Shopping in Zambia
Store owners claim that they have fixed prices and bargaining is not appropriate, which, however, does not always correspond to reality (an attempt is not torture). You can safely bargain in souvenir shops, with taxi drivers. In addition, the Zambians have a cute custom “embaseyla” – a small gift to everyone who buys several goods in one shop.
Cuisine and restaurants
Traditional Zambian cuisine revolves around one staple, corn served in one form, nsima (nshi-i-ima). Nshima is like thick oatmeal rolled into balls and added to stew – relishes. Relishes come in the form of beef, chicken or fish. In addition, beans, tiny dried fish (kapenta), peanuts, pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa) and other vegetables such as okra (ndelele), cabbage are added to nshima. Local restaurants offer dishes from nshima and less relishes.
Of course, Western cuisine can also be enjoyed in Zambia, especially in the main cities, Lusaka or Livingston. Including fast food, pizza, chicken. Ethnic eateries are also popular, for example, in Lusaka.
A few words about hygiene: outside the main cities, it is unlikely to find a cafe with a normal toilet with running water. As a rule, there tourists are served a bowl of water, a bar of soap and a damp towel. Some people prefer to carry small bottles of water and antibacterial gel with them.
A peculiar attraction is the Kuombok ceremony: the leader of the Lozi tribe solemnly crosses the Zambezi with his retinue and follows to his summer palace. The action takes place in April, in Mongu.
Drinks are traditional: juices, mineral water, Coca-Cola, but the latter is sold mostly in glass containers, which must be returned. The most popular beer in Zambia is Mosi, a 4% pale lager available everywhere. Eagle (5.5%), Zambezi Lager are also known, Castle from South Africa is also found. All this can be found for about 1 USD in a store or 1-2 USD in a bar. Close to the borders you’ll find good Carlsberg from Malawi, Simba (excellent, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kilimanjaro (a lager from Tanzania) and Tusker (Kenya).
Entertainment and attractions of Zambia
The best thing people go to Zambia for is, of course, the legendary Victoria Falls: huge, frightening, noisy, 120 m high and almost 2 km wide. The waterfall is located near the border with Zimbabwe, so you can enjoy the views of falling water in the same way from the two countries. However (unlike Zambia), advertised Zimbabwe offers, in addition to amazing views, a crowd of people with cameras at the ready. The best place for falls watching is the Knife Edge Point (“Knife Blade”), which can be reached via a thin but safe footbridge. In addition, helicopter rides, paragliding, rafting, canoeing and even bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge (111 m high) are popular here.
There is another noteworthy waterfall in Zambia, which for some reason everyone forgets about, despite the assurances of experienced ones that the views there are no worse. These are the Ngonye Falls located 300 km downstream of the Zambezi River. Nearby is Sioma Ngwezi National Park.
It is worth visiting the popular resort of Siavonga, which is located on Lake Kariba (100 km from the capital). In addition, when flying to Lusaka, it’s a sin not to go to the amazing Chirundu fossil forest located under your nose (40 km to the north). Here you can see the rarest imprints of 150-million-year-old trees.
A few words about the capital itself. Lusaka is not the most interesting city on the African continent, but you can easily spend a couple of entertaining days here. Strolling through the noisy bazaars, looking into pretty art galleries, enjoying the measured and colorful life of the Zambians. See other countries beginning with Z.
But, of course, the main wealth of the country is hidden in its sultry national parks.
- What time of year does the bungee run at Victoria Falls?
National parks of Zambia
In total, there are about 20 national parks in Zambia, the most popular are Kafue, Sioma Ngwezi, North and South Luangwa. One of the most visited is South Luangwa, which is relatively close to the capital, only 250 km to the northeast. The diverse local flora consists of dense woodlands, grassy plains and water lagoons. There are lions, buffaloes, zebras and Thornycroft giraffes, as well as elephants, because this park is home to one of the largest populations of elephants in Africa. In addition, you can see leopards and birds. The park is closed during the rainy season, from December to April.
In the Kafue National Park, which is 200 km west of the capital, on the territory of hundreds of square kilometers of forest, shallows and sand banks of the river of the same name with the park, you can see lions, leopards, elephants, antelopes, zebras and even the rarest yellow duiker (South African antelope).
From March to May, the lands of the reserve are flooded, and then Kafye turns into a giant swamp, a breeding ground for thousands of hippos and millions of birds.
Finally, it is worth highlighting another reserve that is popular among bird lovers – Lake Itezhi-Tezhi (Itezhi-Tezhi). There are herons, ducks, and other waterfowl that nest here and breed chicks.