"The capital of Zambia" Top 5 Page for this destination Lusaka by Kid-A

Lusaka Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 140 photos

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau of the country, at an elevation of 1300m (4256ft). It has a population of 1,084,703 (2000 census) and is considered one of the fastest growing (in terms of population) cities in Africa. It is a commercial centre as well as centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia radiate north, south, east and west from it.

As national capital, Lusaka is the seat of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, epitomised by the presence there of the National Assembly (parliament), State House (office of the President), and the High Court. The city is also capital of Lusaka Province, the smallest and second most populous of the country's nine provinces.

Lusaka was the site of a village named after its headman Lusaaka, which, according to history, was located at Manda Hill, near where the Zambia's National Assembly building now stands. In the Nyanja language, Manda means graveyard. The area was expanded by European (mainly British) settlers in 1905 with the building of the railway.

In 1935, due to its fairly central location, its situation on the railway and at the crossroads of the Great North Road and Great East Road, it was chosen to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia.

After the federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia in 1953, it was a centre of the civil disobedience movement that led to the creation of the independent state of Zambia. In 1964, Lusaka became the capital of the newly independent Zambia.

In recent years, Lusaka has become a popular urban settlement for Zambians and tourists alike. Its central nature and fast growing infrastructure sector has increased donor confidence and as such Zambians are seeing signs of development in the form of job creation, housing, etc. Consequently, it is thought that with proper and effective economic reforms, Lusaka as well as Zambia as a whole will develop considerably. Lusaka is home to a diverse community of foreigners, many of whom work in the aid industry as well as diplomats, representatives of religious organisations and some business people.

The city centre includes several blocks west of Cairo Road, around which lie the New City Market and Kamwala Market, a major shopping area, as well as the Zintu Community Museum. Further east lies the government area, including the State House and the various ministries, around the Cathedral Hill and Ridgeway areas. Other suburbs around Lusaka include Chawama, Villa Elizabetha, Fairview, Kabulonga, Kabwata (a working class area, home to the Kabwata Cultural Centre), Madras, Matero, Kalingalinga, Chipata Compound, Manda Hill (another major shopping area), Northmead (known for its nightlife), Olympia Park, Rhodes Park, Roma, Thorn Park and Woodlands.

Attractions include Lusaka National Museum, the Political Museum, the Zintu Community Museum, the Freedom Statue, the Zambian National Assembly, the Agricultural Society Showgrounds (known for their annual agricultural show), the Moore Pottery Factory, the Lusaka Playhouse theatre, a cinema, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in , a cenotaph, a golf club, the Lusaka Central Sports Club, and the zoo and botanical gardens of the Munda Wanga Environmental Park. The city is also home to the University of Zambia.

Lusaka will host the 2011 All-Africa Games. A new stadium of a 70,000 capacity will be built in Lusaka for the games. This is the first time the country has held the games, and games related development is contributing to some city-wide redevelopment.

  • Last visit to Lusaka: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 6, 2008
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Reviews (6)

Comments (4)

  • paulthetyre's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    The best hotel is the Souther Sun Ridgeway, believe me its better than the Pamodzi. The Inter is good but what you would find in any major city. But the best place's to stay are the various lodges in and around the city.

  • Acirfa's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2009 at 6:13 AM

    Interesting read on your opening page of Zambia and tips taken into account to, thanks.

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Good practical tips - especially the electrical plug! Shongololo is very expensive, but a good way to see it all.

  • cadzand's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Great job you did. Why not highlight their website on your page. It would be easier to find it.


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