Continuing our series of African cities, we look at the capital of Zambia, Lusaka. Over the last ten years and mainly due to economic expansion, Lusaka has exploded in terms of what it offers the modern traveller. As always in Africa, traffic can be very slow moving so always start early and take advice on the best routes which are not always the most logical:
1. Elephant Orphanage at Lilayi Lodge. Twenty kilometres south of the city, you will find this orphanage where these young elephants will be habituated back into the wild. This is no petting zoo but an informative and uplifting experience.
2. Jackal and Hide at Sugarbush Farm, about 25 kilometres drive east of the city. A farm setting where you can enjoy filling meals, sundowners and well known for its locally made leatherwork, especially bags and belts
3. Kabwata Cultural Village on the outskirts of town. Effectively a large curio market where you can speak directly with and buy from the local artists, basket weavers, jewellery makers and so on. Probably the best value curio purchases you can make in Lusaka.
4. Pakati Sunday Market at the Arcades shopping Centre, east of the city centre. Another large curio market which offers a huge variety of goods and souvenirs. Prices are normally higher than Kabwata
5. Matebeto Restaurant. Matebeto is a traditional Zambian ceremony where the prospective bride cooks for the future grooms family. You won’t need to attend the real ceremony as this restaurant will offer you all those local dishes. About 10 minutes drive from the centre of town.
6. Munda Wanga Environmental Park, which incorporates the botanical gardens and wildlife park. Open 7 days a week, it is about a forty minute drive from the city centre. Beautiful gardens, a very relaxing day out for the family.
7. Kalimba Reptile Park. The park is mostly known for its Nile crocodile breeding and large exhibit of snakes. It is set in a peaceful garden setting and is about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. For the not so sensitive, you can also eat a croc burger!
8. Parays Game Ranch. About twenty kilometers west of Lusaka, you can do a days game drive at your leisure. From lion to Zebra and kudu to buffalo, this is a low key key and relaxed way to see game close to the city. There are full restaurant and bar facilities at the lodge.
9. Lusaka National Museum. Located in the city centre and open daily from 9-4.30pm. It’s wings and galleries focus on four categories of exhibits: history, contemporary art, witchcraft and ethnography. Everyone will be guaranteed to find something of interest.
10. Marlin Restaurant. Located in the city centre, this is an institution of longstanding in Lusaka. The food is Mauritian Creole but specialises in meat with its signature dish of pepper steak.
10 Things to do in Lusaka by Nicolas Edwards