What to do and see in Lusaka, Zambia: The Best Places and Tips

August 8, 2017 Nobuko Falco

Lusaka, the capital and largest city in Zambia, can be a confusing and chaotic place for visitors not familiar with its unplanned neighborhoods and streets. Busy stores and shopping centers line Cairo Road and the surrounding area. Nearby covered markets sell anything from souvenir figurines to spare engine parts. Just south of Lusaka is the Munda Wanga Environmental Park, which features botanic gardens, a wildlife park and sanctuary, picnic areas, swimming pools, and a relaxing terrace bar.
Restaurants in Lusaka

1. Lower Zambezi National Park

Sud di Lusaka, Lusaka 10100, Zambia +260 97 4424013
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 99 reviews

Lower Zambezi National Park

Reviewed By CarolnIan - West Yorkshire

When I agreed to join our party on a trip canoeing down the Lower Zambezi, I hadn't really thought about how scared I would be. Never having canoed before, seeing all the luggage we had to transport, looking at the choppy river, and knowing we had to steer around hippos regularly did not help my anxiety at set off. But the calm encouragement from our tour guide TK, and my gradual building of confidence helped me stay the distance, and complete a very rewarding trip for three days, travelling down the river amidst wildlife, in the Sunshine, camping out under the stars of the southern skies. The peace and tranquility was blissful, the organisation and care on the tour second to none, and sleeping on the sandbanks after eating under the stars was amazing. Animals not so abundant (except for the hippos and crocs which were all around) with them having had good rains last season, but to make up for this our guide took us for an impromptu walk in Death Valley, Manna Pools NP where we saw plenty of game. Excellent trip, an experience of a lifetime.

2. Chaminuka Game Reserve

Latitude 15'10'' South And Longitude 28'30'' East, Lusaka 10100, Zambia +260 21 1254140
Excellent
50%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 257 reviews

Chaminuka Game Reserve

Reviewed By Emily B - London, England, United Kingdom

I went to Chamunika for a Sunday day trip out of Lusaka, hoping to have a good lunch and a swim. We weren't intending to go on a game drive so I can't comment on that. It's an interesting place and it's always a treat in Zambia to see lots of art on display as well as books, and the lodge has both. On arrival, we were told that our only lunch option was a buffet for K325 per person. The man at reception was not clear whether or not we could swim as we weren't paying for the other activities (namely the game drive). I asked him to look into it, especially since we were paying for a pretty expensive lunch, but he never came back to tell me the outcome.
Lunch was fine but the food was unremarkable for the price paid (which doesn't include drinks other than water). The bread rolls were like the ones you are given on an aeroplane and my sister's were stale. We showed the waiter how hard they were and asked him to bring non-stale ones but he disappeared and did not return. When I reminded him later he said he had forgotten. The cheese was lovely and felt special as it's made on the premises. Plastic waste is a huge problem in Zambia and the number of plastic water bottles thrown into landfill or burnt after every meal at Chaminuka must be huge (I asked the waiter what they do with plastic bottles and he said they burn them). This problem is everywhere - not only Chaminuka - but it would be nice for management to think of ways of providing safe drinking water to guests without having to use so much single use disposable plastic. Or to think about recyling (e.g. Star Recyling (see Facebook) or Foxdale Court services).
We did have a swim in the gorgeous pool after lunch (after all the fuss at reception, a waiter told us it was fine to swim so that was a relief).
I felt like it was worth a trip out of Lusaka and would return to do the game drive too with visitors who don't have time to go to any of the national parks. My feedback is mainly that the food needs a bit more thought to justify the price charged, and that the staff could be a bit more on the ball (though they were friendly).

3. Sunday Crafts Market

Arcades Mall, Lusaka 10100, Zambia
Excellent
36%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 55 reviews

Sunday Crafts Market

Reviewed By pragati9 - India

There are two locations for Sunday market now.There are few stalls in parking lot of Arcade mall and many more on other side opposite Protea hotel.
We went early around 8AM and they were still setting up the stalls.We walked around and found that the quoted price of all items is almost double its actual value.Most of the vendors expect you to bargain but it gets tiring after a while.I found lots of interesting items like African chitenge fabric,T shirts,wooden baskets,masks,copper curios,stone work artifacts,paintings,books and second hand magazine.Some hawkers will try to sell gems like tanzanite,opal etc but never buy from them.Nealy all are fake.
I wish somebody will set up stall for water,juice,coffee and local delicacies as all this shopping and bargaining makes one thirsty and hungry.A outdoor cafe offering breakfast would add to the experience.
A great place to buy gifts to take back home.

