Lusaka at night

Location of Lusaka in Zambia

Coordinates: 15°25′S 28°17′E / 15.417°S 28.283°E / -15.417; 28.283Coordinates: 15°25′S 28°17′E / 15.417°S 28.283°E / -15.417; 28.283
Currency Zambian Kwacha
Province Lusaka Province
District Lusaka District
Country Zambia
Established 1905
City status August 25, 1960
  Mayor of Lusaka Mulenga Sata
  City 360 km2 (140 sq mi)
Elevation 1,279[2] m (4,190 ft)
Population (Oct 2009)
  City 1,742,979
  Metro 2,467,467
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) (1)
Climate Cwa

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres (4,196 ft). As of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million, while as the urban population is 2.4 million. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, but Nyanja and Bemba are also common.


The British government founded Lusaka in 1913 as a remote outpost for British administrators and farmers. The Soli People were the original inhabitants of the land but in the 1890s the British South African Company seized the territory which had been called “Lusaaka” in honor of the old Soli state.

In 1935 Lusaka became the capital of what was now the Northern Rhodesia Colony. Capital-designation brought major development and infrastructure to the city. The British colonial government commissioned John A. Hoogterp, a South African, to build the city’s Government House and other major administrative buildings. Trees were planted alongside the streets, and houses with lawns were constructed to accommodate new white settlers. This new green foliage earned Lusaka the nickname the “Garden City.”

The majority of Lusaka’s residents were European or Asian. Indigenous Africans who worked in the city were forced to live in compounds on the outskirts of town or immediately next to their place of employment. Their wives and children were not allowed to live with them or accompany them into the city. The racial hierarchy of Lusaka emphasized white authority and black inferiority in a colony where blacks outnumbered whites ten to one.

By the time Zambia gained independence in 1964, indigenous Africans were allowed to live in the city but mostly in slums. Upon independence the new Zambian government built “council-houses” to accommodate black residents, many of whom worked for the government or in the copper industry. Public utilities were installed and these houses represented a vast improvement compared to homes built for blacks during the colonial era.

Lusaka’s population doubled from 123,146 in 1963 to 262,425 in 1969. In 1966, the University of Zambia opened in the city to educate all residents of Zambia.

By 1966 Lusaka had emerged as the center of anti-colonial resistance for Southern Africa. The city became a safe haven for African nationalists who organized independence movements in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa. In 1969 Lusaka hosted the Fifth Summit Conference of East and Central African States. At this meeting the Lusaka Manifesto on Southern Africa was signed condemning the presence of colonial regimes in Southern Africa. From the early 1970s through the mid-1980s the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s major anti-apartheid organization, was headquartered in Lusaka.

Government and administration

Supreme Court of Zambia
Freedom statue

As the national capital, Lusaka is the seat of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, epitomized by the presence of the National Assembly (parliament), the State House (office of the President), and the High Court. The Parliament is situated at the Parliament complex, which features a 15-story building. The city is also the capital of Lusaka Province, the smallest and most populous of the country's nine provinces, and forms an administrative district run by Lusaka City Council. In 2007, the mayor was Steven Chilatu (PF), and the deputy mayor was Mary Phiri.

List of mayors:[4]

List of Governors (decentralisation – one party participatory era)

List of Mayors – Multi-Party Era

Government House, built for the Governor of Northern Rhodesia


University of Zambia campus

Zambia's highest institution of learning, the University of Zambia, is based in Lusaka. Lusaka has some of the finest schools in Zambia, including the American International School of Lusaka , International School of Lusaka, Rhodes Park School, the Lusaka International Community School, the French International School, the Italian international School, the Lusaka Islamic Cultural and Educational Foundation (LICEF), the Chinese International School, and Baobab College. Rhodes Park School is not an international school, though there is a large presence of Angolans, Nigerians, Congolese, South Africans, and Chinese. The children of the late President, Levy Mwanawasa as well as the children of Vice-President George Kunda, attend the Rhodes Park School.

Points of interest

Lusaka National Museum

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 Lusaka, 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. Along Great East Road are the two of the first large shopping malls in Zambia, Arcades shopping mall (with open-air storefronts) and Manda Hill shopping mall (enclosed shops), which was recently revamped and is home to international stores such as Shoprite, Game and Woolworths, a new movie theater and boasts of the first KFC in the country.

Agricultural Society Show
Lusaka International Airport, main terminal

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 Cathedral Hill and Ridgeway neighborhoods.One of the main streets and points of interest upon business is the street of Cairo Road.

Cairo Road was a section of the Great North Road and was so named because it is a link in Cecil Rhodes' then dream of a Cape to Cairo Road through British colonies in Africa.

