Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lusaka, Zambia, Africa

Lusaka – A Warm Welcome , Africa

Picture By: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e9/Lusaka_-_Manda_Hill_Shopping_Centre.JPG/220px-Lusaka_-_Manda_Hill_Shopping_Centre.JPG

By Nick-Venter S. Edwards

A small nondescript village in the early 1920s, Lusaka is the bedrock of what is today the Republic of Zambia, a warm country by climate and hospitality.
Its central location, slightly to the south of the country’s centre, merited this village’s promotion to a capital city of the colonial administration of Northern Rhodesia.
Lusaka has rapidly grown into the bustling metropolis that it is today.
It is both the commercial and industrial hub of the country as well as the seat of government and parliament.

Lately it has been choking with an increase in population. Its poor planning has led to the congestion that is an identifying spectre of the sprawling city, with a lot of infrastructure springing up by the day.
The main entry point for most tourists is the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, the largest facility, just about 25 minutes’ drive from the central business district. Driving from this airport, on Great East Road, gives the visitor a warm welcome to a bustling metropolis. All the way from the airport, the visitor is greeted by fast-paced urban scenery, with the convenience to check into the many amenities at the visitors’ disposal before they even set foot into the centre of the town.

Two big malls, very modern in their nature, and hotels by the side, the entry from the east is more than convenient for the tourist who, in the meantime, would have had a glimpse of the National Assembly.
The central business district is surrounded by a cluster of residential areas that are steadily exploding out of their size pushing the city inwards.

There is Matero, to the north-west of the city, a great historic township. This vast settlement was the hub of the many skirmishes in the struggle for independence. Matero is also the hub of the heavy industries, many of which are mere shadows of the cogs in the industrial machine of the city that they were in 1980s.

Lusaka is home to the country biggest university and
its school of medicine, the University of Zambia, which lays lazily on Great East Road.
Within the central business district are two tourist monuments of historical nature, the Lusaka Museum and the imposing Freedom Statue. The square hosting the statue is a busy place of activity: from Labour Day marches, to political demonstrations, to AIDS activities. It is the popular place of choice for all manner demonstrations and activities.

About ten minutes to the south-east of the central business district is a unique suburban settlement, Kabwata, almost engulfing famous Kabwata Village, a very attractive village setting, with thatched huts, firewood, all within this urban setup! Kabwata Village residents treat tourists to traditional dance and song and sell various artefacts.
Further south of Lusaka are the Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens, an environmental park open to the public at a fee.

One cannot leave Lusaka without the mention of Cairo Road, the busy multi-lane motorway that slices the city into two, from north to south. On either side of Cairo Road are old and new office buildings, the tallest being the 22-storey Findeco House at the southern tip of the central business district, at which point of the circle, turning left takes one into the famous and ultra-neat Independence Avenue that leads to the Lusaka Civic Centre, then Police Head Office, the Ministry of Finance, the victoria architecture Cabinet Office, the Lusaka High Court and Lusaka Supreme Court as well as the Embassy Square, the abode of embassies accredited to Zambia. Further up the avenue is State House, the official residence and office of the President of Zambia.

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