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  • Overview

    Zambia's vibrant capital is an interesting mixture of modern and traditional, its high-rise buildings towering over colourful outdoor markets. Visitors will find a number of fascinating sights and attractions, including museums such as the Lusaka National Museum and the Zintu Community Museum; monuments and statues dedicated to freedom fighters; and cultural attractions such as a theatre, cinema, zoo, golf club and the Munda Wanga Environmental Park.

    Lusaka is also the best shopping destination in Zambia, where traditional goods and handcrafted souvenirs on sale next to Western shops such as Woolworth's and Shoprite. There are a variety of restaurants ranging from pizza and sandwich shops to Korean barbecue and Pakistani kormas, and enough bars and clubs to keep both locals and visitors entertained.

    Centrally located, the city is within driving distance of many of Zambia's game parks, including South Luangwa National Park and Kafue National Park. Blue Lagoon is a popular excursion for viewing game such as zebra, buffalo and hippos.

    The sprawling and chaotic city can be quite overwhelming, and foreigners need to be vigilant and protect themselves against crime. However, the Zambian people tend to be very friendly. Lusaka is not really a prime tourist destination, but many travellers find it necessary to travel through the city. Those who spend time in Zambia's capital should find plenty to keep them entertained.

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    Lusaka's humid subtropical climate is heavily influenced by its high-altitude location. The city experiences hot summers and warm winters, with little variation in temperature. Winter, from May to July, sees temperatures move between 78F (26C) and 92F (33C). In summer, from September to January, Lusaka's temperatures range from 87F (31C) to 104F (40C). Lusaka experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, with the wet season lasting from November to April, when precipitation amounts to between three inches (76mm) and 10 inches (245mm) of rainfall per month. Humidity regularly exceeds 80 percent during the rainy season. From May to September, Lusaka experiences very little rainfall.

    Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 12 miles (20km) northeast of Lusaka.
    Time: Local time is GMT +2.
    Getting to the city: A minibus service runs to the city centre via Great East Road, and taxis are available.
    Car Rental: Most major car hire companies are represented at the airport. Cars are usually hired with a chauffeur.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport.
    Facilities: The airport has a bank with a bureau de change, a post office, restaurants, a bar, shops, and a VIP lounge. A tourist help desk and travel agent can also be found in the airport terminal building, as well as a business centre.
    Parking Long and short-term parking is available.

    Getting around Lusaka is not easy. While the city centre is relatively small, walking is not always a pleasant experience because of the climate and the hawkers along the sides of the roads. Public transport consists of buses and minibuses that run frequently along main transport routes, though both options can get crowded, meaning they're not always comfortable ways to travel. Visitors who have an international driving licence can hire a car, and there are plenty of reputable car hire companies in the city and at the airport. On the downside, driving in Lusaka is not an easy task, as traffic is often gridlocked and it can be difficult to find parking. Signage is usually quite clear, but the condition of the roads is not always good. Hiring a car with a driver is a popular option.

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