Fly to Zambia
WHERE TO STAY
Lusaka has places to stay to suit every budget, from friendly lodges to luxury hotels.
- The Fairview Hotel (Church Road) is a good, basic option in a central location. Rooms start at $60. They’re clean and comfortable, with TV, mosquito nets and a shower/bath. The rate includes a simple breakfast and a daily newspaper, but internet is extra.
Because of the nearby casino, the hotel is very popular, so book early.
- If you have a bit more to spend, try the Protea Hotel (Cairo Road). Rooms start at around $150, and include breakfast, an en-suite bathroom, fridge, free Wi-Fi and AC. The hotel is minutes from the Freedom Statue and the Lusaka National Museum, and you can book a shuttle service to and from the airport.
- The StayEasy Lusaka (Levy Junction), just a few minutes away, is another good midrange option. Rooms are around $120 a night. Again, you’ll get a free breakfast, Wi-Fi and an en-suite bathroom, and there’s a big pool and patio area at the back.
- If you’re staying in Olympia, try the Crossroad Lodge. Rooms start from $50. It’s a little rough around the edges, but the staff are warm and friendly, and there’s a great cocktail bar.
- The Chita Lodge, just behind the Manda Hill shopping complex, is full of fun, with a safari-themed interior – think zebra and cheetah prints on the walls, and lots of wildlife statues. Double rooms (from $70) are basic, with an en-suite shower or bath, but the suites (from $100) are more luxurious: there’s AC, a TV, and lovely wooden parquet flooring. Outside, there’s a pool and bar, and a great modern restaurant.
- Just off Los Angeles Boulevard, the Longacres Lodge is basic but clean, with an en suite in most rooms, and TVs and fridges in some. Expect to pay around $60 per night. There’s also an on-site restaurant, and a secure car park.
- The Ndeke Hotel (Longacres) is right around the corner. It’s a popular choice with families and business travelers alike, with a relaxed, cosy atmosphere. There’s a restaurant with an outside terrace, and a fan or AC in each room. Doubles from $70.
- In Kabulonga, look no further than the luxurious Mika Hotel. There’s a good range of rooms, from classic suites to the four ‘presidentials’ – they start at around $70. The restaurant, Milile, serves top-quality African food in grand surroundings.
- 20km from central Lusaka, Lilayi Lodge is a lovely boutique lodge, with an on-site elephant sanctuary. But it’s expensive: expect to pay upwards of $250 for a luxury chalet for two people.
The main airport, Kenneth Kaunda International, is 17km from the city centre. Whatever time you arrive, there will be taxis waiting to take you into the centre.
In town, you can either hail a cab, or book one – we recommend Michek Kunda (0977519623).
It’s easy to book tours and trips from Lusaka. Most hotels will be able to help, or you can try Michara Travel and Tours – contact Stephen Mwale (0978018374, [email protected]).
Hiring a car is a good idea if you’re travelling outside the city – and if you’re heading into the countryside, a 4x4 is a must. Here are a couple of good contacts.
- Avis Car Hire, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport – +260 211 271 020
- Limo Hire Zambia – +260 211 278 628. Plot # 21, Lilayi Road, Fringilla, Zambia
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
When you’re in Zambia, eat like a Zambian! Here are some of the best restaurant serving traditional and local dishes.
- Fairview Hotel – the Fairview has a busy bar and an OK restaurant. Worth a look if you’re nearby.
- Lusaka Club – a fun sports bar with snooker tables and live music.
- Broads Backpackers (Roadspark) – this friendly lodge also serves big, hearty Zambian meat and fish dishes, including tilapia, gizzards and roast pork.
And here are a few other great spots to grab a drink or a bite to eat.
- Hagan’s Bar (Pick and Pay Mall, Woodlands) – a friendly, buzzing Irish pub.
- Chicago’s Bar and Restaurant (Manda Hill) – a smart restaurant with a 40s and 50s American vibe. Known for its cocktails.
- Times Cafe (Arcades) – a lively pub within the Arcades shopping mall.
- Portico (Showgrounds) – great Italian food, with live jazz on Wednesdays.
- Misty Lounge (Levy Junction) – a smart restaurant and jazz lounge.
MAIN FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
On national holidays, shops, restaurants and other attractions may be closed, so please check before you travel.
The Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) will be able to tell you about special events happening on and around key holidays.
