A guide for the overseas self drive, self sufficient, vehicle dependent visitor in Africa

Safari Zambia On Road and Offroad Part 3

North East Zambia


Kapishya Hot Springs    camping and chalets(self catering)

Possible -  Fuel in Mpika and Kalama 


Kings Highway Guest House  camping 60 kms S of the Tanzania Border

Isoka - Border formalities for entering or leaving Zambia through Malawi can be done here. Camp at the police station

Nakonde-Tanz border – 63 kms North of Isoka and further......

       mamoba- miles and miles of bloody africa.

Lusenga Plains National Park in Zambia’s Kawambwa district, will receive 160 elephants donated by the South African government. The park will also receive 100 zebras, 100 wildebeests and 280 impalas from the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). The donations are part of an ongoing restocking programme to increase animal populations in the reserve, which has been drastically reduced due to poaching.

Lusenga Lodge (alternate site)

The Livingstone Memorial camping- The local community have constructed some simple chalets to accommodate visitors at the memorial site, although you should contact Kasanka Trust first before planning to stay there to make sure they are functioning and available  

Lake waka waka You will need to be self sufficient for camping or hire one of. 2 simple chalets. 1 hour from Kasanka NP


Nakapalayo   experience a traditional Bisa Village - huts and camping,          

Kasanka NP   Kasanka hosts a unique wildlife spectacle every November and December when Millions of Straw-coloured Fruitbats assemble from around Central Africa to roost in an area of ‘Mushitu’ swamp forest near the confluence of the Musola and Kasanka Rivers. 6hrs overland from Lusaka.

Fibwe campsite

Kabwe campsite

Pontoon campsite

Kapabi Swamp Camp


Camps, rest houses and lodges in a variety of towns 

Including Mpika       

Chembe Bird Sanctuary  

Kalambo Falls     camping   no facilities 

Tanganyika Lodge closed, but maybe able to camp in a pinch

Mbala   New Grasshopper Hotel  camping 

  Moto Moto Museum. It is situated 4kms beyond Mbala and holds an impressive and well-displayed range of cultural artefacts from the tribes of the Northern Province.  The museum also        promotes Zambian culture through their dance troupe which performs every Sunday at the Cultural Arena, just 50 m from the museum, except during the rainy season between December and  April.

Kasama  the area has over 700 rock paintings

Thorn Tree Guesthouse-- no camping –recommended       

Million Dollar Guest House -   S10 12.295 E31 11.047 ~$34/double

Kasembo Guesthouse  and farm  run by missionaries   8kms out of town           

Kasembo Farms shop, which is right across from the Kasama central

 market in town, at the back of PEP-Stores.- refill gas Cylinders here.                  

Chipoma Falls    camping

Mufulira to Mansa Route nearing completion - The Chembe(Levy Mwanawasa) Bridge (replaces a pontoon) over the Luapula River has been completed- 2008. With the Pedicle Road set to be paved through the DRC (DRC has given the go ahead to Zambia to pave Jan 8 '09), this will cut considerable time and distance between Luapula and Copperbelt provinces. Safety is no longer an issue along this road. Current 2nd hand information- normal crossing procedures apply. A toll gate will be used to collect fees to cover the costs of the paved road. Valid passport, yellow fever and vehicle registration papers and then they will allow you same day transit. But with DRC officials, expect to pay a small "per diem" *** Any additional clarification concerning documentation requirements for this transit route would be appreciated.  Regular visa or transit visa, carnet or TIP/CIP or not, 3rd party insurance available at the border post or Yellow Card needed or no insurance, International Drivers Permit or SADC licence or any Driver's licence,  and fees.


Note- Travellers with visas for Uganda, Rwanda, or Burundi can be refused entry upon arrival in the DRC. Travellers are required to carry evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. Travellers have been temporarily detained or asked by immigration and security officers for “special fees” at other ports of entry to the DRC when carrying satellite phones, GPS receivers, or military clothing. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended.

