Located south of Zambia’s ‘Copperbelt’ towards the Zimbabwe border, the country’s capital, Lusaka, is its largest city by a wide margin. Tree-lined boulevards lend a feeling of space in many parts, and a spacious ‘government area’ is particularly open and pleasant. However Lusaka’s rapidly increasing population, an often-congested road system, and large temporary markets all give many parts of the city a busy, bustling feeling.
That said, Lusaka’s noise and commotion is seldom worse than any other city of its size, and it usually makes a pleasant stopover, and a good place to meet local Zambians.
Cairo Road and Central Market contain numerous smaller shops, where you can wander around and experience a more authentic side of Zambian culture. While modern shopping malls are springing up over Lusaka to cater to its more affluent residents, these tend to offer a more relaxing, if less interesting, shopping experience.
Lusaka is rarely a priority for people visiting Zambia, and is most often used as a springboard to reach the more remote areas of the country. However, the embassies, the efficient banking and clear communication make it a useful city; and several upmarket hotels, a range of ethnic cuisines and a cross-section of Zambian people living and working in the city make Lusaka an interesting and enjoyable capital city.