Lusaka is the capital of the Republic of Zambia, situated in central southern Africa. It is one of the fastest growing and most highly urbanized cities in Africa. The city is the country’s center of government and commerce and is home to over 1.7 million people, with a wider urban population of about 2.4 million.
English is the official language, although there are several other languages spoken, including Bemba and Nyanja. Lusaka is a transport hub, with four main highways intersecting here which connect the north, south, east and west of the country.
The improving infrastructure and development attracts foreign investment and has fueled job creation and as a result Lusaka attracts more expats that other parts of Zambia. Many are employed in the copper industry, international aid industry, diplomatic service, and an increasing number of international corporations. The majority of expats are British or South African, although there are many other nationalities represented.
With an altitude of 1,279 meters on the East African Plateau, Lusaka’s climate is classified as humid subtropical and the city is generally warm or hot throughout the year.
The seasons are defined by a wet and dry season, with the wet season prevailing for most of the year – from October through to April. At this time, as much as 300mm of rain can fall in a month. The briefer dry season follows from May to September. During this time the country is extremely dry with hardly any rainfall at all and droughts are common.
The coldest time of the year is in July, where temperatures can drop down to about 14°C, depending on where you are, and the altitude. The warmest month is October, where the average high temperature is 32°C. Despite these highs and lows, the temperature is usually consistently in the 20s throughout the year.
Finding a property to rent in Lusaka can be difficult, and it’s best to check into a hotel when you first arrive to give yourself time to visit different areas, meet with local estate agents and view potential properties to get an idea of what you can get for your money.
Some of the nicer residential areas, popular with expats, are to the east of Lusaka city center, including Rhodes Park, Kabulonga, Woodlands and Sunningdale. Also worth considering is Longacres, where most of the foreign embassies are located.
For a family rental with three bedrooms and modern finishes in a safe neighborhood, you can expect to pay over 3,000 USD per calendar month. For this you often get a good sized garden, a swimming pool and domestic quarters.
While you might find the prices high, you can negotiate, and some landlords will consider a lower rate, particularly if you’re willing to sign up for a long-term lease. For desirable long-term tenants, landlords will often upgrade security or redecorate if you ask them to.