What to see and do
Ndola doesn't have many sights as such. However, one worth looking for is the old Slave Tree on Makoli Avenue. This is a very old pod mahogany tree, Afzelia quanzensis (known locally as a mupapa tree), on which two species of figs are parasitic. In 1880 the Swahili slave-traders frequented this area. They built a stockade around here, using the shade of this tree as a meeting place. It was also a place where slaves were sold and traded between the various traders.
This trade was abolished here in the early 1900s, as the British established a colonial administration. Ndola was founded in 1904 and now just a representation of the tree features on its coat of arms, and a plaque at the foot of the tree reads:This plate has been placed on this mupapa tree to commemorate the passing of the days when, under its shade, the last of the Swahili traders, who warred upon and enslaved the people of the surrounding country, used to celebrate their victories and share out their spoils.
If you're in town and need help with local arrangements then contact one of the following:Voyagers Travel Agency
Ndola Airport, PO Box 70023; tel: 02 617062 or 620604/5; fax: 620605.
Generally highly regarded.Steve Blagus Travel
32b President Av, PO Box 71474; tel: 02 610993/4; fax: 619072
Excursions from Ndola
Relatively near here are two new destinations which are often visited on long weekends from Lusaka or the Copperbelt:Nsobe Game Camp
Tel: 02 610113; mob: 096 950327; www.nsobegamecamp.com
Nsobe Game Camp is situated 9km from the Great North Road; its turn-off is about 35km south of Ndola, or 65km north of Kapiri Mposhi. It promises en-suite safari tents with twin beds on raised wooden platforms, complete with verandas overlooking a dam; double-storey en-suite chalets, which can sleep four; one self-catering chalet which sleeps eight, and a campsite. There's a bar and restaurant.
Game drives with one of their guides can be organised, in your own vehicle or theirs, and both walks and fishing (from various dams on the farm) are possible. Braai sites, picnic tables and benches are available near the water's edge, whilst the more energetic can go canoeing. Further information would be welcome on this place.Kafue Lodge
(8 twin chalets) PO Box 56, Mpongwe; tel: 02 311642 / 722; fax: 02 312552
Near Mpongwe, northwest of Kapiri Mposhi, is a small game farm on the banks of the Kafue River which has recently opened for visitors. It's a place for serious fishermen (or women), with river cruises, walks and short game drives on offer.
Kafue Lodge is located on a 20km2 game farm, with ten species of antelope including sable and kudu. Walks and game-viewing tracks meander through tall miombo woodland and dambos, characteristic of this part of Zambia. All of the sixteen chalets are described as being very well appointed, with open-plan kitchens, braai and dining areas, and small fridges. You can self-cater here, or be cooked for. (Produce from the lodge's organic vegetable garden is promised on the menu!)
Bob Stjernstedt, the Zambian birding expert, advises that it's a particularly good location at which to see Pel's fishing owl! I haven't visited the lodge yet, and would welcome more information about it.