Lusaka is Zambia's administrative and financial capital and is centrally located in the country, making it a hub of regional commerce. Situated on a plateau, Lusaka's altitude ensures a generally agreeable climate. The city is rapidly growing, and urban road development needs help to keep pace. Nevertheless, it is a lively, modern African city with ample shopping centres and service industries. While there is high unemployment in the city (60% +) it is generally regarded as safe for tourists with a common-sense approach. Lusaka's central location makes it an excellent springboard to tourist attractions further afield, and there is a good selection of accommodations and restaurants to choose from.
Like any modern city, Lusaka is easily accessible for visitors by land and air and offers a range of accommodations to meet most budgets. Due to its central location, it is a good base for visitors intending to visit different parts of the country. The new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport is serviced by numerous international airlines, while the country’s main road network is in good condition, making it easy to reach by vehicle. Visitors with time to spare often visit the bustling markets and the National Museum, which showcases Zambia’s culture and history. There is a small national park on the city’s outskirts and a couple of reputable wildlife sanctuaries just south of Lusaka.
Sitting more or less in the centre of Zambia, Lusaka is a literal road and air crossroads for the country and the commerce of neighbouring countries. Many travellers arriving by air touch down at the Kenneth Kaunda National Airport. The airport, in turn, services various national airports with scheduled flights to the tourism hotspots, e.g. Livingstone. For self-drive visitors, renting a vehicle at the airport is easy. Alternatively, the country’s privately operated taxis can take you to your city destination. Lusaka lies approximately 484 km (300 mi) from Livingstone (Victoria Falls) and 676 km (420 mi) from Mfuwe (South Luangwa National Park). The main routes are generally well-maintained.
As a city destination, Lusaka can be visited at any time of year. The only factor that may affect the timing of a visit is whether it is the right time to visit your ultimate safari destination and that typically depends on whether it is the Emerald or Dry Season. The generally pleasant climate makes Lusaka an appealing destination throughout the year. Thanks to its altitude, the climate is humid subtropical, with Winter temperatures dropping to 14.9 °C (58.8 °F) and Summer highs averaging 32 °C (90 °F). Annually, there are two Emerald (Wet) seasons – from November to March and September-October, while April to August is typically dry and clear.