Gorge Swing

I didn’t do the gorge swing myself but two of my friends did and I went along to take photos. There are a number of companies that do swings, ziplines, and bungee jumping along the gorges. We arranged ours through the hostel we were staying at (Fawlty Towers). We were picked up from our lodge and brought to the gorge. My two friends decided to go tandum. If you’re willing to do this or bungee jumping I have SO much respect for you it looks terrifying. They were instructed on all the technical details, strapped in, and fell backwards off the cliff. It was so cool to watch! You get to see beautiful views over the gorge. They swung back and forth about five times and then were lowered into the jungle below where someone was waiting for them, and then they hiked back up to the top, it took about 30 minutes. They absolutely loved it! I think I’ll take their word for it. If you’re a thrill seeker you should definitely put this on your list.

https://zambeziecoadventures.com

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is the number one must see if you come to Zambia. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Entering the park on the Zambian side is about 7 kwacha for locals and about $10-20 for foreigners. There are curio shops, and little cafés right inside the entrance. As you’re walking through the park there are three trails… well four really. One goes up by the river before the falls, depending on the time of year is how far this trail goes. The main trail goes right in front of the falls, during high season you get SOAKED. Do not bring phones or electronics on this path, my friend lost his new iphone this way. They also sell rain coats and other bags to wear to stay dry but I think its such an amazing experience to just get soaked by the falls and to feel the mist hitting you. But I realize that experience is not for everyone. This path also leads to a bridge right in front of the falls, walk slowly as it is slippery when wet. It leads to an island/mountain/hill where you can get views of the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and the walkways on the Zimbabwe side. The second trail is more of a hike. It goes straight down into the first gorge to what is called the boiling point. From the bottom you can see where all the water from the falls comes together to push through a small opening. Seeing the strength of the water is truly incredible. Hiking this trail takes about 40 minutes each way. Bring water, and take breaks if needed. The third trail goes along the back of the gorge for more of a distance view of the falls. You also get a nice view of the bridge here, the one the first trail goes over, as well as the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Beware, we got to the end of the trail and there were men reaching through the fence trying to sell us bracelets, and to get us to come on a tour, it was a little creepy, so we just walked away. Another warning, on the boiling pot trail, and the last trail I discussed there are a lot of monkeys (baboons? Some sort of primate). They are known for steaking things from tourists, they’re definitely not afraid of people. DO NOT bring shop rite bags on the trail! The monkeys know that they contain food and they will be stolen from you. Hold on to your passport and wallet well when on this trail. The trails here are also not like those in America where there is a guard rail to keep you from falling off the edge of a cliff. You will fall off if you get to close to the edge and slip. I was trying to get a picture near the edge and slipped on the loose gravel and realized how easily I could have slid farther. Be careful and use common sense. The falls are highest in March-June, and lowest in October-January. High or low it is still incredible to see, it’s one of the 7 natural wonders of the earth and the pride of Zambia.

Chaminuka Cheese Tasting

I never realized how many types of cheese there were! They were so good and served with one or two glasses of wine in a cool looking “cheese cave”. All of it is processed right on the compound. I’d say if you are a foodie, especially with cheese, I highly recommend Chaminuka Cheese tasting. This activity was about a half hour long, and located on Chaminuka Lodge property.

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Chaminuka Game Drive

We went on an afrternoon game drive with them. It was nice, about an hour. We saw a number of different deer and antelope, and giraffes. We heard another group saw elephants but ours didn’t. Those in the group with me weren’t all that impressed with the enclosures the big cats were kept in. They had lions and cheetahs. We were told they had dozens (hundreds?) of acres to roam, but all we saw were them in a small area. We may have come at a bad time though when they were moved into smaller enclosures for a good reason I don’t know. I’d say if you’re already at Chaminuka for something else than go for it, but I wouldn’t come to Chaminuka specifically for the game drive, there are better parks.

Visit their site for more details: www.chaminuka.com

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Dutch Market

Located in Kabulonga by Kabulonga boys, at the Dutch Reformed Church, and happens the last Saturday of every month. The entrance fee is between 5-10kwa (~50 cents – $1). I love this market because it has very different things than all the other cultural markets around Zambia. Xpats and Zambians come in from all over Zambia to sell their things and advertise their business. There is great food and drink here from all different cultures and cute hipster things like handmade soaps, jewelry, and candles. If you’re in the area when this is going on I highly recommend going.

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**I regret to inform you the photo above is not mine. I unfortunately don’t have any photos from Lusaka that are worthy of sharing. I got this image off of google, if it is yours let me know and I’ll take it down or give you credit.

Sunday Market

Sunday Market is the perfect place to buy all those overpriced touristy gifts for friends and family back home who can say, “oh my niece brought me this mask back from Zambia for me.” Little does she know that mask is actually a ceremonial fertility mask from Ethiopia or something equally not related to Zambian culture. Its perfect for knick knacks and stuff you can convince yourself you need. I love Sunday market. It’s fun to wander around. It has gotten a lot smaller since they’ve moved it because of the construction at Arcades mall, but you can still get everything you want. It’s now in the fields across from the Protea Hotel at Arcades Mall until they finish construction. My advice? BARGAIN. If you are a foreigner, they will usually tell you about double the price. Don’t feel bad for arguing your way down a bit. If you can speak any of the local language it helps a lot.

