phone line operated by the The Foreign & Commonwealth Office. If you’re in Zambia and you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +260 211 423 200. If you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Zambia, call 020 7008 1500.

  • Ca-flag.png Canada, 5199 United Nations Avenue, (+260 21) 1 250 833 (, fax: (+260 21) 1 254 176), [7].  edit
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, 5206 United Natios Avenue, +260 211 254149/ 250229 (, fax: +260 211 252213), [8]. 9:00 AM - 16:00 PM.  edit
  • De-flag.png Germany, 5209 United Nations Avenue, (+260 211) 250644 (fax: (+260 211) 254014), [9].  edit
  • Ei-flag.png Ireland, [10].  edit
  • Ru-flag.png Russia, Plot 6407, Diplomatic Triangle, Longacres P.O.Box 32355, (+260-211) 252-120/ 252-183, [11].  edit
  • Flag of Serbia (state).png Serbia, Independence Avenue 5216, P.O.Box 33379, (+260 21) 1 250-235 (fax: (+260 21) 1 253-889). e-mail: [email protected]  edit
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden, [12].  edit
  • Us-flag.png United States of America, [13].  edit
  • In-flag.png India, No.1 Pandit Nehru Road, Loangacres, P.O. Box. 32111, +260-211-253159/60, [14].  edit

Get out[edit]

Of course, there are game parks (like South Luangwa National Park), scattered throughout Zambia, and many Lusakans visit them on the weekends. Heading to Livingstone for a few days is also a popular choice.

  • Siavonga is on Lake Kariba about two and half hours away from Lusaka
  • Protea Lodge Just outside Lusaka this provides both a great place to stay, game drives, a swimming pool and even lions.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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