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Visitors to Zambia all too often bypass Lusaka. The country's capital is seen as an unavoidable inconvenience – an obstacle to be negotiated as quickly as possible en route to your safari. But what if you are stuck there for a day? Laura Manni, who has recently made Lusaka her home, takes Travel Zambia on a personal 24- hour tour of the city's burgeoning attractions. 6: 50 This is when the London flight touches down – a good time to start your Lusaka day. Once you've completed airport formalities you should be out by 8: 00am. Then why not hire a taxi? It will set you back anything from $ 30 an hour to $ 150 for the day, but you'll have the bonus of an informal local ' tour guide' who will reveal more than any travel guide can. Soon you'll be negotiating the morning traffic, watching the street entrepreneurs expertly dodging the vehicles as they sell everything from phone chargers to tomatoes, and the countless minibuses weaving alarmingly in and out of every unweavable space. 9: 00 By now you'll be wanting to find breakfast. To work up an appetite you could detour via some of Lusaka's most impressive buildings. Start with State House on Independence Avenue – the enormous and impressive residence of the Zambian president. Vehicles are not permitted to stop here so you'll have to admire it from the comfort of the taxi – though when the president is in residence all traffic grinds to a halt at 9am to allow for the changing of the guard. Then ask your driver to pass via the High Courts, which boast the best manicured roundabout in Lusaka. One of the lions in front was blown up by Rhodesian forces during the Bush War in the 1970s. 24 hours in LusakA Capital gains 36 Travel Zambia November 2008

Breakfast can wait no longer. The traditional Zambian version is maize- meal porridge, with added milk, sugar and ground nuts for those who can afford it, but this dish is not easily available to the passing tourist. For something a little more familiar, try the bacon and eggs at Kilimanjaro in Manda Hill, or nibble a chocolate croissant at La Mimosa in the Arcades shopping plaza – both located along the Great East Road, which also has convenient bureaux de change and internet cafes. Or go the whole hog at one of the big hotels: Southern Sun Ridgeway, along Church Road, offers a fabulous breakfast buffet on a tranquil terrace, where weaverbirds flutter around the lily ponds. Refuelled and refreshed, it's now time to visit a market. At Kabwata Cultural village along Burma Road you can meet the resident woodcarvers, craftsmen and artists selling their goods, which include hand- carved curios, paintings and chitenges ( brightly patterned wraps). Northmead market is less attractive but offers similar handicrafts, along with fresh fruit and veg, and has more scope for bargain- hunters. The adventurous and street- wise could also try City Market, off the Lumumba Road. As a non- Zambian you will certainly stand out here, but you will also get a more authentic glimpse of local life. It may not be the place for hand- carved salad bowls, but there'll be everything else, from traditional medicines to engine parts, bicycle repairs and used clothing. Market or not, a trip down Lumumba Road is well worth it, as the street is teeming with traders of all kinds. Don't be afraid to wind down your window ( keep your valuables close at hand) to check out the goods and discuss prices. A good rule of thumb for haggling is to start by offering 50% of the initial asking price. But in the end you should pay what you think it's worth; if you don't think you've been ripped off, then you haven't been. Indulge in a little retail therapy Lusaka- style at Arcades Sunday market or along Lumumba Road ( right). All pictures by Laura Manni Heritage N ovember 2008 Travel Zambia 37 10: 00 11: 30