4. Eastpark Mall

Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka 10100, Zambia
Excellent
21%
Good
66%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 37 reviews

Eastpark Mall

Reviewed By Rya-Mari M

Eastpark Mall offers various stores and restaurants with ample parking. We had dinner at the Keg & Lion; average food with TVs in the restaurant so you can watch your favourite sports game unfolding as you eat dinner. All in all a typical mall experience

5. Arcades Shopping Mall

Great East Road, Lusaka 10100, Zambia +260 21 1256729
Excellent
17%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
35%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 70 reviews

Arcades Shopping Mall

Reviewed By Nigel A - Cassington, United Kingdom

For the traveller who needs easy access to a range of shops and services the Arcades is great. Phone shops, a bank, a good size grocery store (SPAR), some clothes shops and a really first class bookshop. There are also restaurants, coffee shops and fast food outlets - not to forget the cinema. Currently being expanded and the scaffolding and shuttering is a bit intrusive as you navigate you'd way through.

6. Cathedral of The Holy Cross Lusaka

Lusaka 30477, Zambia 260 (211) 250 48
Excellent
60%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

Cathedral of The Holy Cross Lusaka

Reviewed By DianeWoodlands1 - Lusaka, Zambia

I was baptized and confirmed in this church having been raised an Anglican by my mother so it has always been a constant landmark in my life, as have been the fundraising fetes that take place in summer in the church grounds. Places of interests within the Cathedral are the stained glass windows and the high ceiling that resonates with choral sounds during a church service.
It is also an important landmark in the country as that is where state funerals are held, regardless of the deceased's religious affiliations. Even these are very colourful events to behold.
The grounds are also excellent places for meditation. The Cathedral has historical significance for me because my mother as a young school girl helped to collect the stone that was used to clad the Cathedral. This was ferried from the then Fort Jameson, which is now Chipata, in the Eastern Province of Zambia.

7. Kalimba Reptile Park

Off District Rd, Lusaka 10100, Zambia +260 21 1213272
Excellent
22%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
0%
Terrible
11%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 54 reviews

Kalimba Reptile Park

Reviewed By pckale - Lusaka, Zambia

The park is only about 20 km from Lusaka. It is a good place for family picnic as the park offers activities for every age groups. It has a small collection of snakes but the most attractive are Black Mamba and Mozambique Spitting Cobra. It has large number of Nile Crocodiles. You also get to eat crocodile meat from the restaurant inside the park. The facilities include cottage like sitting areas with brai stands where you can brai chicken, fish etc on your own and enjoy it. You can also enjoy fishing in the small ponds inside the park. You are allowed to take away whatever fish you are catching. There are two separate swimming pools for children and adults.

8. Pakati Sunday Market

Arcades Shopping Centre, Lusaka 10100, Zambia +260 21 1256729
Excellent
60%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Pakati Sunday Market

Reviewed By Rhiannas_world - Lusaka, Zambia

I go here regularly for things to fill up my house and little present to send back to my native land :)
The market workers are friendly and are not as pushy as other markets throughout Zambia. It's open every Sunday 9:00-17:00 and also open on public holidays.
You can barter, usually you can pay only 75% of the original price they quoted. If your good 60%
Types of things you can buy; Jewelry, stones, cravings, paintings, wooden coasters spoons ect, copper bracelets, dishes, cups, bottle openers, traditional material, chitenge and much much more.
Please let me know if you have any questions on this attraction or any other place Zambian. If I haven't been there I know a good source and will find out the right information for you.

9. Munda Wanga Environmental Park

Plot 175 Kafue Road | Chilanga, Lusaka, Zambia +260 21 1278614
Excellent
15%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
30%
Poor
7%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 40 reviews

Munda Wanga Environmental Park

Reviewed By Guilfybear - Kenya

A desperate and dilapidated sanctuary in Chilanga 15km South of Lusaka.
The once ornate structures placed in the botanical "gardens" had fallen into disrepair, strewn with litter and neglected.
There is even a swimming pool with an impressive slide , again like the children's playground, abandoned and ruined - the pool contained more biodiversity than the rest of the park.
The Animals
Many compounds were empty - the occupants having either succumbed to the inevitable or escaped. Those remaining were in poor shape...most lying motionless conserving their energy.
Unable to ascertain the location of the lion roar (an impressive sound by all accounts) we considered the possibility that it also had decided to also vacate.... We also headed home.
The only sign of anything being eaten here are the funds needed to maintain this place to encourage visitors

10. Chilenje House

Burma Road | Chilenje township, Lusaka 10100, Zambia
Excellent
51%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
18%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 16 reviews

Chilenje House

Reviewed By hengoed - kent

Experiencing history with a wonderful guide. I was given a free visit when I told the guide that I had worked in Zambia in the early days of Independence. The guide was just absolutely so full of interesting anecdotes and history that you would not get from a book

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