While Zambia has a huge number...
While Zambia has a huge number of languages the linga franca in Lusaka is Nyanja, where it has developed its own style, heavily influenced by the merging of the different peoples in the capital.
Important words are: Muli bwanji? - How are you?
Ndili bwino - I'm fine.
Zingati? - How much?
Zikomo - Thankyou.
English is widely understood and you shouldn't have many difficulties in getting by with this.
A good place to buy crafts is...
A good place to buy crafts is the Kabwata Cultural Village located on Buma Rd, Kabwata. There are a number of stalls and the quality is very high. Some Sundays they have traditional dancing there as well.
The capital of Zambia
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.
Lusaka - Don't Expect Much
"Lusaka - No Capetown, but May Be Worth a Visit"
Don't expect much if you have plans to visit Lusaka. The city itself is small and difficult (and somewhat expensive) to navigate around, as the it is incredibly spread out.
Save a few good restaurants and a somewhat interesting arts/crafts market, I found Lusaka to be somewhat boring and spent most of my two weeks there yerning to visit the famous Victoria Falls.
While other locations in Africa are more interesting than Lusaka, this is not to say that a travelor will not have an enjoyable experience here. Friendly people, an interesting history, and decent cuisine (by African standards) provide potential for Lusaka as a tourist destination.
"Lusaka - Dusty Sleepy Streets"
A typical street scene near the city center of Lusaka. Yup -- it's a one horse town.
"Interesting Artist Colony Inside Lusaka City"
Visit the Lusaka "Village Cultural Market" for some interesting wood sculptures and MANY other great gifts. I walked away with two teak wooden scultpures for $20. Good deals can be had, but be ready to be a hard bargainer!
Lusaka - Capital City of Zambia
Lusaka is a city whose bustling chaos has a certain charm that is just Zambia.
The tourist passing through the capital may not see any reason to stay, but Lusaka is the product of a country battling to find its way in a new world, caught between colonial beginnings, years of socialist independence and now democracy. It typifies the problems many African countries face as they find their "independent" footing in world that’s surging ahead.
The fascinating thing about Lusaka is its energy. Not perhaps of the same ilk as the Big Apple, but an African energy, propelled by that need to survive.
Lusaka is as much a part of "the real Africa" as the rich national parks and stunning scenery. Well over 60% of its 2 million inhabitants are unemployed, but there are surprisingly few beggars. Although petty theft occurs, most people try to make an honest living, selling their wares or services and smiling to boot.
The markets are a hive of activity, the thousands of stalls are filled and cleared every day. A myriad of motor spares dealers, restaurants, hairdressers, fishmongers, fruitsellers and rows and rows of "salaula" - discarded clothing from the West sold to Africa by the bale.
Venture out to a nightclub or roadside shebeen and "get in the groove", so to speak, of the local people. Dance the night away to the sounds of rhumba, kwela, techno or good old rock 'n roll.
But Lusaka is also a city undergoing a facelift. A walk around the city will reveal new shops-including a new market and a multi-million dollar shopping mall under construction; smart fast food outlets; new double carraigeway roads, old buildings being refurbished and the transformation of the city's parks.
For many, this is the perfect example of what economic liberalisation has done for the country. And viewed from the villages, Lusaka is the glittering capital which still persuades rural Zambians to take the bus there in search of jobs and dreams.
The capital covers an area of over 70km sqare and is one of the fastest-growing cities in central Africa. It’s population almost trebled in the immediate post-independence era and continues to grow daily. There has been no influx control and the city is bursting at the seams. Grossly inadequate municipal facilities are hard-pressed to cope with the ever-increasing demand.
It is a sprawling, unplanned metropolis with many multi-storey buildings, high-walled suburbs and busy shanty towns. Fast-growing industrial development has brought together people of many nationalities, making it a bustling centre for economic, political and cultural activities.
The city lies at the junction of the main highways to the north, east, south and west at an altitude of 1 300m above sea level. There are air links to most of the major tourist destinations in Zambia from Lusaka International Airport.
The shops are mainly grouped along the broad double carriageway of Cairo Rd, but the government buildings are about 6km away along Independence Ave.