Report from Jacques & Linda van Heerden 12/08   

We were pleasantly suprised at how easy the pedicle was.  The Zambian sides were warm and friendly and the DRC guys were a little in awe of us - don't think they see very many Mzungus going thru there with a ton of camping stuff on the vehicle!  Anyhow, the DRC guys were obviously keen to assist us to empty our wallets of small change so it cost Kw5000 for this guy to fill in the book on behalf of you and another kw5000 for the next guy and so on.  Same on both sides and it came to roughly kw30000 on each side if you count the $5 we paid for not having a yellow fever card.  Not sure what internationals pay.  The DRC guys were very respectful of our work permits.

All in all a good experience and, I must admit, we were pretty nervous. 

A few things:

1.  The road is very potholed dirt but we still did the 60km in an hour and a half but guys with trailers will take at least 3 hours.
2.  DRC drive on the opposite side of the road and you are only warned about this by a sign that says "keep right" as you cross a bridge which is a little amibiguous as it could apply to the bridge crossing.
3.  Yellow fever card essential.
4.  Border closes 6pm and we were late but the guys on the other side waited for us to get in.
5.  This seems to be an "in transit" crossing where no visas are required. 
6.  Vehicles must be in ship shape as the cops on the Kitwe side are wicked.
7.  We hear via via that the border guys were recently given a serious ass whupping for being discurteous and obstructive which I think is another reason the going was so easy.
8.  Carry lots of kwacha small change or at least USD small change.



Shoebill Island offers accommodation in safari tents under thatch roofs and reed cottages. Each has 2 beds, an ensuite shower and flush toilet. Although Shoebill Island is primarily intended for international visitors, there is a campsite nearby. The main season is from May to August when Shoebills can usually be seen on canoe trips.


   Hillside Lodge OPENED 2009  12 ensuite rooms

The Zambia Postal Services (Zampost) has resumed its water transport operations between Samfya and Chilubi Island on Lake Bangweulu. 2/08

Camps, rest houses and lodges in a variety of towns 

Ntumbaschusi, Lumangwe, Kabweluma, Mubululuma waterfalls - camping spots within metres of natural pools near the falls.

Nsobe Safari Camp


  **New Tushla Safari Lodge camping $5, simple accommodation off the Great North Rd on the SW side of Mpika

Mpika Motel camping (not recommended-Fanie)

Crested Crane Hotel   adequate accomodation Tel: 370694   2 kms off the GNR about 8 kms SE of Mpika Boma. Access is by the gravel Chibansa Road which goes to Mpika Airstrip.

Mpika Agricultural College(formerly)- basic inexpensive chalets sc

TAZARA Railway (Mpika)

Multinondo Wilderness



           The train station is Kalonje at the turn off

Ndole Bay Lodge camping  Sumba NP on Lake Tanganyika Activities at the Lodge include scuba diving, with PADI instruction beginner divers

Nsumba NP 2009 will see the planned release of 300 relocated South African elephants into the park.

Kalwa Farm Rest Camp      NE of Serenje camping

Isanga Bay Lodge  camping Lake Tanganyika near Kalambo Falls
Tanganyika Lodge  closed/4sale 8kms west from Mpulungu and Kalambo Falls on the lake on a beautiful stretch of rocky lakeshore. It has three twin chalets, two en-suite family chalets and camping facilities.  Fresh fish is available every day and they offer both catering and non catering rates. Boats can be arranged for fishing and trips to Kalambo Falls

CHIBILULA HILLS Campsite- near Mpulunga?

