Things To Do

Whilst Zambia might be famous for the magnificent Victoria Falls and the many safari and adventure travel options available, there is still plenty of wonderful shopping to be had! You can find some beautiful handmade items, such as baskets, wood carvings and chitenges (lengths of fabric with colourful prints).
Exploring the exciting markets for local handicrafts is a wonderful way to experience Zambian culture!
There are numerous shopping malls popping up all over.

Lusaka has 4 major shopping malls with  smaller centres popping up all the time.  These malls host a variety of stores including, boutiques, supermarkets, jewellery stores, clothing stores, footwear, sportswear, cinemas, electronic equipment, restaurants, fast foods, coffee shops and much more.  While there are a number of private businesses, there  is a also a strong presence of South African chain stores and restaurants such as Woolworths, Edgars, Foshchinis, Spar, Pick n Pay, Game Stores,Mugg & Bean, Spur, and Shoprite. 

The city markets, a riot of colour and activities, represent the true spirit of Lusaka. Thousands of stalls are set up each day, filled with goods every morning, and they do brisk business all day. The friendly and smiling vendors sell all kinds of wares and services; you can get a haircut and buy auto spare parts too.
A visit to a market in Lusaka offers visitors a rich and pleasant insight into the daily lives of the city's residents. The three main markets in the city are the Soweto Market close to Cairo Road, another on Independence Avenue opposite the Tazara Building, the third being the newer and covered market located on Freedom Way.

Lusaka and Livingstone hold an abundance of handicraft, and are two of the best places to buy Zambian handicrafts. Traditional articles such as copper crafts, local batiks known as chitenges, native masks, spears and woodcarvings are available at curio markets in these centres.  There is a market in the town of Livingstone and at the Victoria Falls entrace,  which are open every day for tourists.  Handicrafts can be bought in Lusaka at the main market held every Sunday in the Arcades Mall parking area.  Curios and handicraft can also be bought at city hotel curio shops, some of the safari lodges, and other shops and local markets dotted in and around Lusaka and other towns.
A great variety of ceramics can be found at Moore Pottery on Kabalenga Road. Go to Zintu Za Nyimba on Panganani Road for a range of locally made batiks, candleholders, carvings, hand-dyed cloths, lampshades and wooden furniture. On the last Saturday of each month, the suburb of Kabulonga turns into a lively craft market at the Dutch Reformed Church.   Kabwata Cultural Centre is also a great place for buying curios.

 Zambia has a large number of ethnic groups, and together they present a great diversity of art and culture. Among the great variety of traditional arts and crafts practised in the country, basketry is one of its finest. Depending on where the artisan lives and the material available, baskets are made out of bamboo, bark, grasses, liana vines, papyrus leaves, reeds, roots, rushes and sisal. Symbolic designs are made out of traditional dyes to decorate the baskets. The dyes are made from barks, leaves, roots and soils - all of different colours. The Mbunda and Lozi people of the Western Province are especially skilled in this art.
Another widely appreciated Zambian art is woodwork, with the men of the Lunda tribe being the best at this. Woodwork is a men's craft and they carve animal figures, bowls and utensils, canoes, drums, furniture, masks and walking sticks. Pottery, on the other hand, is a women's speciality; they bake clay forms on open pits and fires. Another popular traditional art is the creation of chitenges, which are lengths of fabric with colourful prints. They are traditionally used by the women as turbans, wrap-around skirts, covers, decorations and also to carry babies. Designed in a variety of geometric prints, chitenge patterns often identify the community of the wearer.

Normal curios can be taken out of Zambia without any problems but to take out any game trophies an official export permit from the Department of National Parks is necessary. Visitors are requested to support the CITES ban on endangered species in letter and spirit, as also the ban on the international ivory trade. Ivory poaching has reduced substantially because of the ban so visitors are requested not to buy ivory souvenirs and undermine the effort. In any case, importing ivory items into any country is sure to pose problems for the buyers.