This article contains information on interesting things you can do in Zambia either as a tourist or a national that is yet to explore everything Zambia has to offer.
Zambia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies with increasing numbers of tourists flocking to this rich and diverse Southern African nation. The country has a fairly long heritage and well-established reputation as one of Africa’s top safari destinations, with sparsely-populated rural landscapes and so many different parks and safari activities to enjoy.
Zambia is also one of the safest countries in Africa making it easy to get out there and experience the country in all its glory, whilst the government has worked hard to make sure that none of the allure of the wild is lost along the way. The country offers a range of action activities, from more pedestrian excursions such as guided lion walks to the more adventurous options including white water rafting down the raging rapids of the incredible Zambezi or bungee jumping over the majestic Victoria Falls.
Lusaka being the largest city and capital of the country is often an overlooked place for travelers. However, this city has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years, with bustling city markets, a number of upmarket restaurants and bars, and good links around the country. So, there are plenty of reasons to spend a few days in this country rather than just passing through.
Thus, there are interesting things you can do while on a visit to Zambia. This article will be providing a list of interesting activities to do when you eventually get to visit Zambia. They include:
THINGS TO DO IN ZAMBIA
1. TAKE A TIME OUT TO VISIT VICTORIA FALLS
If there was only one thing you could choose to do when in Zambia, it would be to visit Victoria Falls. Known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, or ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. The falls are a fascinating sight of awe-inspiring beauty, and one of Africa’s greatest attractions as well as being one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Victoria Falls form the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and are located on the Zambezi River. It’s the only waterfall in the world that is over a kilometre wide and is over 100 metres in height, and they’re renowned as being the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Visiting the Victoria Falls is an experience you will always cherish for your Zambian adventure.
2. EXPLORE THE CHAMINUKA GAME RESERVE
It’s a private reserve that’s home to 72 different species of Zambian mammals and reptiles, along with over 300 species of birds. It’s located just 25 kilometres away from the centre of Lusaka. There’s so much to see and do at the reserve, you can spend a whole day exploring. See lions, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes and elephants whilst exploring the landscape in either a jeep or on foot during a safari tour, or a boat tour on the lake.
Cheetahs are the main attraction. The cheetah experience will leave you speechless at the speed of these graceful creatures. Round off a fun day with a delicious organic meal of Zambian delicacies at the onsite restaurant. So, are you looking for an interesting thing to do? go on safari and take a culture tour in Chaminuka Game Reserve, which sits on top of a hill.
3. VISIT LUSAKA NATIONAL PARK
Lusaka National Park is Zambia’s newest but smallest national park. It is a great destination for a day trip. The location is rather unusual, as it’s located close to the city and in a populated area. However, it’s home to thousands of species such as rare white rhinos, giraffes, zebras, blue wildebeest, and eland, which roam freely throughout the habitat, comprising forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
You can have a guide take you on a lion walk or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, go extreme and do some bungee jumping or abseiling.
4. GO TO THE SUNDAY CRAFTS MARKET
If you’re in town on a weekend, visit the Sunday Crafts Market and explore their selection of hand-made souvenirs. You’ll find a good choice of clothes, jewellery, artworks and crafts. It’s the perfect place to pick up a few souvenirs and maybe some gifts for your loved ones, too. If you enjoy bargaining, then this is the place to be, as all prices are negotiable. It is a fun place to visit.
5. VISIT KALIMBA REPTILE PARK
It’s home to various beautiful reptiles such as the slender-nosed crocodile, native snakes, tortoises, and many others. You’ll get the opportunity to learn about each type of reptile at the park and have the option to take a guided tour to gain even more insight into the life of reptiles. It’s a great day out for the whole family, especially if you’re travelling with kids. It’s located northeast from Lusaka, about 20 kilometres away.
Get a great experience of the reptiles at Kalimba Reptile Park.
6. VISIT KABWATA CULTURAL VILLAGE
This is one of Zambia’s traditionally styled trade centres that still uses thatched-roof huts. There are over 80 resident artists that come from all nine Zambian provinces, allowing for a great variety of wood carvings, bijou, woven baskets, drums, masks and traditionally designed fabrics.
During the holidays, live performers play throughout the village to entertain travellers whilst also getting the opportunity to view the craftsman at work. Also, don’t miss out on lunch at the traditional restaurant found in the village.
So, get a feel of Zambian arts by visiting the Kabwata Cultural Village,
7. GO SHOPPING AT THE ARCADES SHOPPING MALL
The Arcades Shopping Mall is a great place to spend a few hours of your day. At the mall are cinema, fast-food outlets, savvy restaurants, cafes, a bookstore and a large supermarket. Every Sunday an outdoor market is hosted in the car park outside the mall offering a vast selection of handicrafts. The mall occasionally features musical and theatrical events too. There’s all sorts of fun to be had at the Arcades Shopping Mall. You wouldn’t want to miss out.
8. VIEW ZAMBIA’S ART AT THE NAMWANE ART GALLERY
The Namwane Art Gallery is a well laid-out gallery displaying many excellent pieces created by Zambian artists, as well as other African artists. It features a permanent collection of paintings, pottery and a variety of sculptures. Some of the paintings date back to the Kaunda era of dancers. These paintings are some of the finest Zambian artworks. The gallery is a must-see for every art lover as it houses lots of beautiful historical artifacts.
9. VISIT BABY ELEPHANTS AT THE LILAYI ELEPHANT NURSERY
You might also want to go and observe nature and also see that animals go through traumatic conditions too. There, you will observe baby elephants being fed and playing with one another at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery.
