Drinking and nightlife in Zambia, Malawi & Mozambique

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Lusaka

    Bongwe Pub & Grill

    A favourite watering hole for many locals, expats and tourists (and basically anyone who likes a drink) is this tropical dive bar, set in an open-air shack centred around a palm tree. There's a pool table, sports on the TV and always someone around for a chat. On Fridays it's usually pumping and regularly has local bands and DJs. Also keep an eye out for its (mostly) annual music festival, which always has an interesting lineup of bands.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Kwa Haraba

    This craft shop and cafe serves fresh juices bursting with goodness and light meals such as feta pizza, ham and cheese pita sandwiches, salads and toasted sandwiches. The wonderful masks, paintings, secondhand paperbacks and fabric make a creative environment. Cocktails and music from 6pm Friday and Saturday, and poetry between 6pm and 7pm Wednesday. Phekani House is off Glyn Jones Ave.

  • Nightlife in Livingstone

    The Sundeck

    Just the spot for a sundowner, this open-air bar within the Royal Livingstone Hotel overlooks a dramatic stretch of the Zambezi. As well as the usual bar drinks there's a choice of old-fashioned cocktails such as the Manhattan, Americano and champagne cocktail. There's also decent burgers, mezze platters and salads. From here it's a 15-minute walk to the falls.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Safari Beach Lodge

    This cocktail bar built into the rocks overlooking the beach is a secluded and magical sundowner spot.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Mzuzu Coffee Den

    This cafe with two-tone furniture is the local hangout of choice – use the wi-fi and enjoy a cafetière or cappuccino of the strong 'n' sweet local coffee. Dishes such as burgers, chambo and sweet-and-sour chicken are on the menu. There's a gift shop, and it even offers a photocopying, scanning, printing and fax service. If you crave country tranquillity, ask about its Mzuzu Coffee Suites cafe on the northern side of town.

  • Nightlife in Lilongwe

    Living Room

    With woodcarvings on its shaded veranda, this tucked-away chill-out den (find it off Mzimba St) offers coffee, cocktails, board games and dishes from steaks to chambo and chips. Check Facebook for details of events, which include live music on Tuesdays and poetry on Wednesdays. The adjoining sports bar, Champions, opens at 11am; Amazon nightclub opens at 7pm on Friday and Saturday.

  • Nightlife in Lilongwe

    Chameleon Bar

    This Scottish-owned watering hole faces Buchanan's Grill in a leafy compound, with tables outside and a glass bar and purple walls within. It's popular with Malawians and expats both, and Sundays are big here, with live music from 2pm to 9.30pm. Karaoke is offered on the last Thursday of the month and soccer matches are screened.

  • Nightlife in Livingstone

    The Waterfront

    A favourite watering hole for expats and tourists alike, this deck bar (complete with swimming pool) has a spectacular location overlooking the Zambezi River. There's beer on tap, popular wood-fired pizzas (including a crocodile variety), and happy hour on Wednesday and Friday from 5.30pm. It's at the Victoria Falls Waterfront Lodge, 4km from Livingstone.

  • Nightlife in Mozambique

    Café-Bar Xeirinho

    The dark, moody Xeirinho is the unlikely nexus of Chimoio's lively (for Mozambique) music scene. Gigs take place on Friday night, and the karaoke's popular with locals. The small bar serves cold beers as well as coffee and milkshakes, and there's reasonable food if you need to line your stomach.

  • Nightlife in Livingstone

    The Old Farmhouse

    Primarily a hangout for locals and expats, the Farmhouse doesn't need to wow tourists with river views, instead opting for a more rustic property on an old farm. It has a lively front bar and verandah deck where folk enjoy cold drinks and home-cooked meals.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Jacaranda

    Attached to the Mimosa Court Hotel, this is a great spot with a sunny terrace for meeting the locals over a cold beer (MK950). Hip-hop videos boom from the TV, and it does snacks (MK600) such as pizza slices and pies. The hotel's off M’Mbelwa Rd.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Salt 'n' Pepper

    Despite the garish orange swirls decorating its walls, this friendly Indian-owned eatery is pleasant for a beer and a snack. The broad menu ranges from burgers and subs to a long list of veggie, mutton, chicken and prawn curries.

  • Nightlife in Northern Mozambique

    O Nossa Café

    Brand new Portuguese-owned cafe that might have sprung from a Lisbon side street, specialising in Portuguese-style coffee and natas (custard tarts) served with an optional sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Nightlife in Malawi

    Pablo's Lounge

    This hotel bar is a pleasant spot to catch up on your emails over a cold beer. Business people and aid workers stare at their screens on studded sofas, while a big screen broadcasts the news.

  • Nightlife in Zambia

    Cosy Jo's

    Kitwe's nightlife is low-key compared to the capital, but Cosy Jo's is the place to be at night. It has a huge garden bar and draws a large crowd for chilled Mosi lager and African tunes.

  • Nightlife in Lusaka

    Sky Bar

    A decent rooftop bar atop of Foxdale Court shopping centre, Sky Bar attracts a young crowd for DJs spinning house, hip hop and R&B tracks.

  • Nightlife in Northern Mozambique

    DD Pub

    Nampula's coolest bar is this newish perch encased in the Monica shopping centre that offers cocktails, live music and DJs most nights.

  • Nightlife in Maputo

    Kampfumo

    This faded jazz cafe at the train station has a dusty, vaguely old-world ambience and a mix of live music (Saturday) and CDs.

  • Nightlife in Maputo

    La Dolce Vita Café-Bar

    This sleek tapas and late-night place has live music on Thursday evening. By day, try the juices and smoothies.

  • Nightlife in Maputo

    Cais 66

    The late-night waterside bar at the yacht club is especially popular with old-timers on Thursday and Friday.