 Mishembe     Lake Tanganika  secluded Island tented accommodation on an island SC This is a small private secluded beach at the base of Kalambo Falls owned by Luke Powell. The only way to access the bay is by boat which makes the place even more peaceful and remote. The beach is made up of fine white sand which leads into the clearest blue water where tropical fish can be seen. At present only tented accommodation is available with either catering or self catering. Luke offers guided walks up to the Falls, boat trips up the river mouth and fishing. With only the famous Red Colobus monkeys as companions you can totally relax under the stary night feeling miles away from reality !! You can book by either phone or fax Kasama on 04 221615 

Nkupi Lodge campsite and rondavels sc  Mpulungu  on the edge of town, The most popular place for backpackers and campers. They offer boats for hire for fishing, snorkelling and swimming in the Lake

Kasakalawe Lodge  CLOSED Campsite 3km from Mpulungu on Lake Tanganika's lakeshore 4 en suite Chalets (sleeping 10 people @ a time) Campsite, Backpackers welcome and offers fishing, boat trips, trips and hikes to Kalamba Falls, snorkling (365 different species of Chilchids - tropical fish, indineous to Lake Tanganika)  locals have moved into the chalets

MV Liemba sails once a week from Mpulunga. Scheduled arrival from Kigoma is on Fridays. Departures to Kigoma on Tuesdays.

Mbala    New Grasshopper Inn  camping

Crossing Borders at the Mbala/Sumbawanga track


You will have need proof of payment of the Zambia Road Tax to leave the country. Currently, even with proof of payment of the Road Tax on entry into Zambia, it appears they didn’t get the memo. Customs is requiring payment of the Road Tax again on departure- at Mpulungu first.


Customs clearance is, at this time, at the Mpulungu office. They will need to take care of your carnet or T.I.P.


To exchange cash in Zambia , go to the bank in Mpulungu. To exchange cash in Tanzania , go to the bank in Sumbawanga, in which(the bank- and these are few and far between on the West side of Tanz) you can also acquire 3rd party insurance. I am not sure where you can buy 3rd party insurance on entry into Zambia from Tanzania(Mpulungu?). Solution to this problem may be to get a Yellow Card in advance. COMESA hdqtrs is in Lusaka and they sell the Yellow Card at many insurance company offices throughout Zambia, and commonly in towns near major border crossings- ask border authorities.


If you are attempting to cross borders on a Sunday, this does present a raft of problems obviously.


There are two telephone numbers on the door of the immigration office in Mbala. Here you get immigration clearance ONLY (and he insists that it occurs on the same day as the customs clearance). You may then proceed to the gate AND WAIT FOR THE IMMIGRATION OFFICER FROM MBALA TO COME AND UNLOCK THE GATE. {One of the locals at the gate showed me a bypass and said that we may proceed “everyone else does”, and the tracks were well used. The immigration officer followed us to the Tanzania border post and complained that we had left Zambia “illegally”.}


Tanzanian border offices have been upgraded and consist of very new grand buildings.


This border crossing handles very little traffic. It may take hours sometimes to round up border staff at either the Tanzania or Zambia sides if they are not in their offices when you get there.


*An alternative solution to driving to Mpulungu is to clear immigration and customs at the Kasama Railway Station. Just tell authorities you are not going to Mpulungu and make sure all the paperwork is done,  including for the vehicle; which seems to be a major hangup in Mbala. Then you can bypass the Zambia border gate as 'everyone else does.' This probably not the intent on how this border crossing was supposed to be done, but it is probably the quickest.



Those miscellaneous things

Where to get the replacement Frig/freezer 

'Reflections Lifestyle Out & About' at Leopards Hill Rd and Lake, Kabulonga, Lusaka ---a retail supplier of camping equipment and accessories in the new Crossroads Mall.

Where you might get help to repair the frig/freezer

Drake & Gorham
Plot 5172 Chisango Road Lusaka
Tel: +260 (0)1-22 7933/4
Fax: +260 (0)1-22 4462

EML (Electrical Maintenance Lusaka)
Plot 195 Luansha , Road East End , Lusaka
Tel: +260 (0)1-235 366/7/8/9
Fax: +260 (0)1-226 551



Medical services are underdeveloped and only in Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone can you find anything resembling western standards. There are a number of small clinics in Lusaka which are better than the general hospitals, but the clinics in the rural areas have little more than quinine, aspirin and band aids.




