Photo Credit: WorldFish

Nshima is the staple food of Zambia, which is cheap and delicious. Basically a thick porridge made from maize that is rolled into balls, it is eaten with two sides, known as relishes. One of these dishes is a protein and the other a vegetable. Major cities also have a large concentration of international dining options, including pizza, fried chicken and Indian. Any meal in Zambia will go great with one of the local beers, which is the perfect way to cool off from the hot sun.

Bars and Pubbing in Zambia

Although there are plenty of watering holes around, solo female travelers are advised not to visit a bar without a male companion. The exception is in the capital city of Lusaka, where there are plenty of places that cater to travelers and expats comfortably. Visitors should note the party stops early in Zambia as there is a 10:00 p.m. curfew, but in-house hotel entertainment may run later.

A few bars play rumba and other local beats, with Chez Ntemba (Kafue Rd Cairo Road Area, Lusaka) being the best for visitors to shake it up with the locals. For something a little more low key, The Ch Bar (161 Mulobwa Close, Fairview, Lusaka) is a great option and serves good food. The Polo Grill (2374 Nangwenya Rd Rhodes Park, Lusaka) overlooks the Lusaka Polo Club and houses a casino, as well as live entertainment. For something unique, the popular nightclub Johnny’s (9 Lagos Rd Rhodes Park, Lusaka) features an indoor swimming pool in the Zambia capital.

Lusaka is not the only place in Zambia that offers nightlife. Livingstone, which is actually the most visited city thanks to it’s proximity to Victoria Falls, has a few choices. Hippos (Dambwa Central, Livingstone) is a popular tourist hangout that offers pool tables and darts, while Rhapsodies (T1 Livingstone) is more upscale and great for sipping cocktails and wine. Chez nTemba (Livingstone) is the only true nightclub in Livingston and is open seven nights a week.

Chipata’s Wildlife Club (Wildlife & Environment Conservation Society building, Chipata) is a great place to play a game of pool, while tossing a cold one back, and many locals that relax here are part of the area’s NGO community. Former colonial headquarters Lundazi has some pubs, including one at The Castle Hotel (Lundazi).

Dining and Cuisine in Zambia

One of Lusaka’s most highly rated restaurants is Marlin (The Lusaka Club, Los Angeles Boulevard, Longacres, Lusaka), which is best known for its pepper steak and quality, imported wines. Chit Chat (5A Omelo Mumba Road, Rhodes Park, Lusaka) is more relaxed, with paintings by local artists on the walls and a British-inspired menu. The Italian owned Portico (Plot 2374 Nangwenya Road, Lusaka Showgrounds, Lusaka) is a chic restaurant serving the best pizza and pasta in Zambia.

Zigzag Coffee House (693 Industrial Road, Livingstone) is one of the best places in Livingstone to grab a coffee, a cappuccino or breakfast before exploring the area. For heartier meals, Chanters Lodge (Lukulu Crescent, Livingstone) serves both Zambian and European dishes with fresh, locally-grown produce. The upscale Royal Livingstone (Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone) is ideal for a romantic dinner for two as it serves gourmet dishes from around the world.

Chipata has a fair share of great local restaurants such as Chef’s Pride (Parerenyatwa Road, Chipata), which offers fantastic Indian cuisine. When relaxing on Lake Kariba, Lake Safari Lodge Restaurant (Siavonga, Lake Kariba) is as good as it gets, but in South Luangwa National Park, don’t miss a meal at the Flatdogs Camp (South Luangwa National Park, Mfuwe), located right in the middle of the park.

Click to learn about shopping and leisure in Zambia.