Zambia has a vast history and culture which was originally only preserved by being passed down from one generation to the next orally. Post-independence, national museums were built across the country to highlight the country’s heritage, politics and tribes. Here’s our pick of the top seven to visit.
The Lusaka National Museum is a great place to start exploring Zambian art. Located in the Kamwala area of Lusaka, the top floor of the museum is dedicated to the pre- and post-independence history of Zambia, while the ground floor has contemporary paintings and sculpture. It is also used as a space for temporal themed exhibitions such as the all-female Kuboneshago exhibition. Entrance fees are USD$5 for international adults and USD$3 for children.
The Choma Museum
History Museum, Art Gallery
The Choma Museum and Crafts Center is located in Choma, Southern Province. Its permanent exhibition features information on the way of life of the Tonga tribe that reside in the area from their traditional costumes, marriage customs and social activities. The environmental history of Southern Province is also highlighted with an exhibition on the effects of the construction of the Kariba Dam. There is an art gallery section where art displayed can be purchased, as well as a shop that sells intricate baskets made by the Tonga tribe. International entrance fees are USD$5 for adults and USD$3 for children.
The Livingstone Museum
Natural History Museum
Named after Dr David Livingstone, the Natural History Museum has a section devoted to his exploration of the region. The rest of the museum has a permanent exhibition on archaeology, in particular the Stone Age. There is also a section on the political history of Zambia from pre-independence to post-independence. Children will love the section featuring stuffed animals such as lions to depict the country’s incredible wildlife. International entrance fee is USD$5 (approximately ZMW 50 (Zambian Kwacha)), and USD$3 or approximately ZMW 30.
The Railway Museum
Train enthusiasts will love the Railway Museum in Livingstone, Southern Province. It features 19th century locomotives and vintage coaches which visitors can inspect by climbing on board. There is also a section dedicated to the Jewish presence in Livingstone which was quite significant after World War II. International entrance fee for adults is USD$15 or approximately ZMW 150, and USD$7 or approximately ZMW 70 for children.
The Nayuma Museum
The Nayuma Museum in Mongu, Western Province provides information on the Lozi tribe, which is the dominant tribe in the area. There are exhibitions featuring images of the Litunga, who is the leader of the tribe, as well as the Kuomboka ceremony, the traditional festival of the Lozi. A model nalikwanda, which is the boat used during the festival, is on display. There is also traditional craftwork available for sale. The entrance fee to the Nayuma museum is USD$5 for adults which is approximately ZMW 50, and USD$2.50 for children, or approximately ZMW 20.50.
The Copperbelt Museum
The Copperbelt Museum in Ndola, Zambia is an ethnographic museum in Ndola, Zambia housed on two floors. It features a permanent exhibition with information on the Stone Age to post-independence. The majority of the museum is dedicated to mining, which is the main industry in the region. There are displays on the history of mining, different minerals and copper processing. The international entrance fee for adults is USD$5 which is approximately ZMW 50, and USD$3 which is approximately ZMW 30 for children.
The Moto Moto Museum
The Moto Moto Museum in Mbala, Northern Province is an ethnographic and research museum. There are three sections; one which describes Zambia‘s history from the Stone Age to post-independence, and the second which shows the tribal life of the Bemba tribe, which are the dominant tribe in the region. The last section covers food, music and current traditional rulers of the surrounding areas. Entrance fee is ZMW 30 for adults and ZMW 15 for children. The local fee applies to all visitors. No pictures are allowed to be taken within the museum.