Vaccinations you should consider having:



Hepatitis A   



Hepatitis B

Yellow Fever

Meningococcal meningitis


Some other diseases you may be exposed to:


Cholera -- particularly during the rainy season


Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia)


Filariasis (Elephantiasis)


Onchocerciasis (River Blindness)

Human Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness- reported in the north)





Hepatitis E


Source of good information--



Medical Insurance


Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance: 

You should chose a plan with “Hospital of Choice” benefit


Flying Doctors




SES Specialty Emergency Services


I enquired with SES regarding coverage for one month, touring in a 4x4: The minimum period of cover that we sell is 6 months.  However, we can sell other cover (from IMG) that will cover you for a shorter period and will cost US$248.00 for a month.

Specialty Emergency Services
P. O. Box 31500
The Grove
Kafue Road
Tel:      +260 1 273302 -07
Cell:     +260 97 770 302 -03
Fax:    +260 1 273 301 / 273 181


Health International Medical Air Rescue Service (MARS) 




International SOS


Corpmed Medical Centre - Lusaka's International Medical Facility. Staffed by

American, European and Zambian physicians.


  • Chingola Mines Hospital(+260 2) 349555
  • Chipata General Hospital(+260 62) 22304
  • Choma Hospital(+260 32) 20588/9
  • Kabwe General Hospital(+260 5) 222301
  • Kabwe Mine Hospital(+260 5) 247359 / 222564
  • Kaoma Hospital(+260 7) 360107
  • Kasama Hospital(+260 4) 222041


      St. Francis Hospital

  • Kitwe General Hospital(+260 2) 228011
  • Nkana General Hospital(+260 2) 227355
  • Nkana Mines Hospital(+260 2) 243555
  • Wusakile Hospital (+260 2) 224144
  • Livingstone General Hospital(+260 3) 320221
  • Batoka HospitalTel: 320221
  • Luanshya (Thomson) Hospital(+260 2) 511311
  • Roan Antelelope Hospital (+260 2) 544202 / 549020
  • Care for Business ClinicTel: 254398
  • Chainama Hills Psychiatric HospitalTel: 292444
  • Coptic Clinic (+260 1) 237584
  • Hill Top Hospital(+260 1) 263452 / 263407
  • Italian Orthopaedic Hospital (+260 1) 254601
  • Maina Soko Hospital (+260 1) 260301/3
  • Midlands Medical CentreTel: 092601) 250500
  • Monica Chiumya Memorial Clinic (+260 1) 261247
  • University Training Hospital (UTH)Tel: 254113
    (+260 1) 251430 / 251455 / 251200 / 251477 /
  • ZCCM Mine Hospital (+260 1) 253481
  • Chikinkata Hospital (+260 32) 30110
  • Mazabuka Hospital(+260 32) 30205 / 30188 / 30130
  • Macha Mission Hospital(+260 32) 20778
  • Mbala General Hospital(+260 4) 450111
  • Mongu Lewanita Hospital(+260 7)221011
  • Mpika Hospital(+260 4) 370658
  • Mufulira Hospital(+260 2) 411644 / 412666 / 411703
  • Mumbwa Hospital(+260 1) 800111
  • Ndola Hospital(+260 2) 611585 / 610561-5
  • Ndola Trust Hospital(+260 2) 614604
  • Miramar Medical Centre(+260 2) 618191



From the USA Embassy website

Public Services

Local Health Care Providers

Most health care facilities in Zambia are below American standards with limited screening and testing capabilities. The following is a list of some of the better clinics in Lusaka. These clinics are not endorsed or recommended by the Embassy

Special Emergency Services

+260 21 1273-302/7/ or 1273-182
Emergency +260 21 1273-302/7, 1212-663

097-7-770-306/7 Cell phone

(Monica Chiumya Clinic)
Plot No. 9024 Buluwe Road, (Off Leopards Hill Road near Lake Road)
HOURS: (Open Clinic): Monday - Sunday (24 Hours Service)
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1261247/Tel/Fax: +260 21 1261987
OTHER SERVICES: Common Labs, X-ray, Ultrasound, Physiotherapy and ECG.

