Dylan Jones: 'Until the end of the first Iraq war, Lusaka had its own Saddam Hussein Boulevard'

Share
Related Topics

In Zambia, the Brits get fleeced even before they've passed immigration. Every visitor has to pay a £50 tax on entry, but the British are the only visitors to have their children taxed, too. They have passports, see.

The adult Chinese pay, too, not that they care. The Chinese are all over Africa, investing in everything from commodities to construction. Locals say that they have less of a social conscience than the Americans or Europeans, and if there's a job to be done, they'll do it, regardless. And when the Chinese are in town, everyone benefits. China is already South Africa's biggest trade partner, and since the Chinese came to Lusaka, Zambia's capital has not only had massive investment for municipal projects, but has also been blessed with nine new casinos. (The previous regime in Iraq invested heavily here, too, and until the end of the first Iraq war, Lusaka had its own Saddam Hussein Boulevard – it has since been renamed Los Angeles Boulevard.)

For the tourist (us, in other words), Zambia is one of the more benign African states, a country where corruption at governmental level is still institutional, yet you can leave a fully-loaded shopping trolley in a supermarket for an hour without any fear of it being stolen. This should be an agricultural paradise, and the land is rich, a place where farmers produce 80 per cent of the food, and where everyone else exists on subsistence farming.

Zambia is home to a proud and polite people, a rural peasant class who sweep around the empty tins of tomatoes outside their huts as though they were stone pineapples (here, they act as status symbols). It is also the home of the walking safari, where you get to see southern Africa's wildlife at its very best. In the Luangwa National Park, if you're lucky you can see lion, leopard, elephant, puku, buffalo, hyena, hippo, baboon, giraffe and impala in the first 60 minutes.

There is a smell in Zambia that my wife – who's been here many times – describes as a mixture of musk and newly baked bread. It's a smell that makes you feel as though the West is a long way away, so far away in fact, you might never go back.

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: Physics Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment is currently working ...

Recruitment Genius: Case Manager - Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist

£28000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would tackle our looming dementia crisis

Susan Greenfield
 

Letters: NHS data-sharing is good for patients

Independent Voices
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee