Lusaka Budget Travel

Zambia's fast-growing capital, Lusaka is a vibrant mix of modernity and real old-school Africa, attracting people of diverse nationalities.

This bustling hub of economic, political and cultural activity is Zambia's administrative and commercial center. Rapidly developing Lusaka has the upbeat feel of a city on the rise. In recent years the city has experienced a boom, with new malls and buildings popping up left, right and centre. Zambia's largest city, Lusaka is home to about 3 million people, but remains a relatively small city, even with it's sprawling suburbs. 

Things to do in Lusaka

The laid-back city of Lusaka is a friendly and relatively safe place with a handful of tourist attractions. The city features an active nightlife, some decent restaurants and the odd boulevard lined with trees, as well as bustling markets. 

Some Lusaka Attractions

The Kabwata Cultural Village is a good place to buy local handicrafts and wood carvings.

More sights include the Political Museum, Zintu Community Museum, the University of Zambia, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Freedom Statue. Lusaka also hosts the Zambian National Assembly, the Moore Pottery Factory, the Lusaka Playhouse and the Lusaka Central Sports Club. For shoppng, the two largest malls in Zambia are located on the Great East Road, Arcades and Manda Hill shopping mall.

Lusaka has a selection of restaurants for eating out, including local cuisine, Indian, European, Italian and Chinese restaurants. Explore the business area with its modern high rise buildings. Several high rise building are found in Cairo Road, one of the main streets in the business district, around which the city centre is located, stretching several blocks to the west. Cairo Road was once part of the Great North Road and was named after the Cape to Cairo Road dream of Cecil Rhodes.

Where in Zambia is Lusaka Located?

Lusaka is situated in the southern area of Zambia's central plateau, in the southeast of Zambia.

Lusaka is located in a productive farming region, at the point where the Great North Road (to Tanzania) and the Great East Road (to Malawi) meet. In fact, the four main highways to the north, east, south and west meet here. The city also lies on Zambia's main railroad, with the Great Uhuru (Tanzam or Tazara) Railway connecting Lusaka to Dar-es-Salaam on the coast of Tanzania.

The Climate of Lusaka - pleasant subtropical

Located at an elevation of about 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level the climate is mild and pleasant. In Lusaka the summers are warm and the winters mild.

Lusaka's History

  • Founded in 1905 by the British and other Europeans, with the construction of the railway.
  • Named after the headman, Lusaaka, of a village located at Manda Hill, close to the current site of Zambia's National Assembly buildings.
  • Major expansion occurred in Lusaka in 1935, when the British established Lusaka as the capital of the British colony, Northern Rhodesia.
  • After 1935 Lusaka replaced Livingstone as the capital of Northern Rhodesia. 
  • In 1953, Lusaka became the centre of the independence movement that resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Zambia.
  • When Zambia declared independence in 1964, Luska remained the capital.
  • The city and surrounds became a province in 1976.
  • Lusaka is currently a popular urban settlement with Zambians and foreigners.
  • Today Lusaka hosts a diverse foreign community of aid workers, diplomats, religious figures and business people.

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Google Map of Lusaka

Use the Google map to explore Lusaka. Feel free to Print the Street Map when you're ready.

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