No. 123, Nambala Close, Off Bwinjifumu Road, Fair View
HOURS: (Open Clinic) Monday - Friday: 08:00-12:30 & 14:00-17:00 Saturday: 08:00-12:00
Sunday: 09:00-10:00
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1227178; Fax: +260 21 1223627; E-mail:
OTHER SERVICES: Common Lab Tests, X-ray, and ECG.

Plot No. 4192 Addis Ababa Drive
HOURS: Monday – Friday: 08:30-12:00 and 14:00-16:00
Saturday: 09:00-12:00
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1254396/ 8/ or +260 21 1252917 for appointments;
+260 21 1254-398 – Administration
Fax: +260 21 1254402
OTHER SERVICES: Common Laboratory Tests, X-ray, Physiotherapy and
Pharmacy, Dietician.

CORPMED (formerly Minbank):
Plot No.3236 Cairo Road (behind Barclays North end Branch)
HOURS: Monday – Friday: 08:00-16:00
Saturday: 08:00-10:00
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1222612 or 1226983
OTHER SERVICES: Common Laboratory Tests, X-ray, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Ultra Sound and minor surgical procedure.

Plot No. 22 Dunduza Chisidza Crescent
HOURS: Monday - Friday 07:30-18:00
Saturday 07:30-12:30
Sunday 07:30-13:00
TELEPHONE: Tel.: +260 21 1254601 / 1256-898; Fax: +260 21 1255113

5493 Great East Road, P.O. Box 50973, Lusaka
HOURS: Monday – Sunday: 24 Hours Service
Doctor: Dr. Salem
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1290141 or +260 21 1291037 or 096-6-757-492

Plot No. 174, Villa Elizabeth, Along Luanshya Road.
Professional Counselors: Mr. Stanley Chama and Mrs. Georgina Mutale.
TELEPHONE: +260 21 1227086; Fax: +260 21 1227087

Lusaka is limited in local medical specialists available. Most of the physicians are associated with The University Teaching Hospital and are difficult to contact.

Doctors and services at these clinics vary from day to day. Be sure to call the individual clinics for current information, costs, etc.


Dr. A. E. PATEL, Reliance Dental Services
728 Cairo Road Tel/Fax: +260 21 1224972 / 1220603

Dr. KENAN GAO KG Dental Surgery
Plot No. 5459 Kariba Road (off Great East Road) Tel: +260 21 1292219 / Fax: +260 21 1290922

Dr. GAS NJIE A-T Dental Clinic
Plot 6011, Chitemene Road, Northmead
Tel: +260 21 1292656/ 1290487 /1291392/ Fax: +260 21 1290-487

Dr. STAFFORD, Adventist Dental Services
Tel: +260 21 1273404 / 097-7-444696
Off Kafue Road, Chawama


Dr. KAPUTULA, Sunbird Eye Clinic
Tel: +260 21 1252450
Plot No. 65, Independence Avenue

Lusaka Eye Hospital(Adventist)
Tel: +260 21 1213909 / 097-7-762020
Off Kafue Road, Chawama

Banking- ATM's and Branch Locations


Standard Chartered

      Branch opening hours:
      8:15am - 2:30pm Mon - Fri
      8:15am - 11.30am First and Last Saturday of the month
      Office opening hours:
      8:00am to 5:00pm Mon – Fri
      8:00am to 12.30pm Saturday

Zambia National Commercial Bank

       Southend Cairo Rd 

       office hours are from Monday - Friday 08:00 A.M. - 05:00 P.M.

ATM Locations
  • Lusaka Inter. Airport
  • Manda Hill
  • BP Ashys' Filling Station
  • Centre Branch
  • Cairo Rd Business Centre
  • Head Office
  • Kabwe
  • Solwezi
  • Choma
  • Mansa
  • Engen Filling Station (Great East Road)
  • Woodlands Shopping Centre


  • Ndola Business Centre
  • Mufulira
  • Kitwe Business Centre
  • Livingstone
  • Chipata
  • Mazabuka
  • Kasama
  • Chingola
  • Mongu
  • Arcades
  • Ndola West
  • Luanshya
  • Lumbani Supermarket


Airport Tax

  • International departure tax: US$ 25  >  normally included in your ticket
  • Domestic airport tax: US$ 8

Airport Shuttle

A shuttle bus runs several times a day from the Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel. The schedule I have, had the bus leave the hotel at the following times.

