I have just returned from a two-month research trip to Southern Africa which took me to Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia. Although I have been to Namibia a number of times, this was my first time in Botswana and Zambia and I am fortunate to share that things went quite well. I was particularly surprised by my positive experience in Zambia. I found state bureaucrats willing to help, extensive data free and available, and the capital of Lusaka safe and relatively easy to navigate. Here are a few pictures from Lusaka:
The image above pictures the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, one of the places I visited the most. My goal was to obtain a comprehensive list of Zambian traditional chiefs. Traditional chiefs in sub-Saharan Africa are at the center of my work in the region.
The second picture captures the Ministry of Lands, a huge building that I visited a few times when I tried to get hold of colonial maps that delineate the boundaries of traditional chiefdoms.
This is the national seal of Zambia, this particular exemplar can be found at the Ministry of Lands. As many African states, Zambia has attempted to forge a unified nation from tens of ethnic groups. It remains an open question whether chiefs, usually ethnically based, affect the likelihood of this mission's success.
The image above pictures the House of Chiefs, an advisory body where Zambia's chiefs meet to discuss matters that pertain to tradition and customs.
There are a number of markets in Lusaka. Because I visited during Zambia's winter, there was a lot of warm clothing on offer.
Above is a somewhat less formal market place.
The official Zambian currency is the kwacha. As many other African currencies, Zambian bills feature various colors and animals.
While in Lusaka, I lived in a neighborhood called Northmead. Above is a typical street in that part of Lusaka.
Even during the winter season, mosquito nets are a must. Mosquitoes apparently never take a break and one cannot avoid catching a few bites. Although I was initially told that Lusaka is a malaria-free area, my host was diagnosed with the disease during my stay. It certainly made me follow the necessary precautions.
This last image shows a staple food in Southern Africa - maizemeal - with chicken and some tasty vegetable. On the streets of Lusaka, one can secure this delicious meal for less than two US dollars.