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**I regret to inform you the photo above is not mine. I unfortunately don’t have any photos from Lusaka that are worthy of sharing. I got this image off of google, if it is yours let me know and I’ll take it down or give you credit.

Lake Tanganyika

I don’t have too much useful things to say about Lake Tanganyika. It’s easy enough to hitch to Mpulungu, the town that lays next to the lake. Or you can take a bus, but we started by the side of the Kasama-Mbala Road. They dropped us at the turnoff, one road goes to Mbala, the other to Mpulungu. That wasn’t too hard to find another hitch the rest of the way to Mpulungu. It’s a nice town. I heard the fish market was pretty big but I didn’t see it. I took a b-line to an ice cream place. We stayed at a lodge I will talk about in the lodges section of Zambia, that was right across from the lake and a bar. We went to the lake-side bar to hang out and get dinner. It had beautiful views, although you cant swim because there’s crocs. We ended up staying at an school run by the Dutch across the lake called Eventure, because they knew some friends of ours. It’s a really cool place, not a place for vacation though. They had volunteers working there that seemed busy and I felt like we were just mooching off their space. I would check out Luke’s beach if you’re looking for a place to go. I’ve never been there but I’ve had a lot of friends who have, and I know Luke. It’s a nice quiet place on the water where you can set up tents, bring your own food to cook because I’m not sure if they sell food there. And I understand it’s a nice hike down to the water. So maybe not for someone looking for a nice, fancy, lake, vacation, but good for backpackers looking for an adventure and experience and somewhere to swim and hang out on a beach.

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Chishimba Falls

If you’re in Kasama I would definitely try to reserve a day for a day trip, or even a camping overnight trip to Chishimba falls. It’s not too expensive to get in, maybe $10 for non residents, I’m not quite positive as I got in for 8kwa on a work permit. There’s three falls. When you first enter is the smallest fall, there is a picnic area, a swimming area, people selling curios, and a place to order food and beers. You can also bring food and charcoal and use the grills. Then there’s a short hike to the upper falls and a little longer hike to the main lower falls. The lower falls are a beautiful site no matter the time of year. During dry season you can swim at the top of the falls (at your own risk) but I wouldn’t recommend swimming there during rain season, you’ll get swept off the edge and there’s no coming back. The falls are tall and you can stand at the edge and see for miles into the valley. If you’re interested in camping I don’t think its more than $20 for non residents. Bring your own tents and sleeping bags. There is an insaka/shelteroverlooking the lower falls on the edge of the cliff, try to snag that spot if you can. Its unbelievable falling asleep under the galaxies and hearing the roar of the fall all night. The only thing is the bathroom is back at the entrance near the bar so try to go before it gets dark, and hold it til light in the morning. It’s safe, but not fun to hike all the way back in the dark, and its not nice to go number 2 in a public space. Really the only way to get to the falls is with a taxi which is a bummer. So if you can try to find other people to share it with. I guess you can try hitching, you’ll be able to find a ride out of town easy enough, but finding someone going from the turn off to the falls might take a while, and it would be a long walk.

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Mwela Rock Art

This place is only about 5km outside of Kasama. You can try hitching from past the roundabout, or get in a shared taxi from next to shoprite for less than 20kwa. The place is only 8kwa to get in with a work permit. Not sure how much otherwise but they didn’t even check my permit. If you tell them it’s your first time they’ll find a guide to go with you. I believe you’re supposed to tip this guy at the end, I wasn’t expecting that and literally only had enough to get back to town and felt really bad. If it’s not your first time there you’re free to just roam as you’d like. People like to go and watch the sunset at the top of the rocks. If it’s your first time the guide will show you about 4 sites with rock paintings and caves from the Twa people who used to live there before the Bemba tribe moved in. It’s really interesting to see and the views from the top of the rocks are beautiful.

Mwela

Bush Fire

Another quick outing from Solwezi is Bush Fire. It is a lodge/farm. I don’t have much details about the lodge aspect of the place although I know they’re on Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14899332). If you’re staying in Solwezi you can bike here easily, or take a minibus/taxi out towards Chingola. What you can do there is take horseback riding lessons, or just ride if you already know how. It is 50kwa for about 1/2 hour to an hour of riding. It’s something different to do, nice date idea, and they have a bar you can grab a drink afterward. The guides are good at teaching and can take it slow for you if you’re nervous. We just stayed within the fenced in area but they said they have paths you can walk on once you know what you’re doing. I would try to contact Sue the owner to find what times work best. I went on a Wednesday afternoon. I found this place towards the end of my stay in Zambia, and wish I found it sooner I definitely would have gone more.