Monday 0600, 0730, 1000, 1330. 1430

Tuesday 0600, 0730, 1000, 1145, 1430

Wednesday 0600, 0730, 0930, 1145, 1330, 1430

Thursday 0600, 0830, 1145, 1430, 1600

Friday 0600, 0730, 1030, 1330, 1430

Saturday 0700, 0830, 1000, 1145, 1530

Sunday 0600, 0830, 1000, 1330, 1500

Buses wait at the airport for international arrivals, and then return to the hotel. Takes ~25 mins and is Kw75,000.

Holiday Inn also has a shuttle. Last time I checked, and that's been a long while, it was $5.

Overland Companies

About Overland Tours

Africa Overland

Geckos Africa

Imaginative Traveller

Africa Travel Co





Africa Expedition Support
A newly established company registered in the UK run by experienced overland drivers offering short tailored tours in Africa.

African Trails
They currently run 18 different trips regularly; covering 15 countries with a departure for most trips every month. They have been running trips since 1980.

They offer overland travel & photographic opportunities throughout East & Southern Africa. Their tour leaders are qualified photographers and they provide computer facilities with several laptops available for downloading digital images and burning them to CD/DVD.

Bukima Adventures
Started in the mid 80’s and runs 18-55’s tours worldwide. They specialize in overland and adventure tours to Africa, South America, Central Asia, Middle East, Morocco, New Zealand and Antarctica. In addition run a focused over 40’s adventure tours.

Dragoman & Encounter
Dragoman was established 24 years ago and purchased Encounter over 5 years ago which is now part of their 18 to 35 year old offering. Encounter had start back in the 60’s making Dragoman one of the oldest overland companies in existence running trips worldwide.

Escape Expeditions
Offers trips in Africa

Began operations in 1974 and is a well established company offering trips worldwide.

Founded in 1981 from three companies they now run trips worldwide.

G.A.P Adventures
Established in 1990 has now grown to be one of the largest companies around offering trips worldwide.

Himalayan Kingdoms
They provide overlanding tours in custom Toyota land cruisers around the West Coast of Africa.

Intrepid & Guerba
Intrepid have been going since 1989 and in 2006 bought Guerba. They offer a wide selection of trips worldwide.

Established in 1983 they now run a variety of trips worldwide

Nomad Tours
Orginally started in 90’s it merged with Whichway in 2003 running tours only in Africa.

Oasis Overland
Established in 1997 they run trips worldwide.

On the Go
Have been running since 1998 with tours worldwide excluding South America

Overland Club    Not recommended
Established 1992 it runs tours throughout the world.

Overlanding Africa was established just over 2 years ago it is an?internet based specialist on African Overland Tours.

Started to run trips 2007?between London to Australia. They also operate Ozbus Africa and Ozbus Downunder.

A Germany based company offering tours around the world.

Tucan Travels
They offer group tours worldwide, in five travel styles (having included Budget Expeditions in 2008), to 18 – 65 year olds. (Children from 6 years + accepted on some travel styles). They cover Europe, the Middle East & North Africa, Asia & Russia, East & Southern Africa and Latin America & Antarcica.

Wagon Trails Africa Tours
Offers small group adventure tours and overland sand safaris in Africa from 3 days to 301 days.


Remember that many of the companies offer discounts at events and some offer web only discounts.