- New Year’s Day – 1st January
- African Liberation Day – 25th May
- Independence Day – 24th October
- Christmas Day – 25th December
Zambia has one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most developed economies. Once dominated by mining and agriculture, the economy has grown quickly in recent years, with tourism and the service sector on the rise.
At a local level, cross-border trade is a big part of the economy. You’ll find clothes, groceries; hardware and electricals are imported from neighbouring countries for resale in Zambia.
Vegetables, poultry and meat are all grown in large quantities in Zambia, both for domestic consumption and export.
Zambia is in the midst of a construction boom, with both local and international contractors building property across the country.
As well as copper and cobalt, Zambia is a big exporter of gemstones, particularly emeralds.
Lusaka is full of markets, selling just about everything you could imagine. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday are all big market days in different parts of the city.
The Arcades shopping mall is a good place to go for Zambian artefacts’. The curios market on Sundays is particularly noteworthy.
Lusaka’s most popular market is the Dutch Reformed Market, held on the last Saturday of every month. There are huge varieties of stalls, selling everything from traditional crafts to delicious Boerewors sausages!
Lusaka is a great place to shop, with a mixture of big malls and fun boutiques. Here are a few of our favourite shopping destinations throughout the city.
- Levy Junction (Levy Park, Church Road)
- Manda Hill (Great East Road)
- Arcades (Great East Road)
- East Park Mall (Great East Road)
- Cross Roads (Leopards Hill Road)
- Makeni Mall (Kafue Road)
Wholesale dry foods, clothes and more can be found in the Kamwala shopping area. And for salaula (second-hand goods), fruit and vegetables, head to Soweto market.
Zamloop is Zambia’s equivalent of Craigslist – great for picking up second-hand bargains.
MAIN IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS
Zambia’s main export partner is China. There’s also a lot of trade with neighbouring countries, and the Middle East.
- China 43.4%
- South Africa 7.2%
- Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.7%
- South Korea 5.4%
- India 4.7%
- UAE 4.3%
- Egypt 4.1%*
Zambia’s main exports are copper, cobalt, electricity, tobacco, flowers and cotton*.
Zambia imports most of its goods from regional neighbours – particularly South Africa – as well as China and Kuwait.
- South Africa 36.7%
- Democratic Republic of the Congo 19.8%
- China 10.4%
- Kuwait 6%*
Zambia’s main imports include machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertiliser, food and clothing*.
*Data from Zambia Ministry of Trade and Industry, 2012.
Investing in Zambia
If you’re thinking of investing in Zambia, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) should be your first point of call. Their head office is in Lusaka’s New Government Complex.
There’s lots to do in and around Lusaka. Here are a few of our picks.
- Many of Zambia’s best craftsmen and women live and work in Kabwata Cultural Village. You can ask them questions about their work, and buy your favourite pieces.
- The Lusaka National Museum showcases Zambia’s rich history and culture, with exhibits devoted to archaeology, ethnography and political and social history.
- Many people come to Zambia for the incredible wildlife – and you barely have to leave the capital to experience it. Lusaka National Park, Munda Wanda and Kalimba Reptile Park are all within easy reach. Or you can visit the elephant orphanage at Lilayi Lodge.
- The Lusaka Showgrounds is full of fun places to eat, drink, and hang out – like the peaceful Garden Club, and popular art gallery.
- For guided tours of Lusaka, get in touch with the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB). They will recommend good operators to suit every budget, and general advice on things to see and do in Lusaka and beyond.
- If you want to catch a movie, head to Levy Junction or Manda Hill. These malls – as well as the Arcades – are great places to shop, too.
It’s easy to find both national and international banks in Lusaka. Here are some of the biggest.
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Barclays Bank Plc
- First National Bank (FNB) Zambia
- Bank Zambia National Commercial (ZANACO)
- Finance Bank
- Investrust Bank Plc
For your health, travel and other insurance needs, try one of the following.
- Madison Insurance
- Professional Insurance
- NICO Insurance
- Zambia State Insurance Company (ZISC)
- Mayfair Insurance
Zambia’s three main phone providers are MTN, AIRTEL and ZAMTEL.
If you want to print business cards or other promotional materials, try Shreeji’s (Sales Manager – Mr Simukanga, +260 961 915 294). Alternatively, there are lots of print shops on and around Cairo Road.