Lusaka is very spread out, so get hold of a good map when you first arrive (see Maps
, below). Its focus is the axis of Cairo Road, which runs roughly north–south. This is about six lanes of traffic wide, 4km long, and has a useful pedestrian island which runs like a spine down its centre. Parallel to Cairo Road, to the west, is Chachacha Road – a terminus for numerous local minibuses and home to a lively market, variously known as Central Market, City Market or Town Centre Market. Cairo Road is the city's commercial centre and the location for most large shops, so it bustles with people during the day.
Completely separate, about 2km to the east, is the much larger, more diffuse 'government area'. It is linked to Cairo Road by Independence Avenue, and centres on the areas of Cathedral Hill and Ridgeway. Here you will find the big international-standard hotels, government departments and embassies set in a lot more space. It has a different atmosphere from the bustle of Cairo Road: the quiet and official air that you often find in diplomatic or administrative corners of capitals around the world.
Excellent, detailed maps covering the whole of Zambia can be bought cheaply from the main government map office at the Ministry of Lands. This is in the basement of Mulungushi House, by the corner of Independence Avenue and Nationalist Road; the office is open Mon–Fri 08.30–12.00 and 14.00–16.30. Prices are very good, at around Kw6,500–35,000 per map. Aside from the normal 'Ordnance Survey' type maps, there are several special tourist maps available. To see what's in stock, browse through the maps on the right of the door before finally choosing. Include in your purchase the detailed street map of Lusaka. This is essential for navigating around the capital, and comes complete with an alphabetical street index. For trips venturing off the main roads, you'll simply have to come here and buy up a selection of the 1:250,000 series. They're generally very good, though their information is inevitably dated.
A limited selection of Zambia's most commonly used maps can also be found at one of the city's bookshops or at shops in the lobbies of the larger hotels. These may be more convenient than Mulungushi House, but the choice is much more limited and the same maps cost more. A good new street map of Lusaka was published in book format in 2003 by Streetwise.