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Petauke District.jpg
Petauke is located in Zambia
Coordinates: 14°15′S 31°20′E / 14.250°S 31.333°E / -14.250; 31.333
Country  Zambia
Province Eastern Province
District Petauke District
Time zone CAT (UTC+2)

Petauke is a town and seat of Petauke District located in the Eastern Province of Zambia.

Petauke is 400 km from the capital city Lusaka, roughly halfway between Lusaka and the Malawi border. The main spoken language of the 14,000 residents is Nsenga.

Like the Tonga of southern province, the Nsenga do not know exactly where they came from, although it has been accepted that they were earliest migrants from great Luba-Lunda, probably came following the escarpment together with the Zulu, Shona and other southern African peoples. Unfortunately, this fact is challenged on account of language. Luba groups mostly settled in northern Zambia and part of central Zambia whereas the Lunda groups settled in North western and western Zambia. These groups have similarities in their languages if not they are dialects. But for the nsenga it is unique, actually, it was until the Ngoni marauders settled among them because they were loosely organised. Eventually, the Ngoni "lost" their language.

Most telecommunication is by two radio stations; the most popular station is Radio Explorers, 88.3fm, which covers up to 120 km; it is mostly used by chiefs to disseminate their information. The District now has the reception of the three major cellular providers in the country- Celtel now Zain, Cell Z and Mtn.

The town is situated in an agricultural area; farmers produce maize, cotton, sunflower, groundnut, soya beans and many other crops. Industries include milling cotton, three breweries, of which Brother Willy's mafuta beer and Ng'ambazi beer of Nyankuwa Brewery are the most popular. . The region around Petauke contains copper, amethyst, and gold.

However, the minerals in the region are low grade and no serious mining investment has been made in the region. In the early 17th century, gold was mined and that contributed to high rate of slave trade. mostly, the Swahili speaking peoples invaded the area.

The town is near the North and South Luangwa National Parks.


In 2012, Petauke is on the route of a proposed railway connecting Chipata on the border with Malawi and connections to a Mozambiquan Indian Ocean port of Nacala with Serenje, a junction with the TAZARA line.


  • Nyika Motel
  • Willys Motel
  • Chimwemwe Lodge

Coordinates: 14°15′S 31°20′E / 14.250°S 31.333°E / -14.250; 31.333

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