It was opened in 2012 with a mission to save elephant calves from poachers, providing them with a safe and caring environment. Unfortunately, you’re unable to pet the baby elephants as they’ve suffered trauma, plus they’re kept away from close interaction with humans to allow them to be reintroduced back into the wild. If you wish to hear a short lecture about the elephants, arrive before noon to hear a member of staff explain the project to all that are interested. This is a fantastic opportunity for those who love baby elephants and who want to support the great work.
10. CHECK OUT ZAMBIA’S NATIONAL MUSEUM
If you’re desirous to discover the interesting history of Zambia you might want to start by visiting the National Museum. It recalls the country’s history through exhibited works in ethnography, witchcraft and art.
Read about the superstitious rituals and ceremonies created by tribal witch doctors through detailed textual descriptions, and see sculptures and paintings of ancient Zambian Artists. Observe ‘The Freedom State’ statue of a man breaking his chains, which symbolises the nation’s struggle for independence.
There’s a handful to see and learn from Zambia’s National Museum, and it’s really well set up and maintained to provide the best experience to learn about Zambia’s culture and history. It will definitely be an educational and fascinating day out for you.
11. OBSERVE WILDLIFE AT PARAYS GAME RANCH
At the Game Ranch, you have the opportunity to get close to Zambia’s wildlife. The highlight for many visitors is the majestic white lions, taking the spotlight as the park’s main attraction. These fascinating creatures roam freely in their well-maintained area of the park. After spending time observing the animals, enjoy a sizzling barbeque of bush meat at the ranch.
12. SAVOUR DELICIOUS CURRY AT BOMBAY LOUNGE
Treat yourself to a selection of delicious curry at Bombay Lounge’s Authentic Indian Cuisine. Bombay Lounge’s speciality is in ‘Mangalorean’ cuisine, which originated from Tamil Nadu as well as other parts of southern India.
You’ll experience fine dining in an elegant setting, and can also enjoy a wide range of cocktails, wines and champagnes. Be assured that there is a meal for everyone, with the kitchen happy to accommodate special diets, such as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diners. As a foodie, this is a place you must visit to get those taste buds tingling.
13. OBSERVE ZAMBIAN DAILY LIFE AT THE LUSAKA CITY MARKET
It’s a marketplace where local farmers gather to sell their goods, ranging from fruits to grain and clothes. The place is packed with locals and is a very colourful and exciting environment to be in. It’s a great way to experience local culture, even if you’re not interested in buying many things.
It is located near a train station.
14. SIP REFRESHING JUICE AT MINT LOUNGE
The Mint Lounge is a pleasant veranda on which to enjoy your lunch or a nice cup of coffee. It boasts a casual, coffee shop-vibe and features a lovely outdoor seating area surrounded by manicured plants. It’s best known for its excellent smoothies and juices along with its healthy fare. If you’re getting too hot out in the sun, it’s a great place to cool off too, located near the Arcades Mall. There are plenty of snacks and meals available to enjoy, and its friendly staff make this a popular venue during the day for families.
15. VISIT KASANKA NATIONAL PARK
Kasanka National Park, the smallest and one of the lesser-known national parks in Zambia, is nonetheless a gem for wildlife lovers, home to a diverse array of habitats and animals. The high number of pans, papyrus swamps, dambos, and floodplains makes Kasanka an especially good haunt for birders, with more than 400 avian species recorded in the park.
What the park is most notable for, however, is the enormous annual bat migration. Between November and December each year, some 5 million to 10 million straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) descend on the park to feast on the area’s musuku, mufinsa, and other fruit trees.
Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of this thrilling sight are led on guided tours to various tree hides in the park during the dawn and dusk hours when the nocturnal creatures are especially active..
16. NDOLA SLAVE TREE
Ndola is one of the most prominent towns in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. Today, the numerous copper mines in the region provide the region’s wealth. But in the past, a darker industry spurred the settlement.
Still standing near the center of town, the Slave Tree was the central location where Swahili slave traders met to discuss their gruesome transactions. Under its shade, Swahili traders such as Chipembere, Mwalabu, and Chiwala held councils of war and sold enslaved people to the Mambundu from Angola.
Much of central and southern Africa, including modern-day enslaveZambia, was crisscrossed by slave traders transporting human captives to the Swahili coast to be sold to Arab slave traders. These traders would people themselves or buy people who had been captured by warring local tribes.Copperbelt province.
Slavery was abolished in Zambia early in the 1900s, when the British Colonial Administration was established. The town of Ndola itself was founded in 1904 after the discovery of copper at the Bwana Mkubwa mine at the site of the slave trading post. The Slave Tree was left standing as a monument to the lives lost to the slave trade.
17. SPEND TIME AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS
The Cathedral of The Holy Cross built in 1962 has since served as a national shrine for prayer and reconciliations, and it is a place where locals gather to show their faith. The brilliant architecture was designed with aesthetics that make it look like it was made in the 1950s, and it’s designed to complement the surrounding parks. Visitors are welcome to join locals to express their faith during the Sunday service. The Cathedral of The Holy Cross is a defining landmark of Lusaka and an incredible sight that all travellers should visit.
Unlike other African countries such as South Africa, Zambia is overlooked by many travellers but this article proved that Zambia is also a country worth taking time out to visit on your adventure. While some areas may not be filled with attractions, Lusaka gives travellers a great opportunity to have an authentic African adventure and get a truly wild experience close to the city.
So, when planning your next vacation, you may want to consider Zambia as there are lots of interesting things to do there.