The bustling chaos of Lusaka city has been described as having a charm that is just Zambia. Although a bit short on the typical tourist attractions, the capital offers plenty for those looking to explore the everyday sights and sounds of an African city as well as providing some welcome home comforts you might be missing from life on the road. Our staff will be happy to give you directions or organize transport for you. They can also provide recommendations to local restaurants and bars.
Manda Hill Shopping Centre
The new and improved Manda Hill Shopping Centre is within walking distance from the backpackers. It can also be reached by minibus from along the Great East Road, or by taxi. As well as banks, an internet café, furniture stores, restaurants and fast-food outlets, the shopping centre boasts a huge Shoprite supermarket.
Arcades Shopping Centre
Arcades Shopping Centre is easy to reach by minibus from along Great East Road or by taxi. As well as banks, bookshops, internet cafés, furniture stores, restaurants and fast-food outlets, the shopping centre contains a Spar supermarket and a multi-screen cinema.
Sunday Craft Market
Every Sunday, the car park at Arcades Shopping Centre is transformed into craft market. A great place to get those souvenirs.
Described by the Lonely Planet as a good place for kitschy souvenirs, Northmead Market is just ten minutes walk from the backpackers. The Northmead area also boasts some fast food outlets, small supermarkets and fresh food stalls as well as some great bars.
Munda Wanga Environmental Park
Munda Wanga Environmental Park rehabilitates all sorts of animals for re-entry into the wild, unless they are too injured. The park features plenty of regional flora and fauna. It’s about 16km south of central Lusaka.
Kalimba Reptile Park
If you want to have a close look at big crocodiles, snakes and tortoises this is the place to visit. You can buy crocodile products, fish in ponds and have a swim in their pool (croc-free). The park is a bit of a trek from town but is an ideal place for a day trip, especially for families.
Though there’s not much to see, the National Museum provides some interest to those looking for something to do. Highlights are the displays of contemporary Zambian paintings and sculpture in the downstairs galleries and the display about witchcraft upstairs.
Lusaka City Market
The City Market is chaotic but fascinating. Zambians get their bargains here, whether it’s fruit or veggies, new or second hand hardware, tapes or clothes. The market is relaxed and tourists don’t get hassled. With over 4000 stalls its well worth a look, even if you don’t plan on buying anything.
The Soweto Market, close to the Lusaka City Market, is the largest market in Lusaka, but is more functional and lacks the traditional ambience of the Town Centre Market or Lusaka City Market. This is one place where you are most likely to be relieved of your valuables – so be careful.
Kabwata Cultural Village
At Kabwata Cultural Village, southeast of the city centre, you’ll find a collection of huts and stalls selling a variety of craftwork. Prices are cheap because you can buy directly from the workers who live here. The specialities are carvings, baskets, masks, drums, jewellery and fabrics.
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Ababa House is a smart boutique full of imaginative creations from Zambian and Zimbabwean artists, furniture-makers and weavers. Most are made for Western tastes and are not the sort of things you’ll see in the markets. The recommended Zebra Crossing Cafe and a number of other units are located within the same property making this a pleasant place to spend some time.