Some buildings along Cairo Road are the Findeco House (25 floors), Central Bank Building, Indeco House (19 floors), Zambia National Building Society Headquarters (20 floors), Old Zambia Lotto Head Office, Zambia National Commercial Bank (21 floors), Barclays Bank Zambia Head Office, Stanbic Bank Zambia Headquarters, Investrust Bank (18 floors).



Lusaka is home to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (which is used for both civil and military operations), and it lies on the railway line from Livingstone to Kitwe. There is also Lusaka City Airport, which is used by the Zambian Air Force.


Bus services to towns surrounding Lusaka, such as Siavonga and Chirundu, use the Lusaka City Market Bus and the inter-city bus terminus station and the city bus station (Kulima Towers Station).

Public transport

Intracity public transport is provided primarily by minibuses, but also includes larger buses and shared taxis on fixed routes.[6] Vehicles on most routes travel between specific parts of the city and the four terminals in the central business district (referred to as "Town"): Kulima Tower, City Market, Millennium and Lumumba.[7] There is no official map of public transport routes in Lusaka, but an initiative to create a user-generated content map was begun in 2014.[8] All public transport vehicles in Lusaka are operated by private operators.

Sport infrastructure

As the hosts of the 2012 Zone VI Games and the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka boasts a lot of sport infrastructure, including Nkholoma Stadium, Sunset Stadium, the Olympic Youth Development Centre, the Lusaka Golf Club and many other places. There is also an ultra-modern 60,000 seat stadium that is being built by China, named the National Heroes Stadium in memory of those 1993 Chipolopolo football players that died in a plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Gabon. The stadium was completed by the end of 2013 and among them hosted an international friendly match between Zambia and Sudan, the Zambia's 50th Year Golden Jubilee Celebrations and a Requiem Mass for the late President of Zambia - His Excellency Mr. Michael Sata whose main celebrant was Most Rev. Telesphore George Mpundu, Archbishop of Lusaka and current ZEC President

Twin towns – Sister cities

Lusaka is twinned with:

Notable residents

Manda Hill
Suburban residential area

The rugby union players Corné Krige and George Gregan, who respectively captained the South African and Australian teams in both the 2002 and 2003 Tri Nations Series, were coincidentally born in the same hospital in Lusaka.[10][11][12]

Amy Holmes (born in 1973 in Lusaka) is a news anchor on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.

Lusaka is the hometown and current place of residence of Joseph and Luka Banda, the first ever conjoined twins to be successfully separated and in full neurological health.[13]

It is also the home of IIMegaxlxll videos, a young boy who gained fame on YouTube, Reddit and 4chan for his video titled "My longest yeah boy ever".


Primarily due to its high altitude, Lusaka features a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) according to Köppen climate classification. Its coolest month, July, has a monthly mean temperature of 14.9 °C (58.8 °F). Lusaka features hot summers and warm winters, with cold conditions mainly restricted to nights in June and July. The hottest month is October, which sees daily average high temperatures at around 32 °C (90 °F). There are two main seasons: a wet season and a dry season with the dry season lasting around half the year, lasting from April to October.

Climate data for Lusaka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.6
Average high °C (°F) 27.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.5
Average low °C (°F) 17.6
Record low °C (°F) 13
Average precipitation mm (inches) 245.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 18 15 10 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 16 72
Average relative humidity (%) 82.3 82.5 80.7 75.8 69.3 65.2 61.1 53.6 46.3 48.6 60.2 78.6 67
Mean monthly sunshine hours 176.7 168 220.1 246 275.9 270 294.5 303.8 291 272.8 234 182.9 2,935.7
Source: NOAA [14]

See also


  1. City of Lusaka Website
  2. Airport altitude, accessed 7/3/2015
  3. "Lusaka, Zambia (1913- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". Retrieved 2016-11-09.
  4. So this was Lusaakas, 2nd Edition, 1971 Mission Press, Ndola, Richard Sampson
  5. "Los Angeles honors mayor of sister city in Africa". Jet. 10 August 1972. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  6. "Can You Do It? Using Public Transportation in Lusaka Zambia". Travel Wanderings. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  7. "Making Public Transport in Lusaka City More Efficient and Effective" (PDF). Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis & Research. December 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  8. "And We Have a Map!". Lusaka Public Transport Map: A User-Generated Mapping Project. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  9. "George Gregan - Player Profile". Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  10. "Captain Courageous: Corné Krige",, retrieved 26 June 2006.
  11. "Rugby Union World Cup Special Reports: South Africa", The Guardian, 6 October 2003.
  12. Terris, Ben; Kirchner, Stephanie (November 13, 2015). "The Story of the Surgery that made Ben Carson Famous". Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  13. "LUSAKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
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