Lusaka Travel Guide
Introduction to Lusaka
While Lusaka is the capital of Zambia and is home to over three million people, there are few well-known tourist attractions contained within its city limits.
While it is true that the bulk of your Zambian holiday is best spent exploring its game reserves, national parks and Victoria Falls, there are a number of things to see and do in this city if you find yourself with some spare time here at the end of your visit.
Cultural Attractions in Lusaka
Get under the skin of the country that is governed from Lusaka by spending some time exploring the Zambia National Museum. While chronic underfunding has resulted in exhibits that are a far cry from what you would find in national museums in other countries, what is on display will nonetheless give you an insight into Zambian history.
Artifacts related to the practice of witchcraft and the Zambian art gallery on the lower floors are the highlights here, as is the Freedom Statue, which pays respect to those that died during the struggle for independence in the 1960’s.
The man that helped lead Zambia to self-rule and became its first president is honoured at Chilenje House. The refurbished house where Ken Kaunda planned and coordinated efforts to free Zambia from colonial control, a fact which is betrayed somewhat by this residence’s simplicity.
In addition to being brought back to the state it was in during the 1960’s, the interior features many of the personal belongings of Dr. Kaunda, some of which were in the exact positions where they would have sat when he was living at this address. There are also exhibits chronicling the growth of the city of Lusaka over the years if you are keen to check that out as well.
If you need to make a last minute stop for souvenirs before beginning your trip back home, making time to swing by the Sunday Crafts Market is a must. Situated in the parking lot of the Arcades Shopping Centre (one of Lusaka’s most popular shopping centres), there are many authentic crafts to choose from, whether they are made from wood, malachite, or other common materials.
There are few (if any) prices that are set in stone, so be prepared to bargain for a good price. Merchants here are relatively relaxed though, so don’t be intimidated by the process.
Other Attractions in Lusaka
Much is said about the big mammals that call Zambia and African continent home, but what about their cold-blooded counterparts? You’ll get a chance to see and even handle some of this place’s endemic scaly animals at Kalimba Reptile Park.
From a variety of snakes and lizards, to the fearsome crocodile, you’ll see a decent cross-section of this group of animals that call this part of Africa home. If you are ok with it, there are also crocodile burgers for sale on-site, which reportedly tastes like chicken (not making this up, by the way).
Another well-loved spot in the Lusaka area is Munda Wanga Environmental Park. This attraction was formerly known for being a botanical garden, but it is known today for being a centre for wildlife rehabilitation. Cheetahs, jackals and warthogs are just a few of the species that are brought here to help their numbers recover from deep losses inflicted by poachers in the field.
You can even feed the animals from Friday to Sunday during lunch hour (avoid Friday though, as this is a popular day for local schoolchildren to visit), and the portions of the park still retain their function as a botanical garden, with the latter situation being the perfect spot for a picnic.
Need to pick up some supplies or provisions before heading out into the hinterland of Zambia? The Arcades Shopping Mall is the most popular spot in all of Lusaka to indulge in retail therapy. There is a well-stocked supermarket, outdoor clothing sellers, and a theatre if you want to catch up with your Hollywood movies before hitting the African travel trail hard again.