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The best student nights out in Lusaka City, Zambia

By Fungayi C

Updated March 3, 2022 Updated March 3, 2022

University life is about more than the qualification you get at the end. It’s about the experience you have as a student and the memories you create too. Life as a student can be great and it can teach you a lot of life lessons if you make the most of it.

The nightlife in Lusaka City is one of the highlights of university life. There is always something going on, whether you’re looking to go out in the evening or well into the early hours of the morning.

As a medicine student, I like to take a break from studying to unwind and have a night out with friends. For me, these are the best places to go in Lusaka City, Zambia.

For food lovers

If you're a foodie like me and my friends, the Lusaka City food markets are the place to be. From barbecue and hot dogs to cuisines like Chinese, Thai, Indian and more, it’s an alternative to our routine cafeteria meals on campus. Even your pickiest friend will find something to eat here. It’s a win.

I always recommend that my international friends try out the traditional Zambian cuisine, matebeto, that the locals go crazy for. Matebeto food includes food like goat meat, beans, Ifisashi (vegetables in pounded nuts), okra, dry fish and Ichiloli (grilled fish). As well as the amazing food, the markets also serve as a place to socialise, meet new people and enjoy great music from Lusaka's hottest DJs.

For party people

Lusaka City is known for its busy nightlife. There are lots of places where you and your friends can dance, eat and generally let loose on the weekends but without demanding too much from your pockets.

Dacapo is one of the city’s most popular night clubs for students. It’s the place to be on a bougie night out thanks to a busy crowd and great music, ranging from South African and Amapiano to Nigerian beats. If you want to start the night early with a meal, food starts from around 120 Kwacha (that’s £5 GBP or $7 USD).

Chicago’s reloaded is the ultimate club experience with its own VIP area. If you’re on a tight budget this one can be quite expensive but if you have a little to spend, bring the coins here. It gets busy at the weekend but you can meet all your friends here, bust your moves and enjoy a fun night out. Meals cost around the same as Dacapo and there’s a wide selection on the menu from seafood to grilled meats and even Chinese-inspired dishes. I would recommend their chicken schnitzel with creamy mushroom sauce.

The best of both

If you’re looking to spend time with friends and have some drinks in a more chilled setting, Keg and Lion is the best student friendly chill spot and restaurant. Meals start from around 80 Kwacha (£3 GBP or $5 USD) and you can enjoy mocktails, cocktails, shots, beers and fresh juices. I like it because you and your squad can buy a sharing platter before enjoying the space to dance and have fun later without too much of a crowd.

Another great chill spot is Social and as the name suggests, it’s a great place to socialise with your friends. It’s less of a club and more of a relaxed space, so you can eat and have your drinks. A perk is that if you like your hang time to be uninterrupted by others, you can book a private booth for yourselves. They have great service, good lighting for selfies and amazing tacos!

And for the movie lovers, Lusaka City plays host to outdoor movie nights throughout the year and they’re definitely worth the experience. Who wouldn't want to sit on a giant bean bag in the cool weather watching their favourite release? Plus, you can buy burgers and other fast food if you’re hungry. A great place to kick back and enjoy the sunset too.

Something different

Another fun option for my non-clubbers out there is a stimulating giant chess experience. It’s open 24/7 at Eastpark Mall where you can order pizza, drinks and hang out with your friends at any time of day. It’s an easy going Friday night idea and if you don’t know how to play, you can go along and practise.

You could even just kick back with your friends and have a barbecue with a few drinks and call it a day. Student life in Lusaka City can be exactly what you want it to be. With something for everyone, why not make the most of it?

This article was originally published in February 2022 . It was last updated in March 2022

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