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Sprawling, frenetic Lusaka is Zambia’s thriving capital and largest city. Once a village along a strategic railway line, Lusaka replaced Livingstone in 1935 as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. Today the fast-growing city is a magnet for jobseekers from the rural hinterlands, and the start or finish point for many Zambia safaris. Lusaka is famous for its vibrant markets, including several that specialize in Zambia’s outstanding handcrafts.
Sights & Activities
Within Lusaka, if you have an extra day, a variety of classic attractions are available. The Lusaka National Museum, opened in 1996, features artifacts and contemporary art outlining the nation’s history and culture from ancient to modern times. Other museums, such as the Political Museum and Zintu Community Museum, can be visited. The University of Zambia can also be found in Lusaka. For shopping, the Moore Pottery Factory has a great selection of ceramics, or there are markets, such as the Kamwala Market or New City Market, for local handicrafts. The Munda Wanga Environmental Park features a wildlife park and sanctuary with over 45 animal species, including rescues, endemic and exotic animals, and a botanical garden with over 1,000 plant species. If staying outside of the city, some wildlife viewing can be done by horseback, and your lodge grounds can be enjoyed for a more relaxing day before safari.
How to Include Lusaka in Your Safari Itinerary
Lusaka is sometimes a necessary overnight stop when arriving Zambia on an international flight coming from the UK or Middle East. It’s a jumping off point for any of the amazing safari regions of this lesser visited gem of a country. Daily one-hour flights connect Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park, replete with large mammals, including unique subspecies like Thornicroft’s giraffe, and respected for decades as the home of the African walking safari. The Lower Zambezi National Park is just over a half-hour flight, placing you between the mighty Zambezi River and Rift Valley escarpment, loaded with Africa’s most sought-after predators, large mammals and a variety of activities. Access Kafue National Park in just over an hour by charter into the Busanga Plains. Not to be missed, Victoria Falls is only an hour away, a great way to end your journey or connect to Botswana or South Africa.