Quick Glance Discount summary for Overlanding companies:

Discount link Group Discounts Loyalty Online only discounts Advanced Bookings Other
AfricaExpeditionSupport 20% 5 or more pax 25% - Y Y
African Trails 10% 4 or more pax 10% Y Y -
Bukima Y 10% Y Y Y
Dragoman - - Y Y -
GAP adventures - - Y - -
Intrepid - - Y - -
Kumuka - - up to 15% - Telephone Discounts
Tucan 8 pax and above max 15% 5% - 5% 6 months Student
Oasis Overland 10% >5 pax 5% Y - -
Overland Club Not recommended 3 pax 10%, 7 pax 15% plus 7th free ?50 Y 5% 3months 10% 6months ISIC
Overlanding Africa 3 pax 5% 4 pax 7.5% - 20% 5% Early Bird 10% ISIC

* This information is a snapshot, please check as companies frequently change their policies. Many of these offers have limitations please check with the company prior to booking.

Special Discounts currently run by Overlanding Companies
Africa-In-Focus DWWT-140608 ? Desert and Water Wanderer 21 days Victoria Falls to Cape Town
Departure Date 14 June 2008: Discount of ?85 pp: Tour price ?760 plus Local Payment of US$570pp
African Trails On the NAMIBIA Victoria Falls to Cape Town Trip you will receive a 20% discount when you book direct.
Dragoman Are running 20% discount late offers on some of our African trips


Nyaminyami Walking Stick

Here is the story to be told about Nyaminyami, the river God. He has a body like a snake and a head like a fish and no one knows how big he is, for he never showed himself in full display. But he is very big! The people of Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe were protected by Nyaminyami, their ancestral spirit (Mudzimu), who fed them from his own meat in times of hunger.

The people pledged their allegiance to him by performing ceremonial dances. For many years Nyaminyami and his wife stayed safely at Kariba, the spot which was their home and near that spot, that's where it all began. One season when Nyaminyami's wife had gone down the mighty Kariba Gorge to other people of the Valley to answer their prayers and bless her people, the white man came to build a wall.

It took five long years to see it through because Nyaminyami did not want to be disturbed. He caused some floods and loss of life, but at last he was kind enough to let the wall to be all complete. It is also believed that the occasional earth tremor felt in the lake surroundings is caused by this spirit. It was the work of the Tonga elders and their medium spirits to persuade the Nyaminyami to allow the Zambezi to be tamed. But Shame! Nyaminyami was separated from his wife. Great bodies of water are considered sacred, for water is essential for the life of the village in an often arid land.

Wherever there is water, the Africans find prosperity. The Nyaminyami is the ruler of water and his symbol is worn to ward of the forces of darkness and to attract wealth. For kayakers, rafters and surfers, the metaphor extends to a wealth of perfect paddling, surf and the avoidance of injury from bad wipe-outs.

Additional Zambia Info

Additional Vic Falls info



From the Zambian Ornithological Society ( ZOS)

The Birds of Zambia (Bird Atlas) has finally been published, but just because we now have an atlas, this is no time for complacency.  Bird distributions and timing of migrations are changing radically due to climate change, and species distributions are also changing due to habitat destruction.  It is important that we record all of this in Zambia.  One of the shortcomings of the atlas is that the data were not sufficient to analyse in any way, for example to check for seasonal patterns.  The atlas was based on about 81 000 records collected by volunteers over the years, an amazing effort!  However, I think we can do better in the age of e-mail, cell phones and GPSs.  I am inspired by our Tanzanian neighbours, who are already on over 800 000 records. 

I have started a yahoo mailing group, for anyone interested in Zambian birds, not just for atlasing but as a way to keep in touch with regard to bird-related issues in Zambia.  I will also set up a database to keep track of records, so any sightings data are welcome, will be kept and eventually put to good use.  More about this on the mailing list.  Anyone who is interested in this project, or who would just like to be part of the mailing group please send me an email.  The numbers of emails exchanged should be low, so no fear of clogging up your mailbox.  Alternatively, if you would like to subscribe directly to the mailing group, please go to


Dr. Lizanne Roxburgh
Chair - Zambian Ornithological Society (BirdLife Affiliate)
13 Chindo Road, Woodlands, Lusaka, Zambia