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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What to see
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.
The Anglican Cathedra is an elegant concrete building with tall stained glass windows.
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.
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). 7 days a week. A classic dusty, underfunded African museum that is worth a visit if you are at a loose end. Wakmaf Bus Services (Max Katyamba), Lusaka, Zambia.
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.
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.
Jackal & Hide, Sugarbush Farm, Leopards Hill Lusaka, Zambia. 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.