Where to stay
If you are backpacking through, or have arrived late in the day, then staying in Mpulungu for a night or two is probably your best option. Without wishing to denigrate the attractions of Nkupi Lodge, and its venerable owner Denish, I recommend the Harbour Inn as a very good-value alternative. If both are full, then Mpulungu does have a District Resthouse – but it wouldn't be top of my list to visit.
Lodges on the lake near Mpulungu
If you have more time, and want to explore the lake a little, then it's worth organising transport out to one of the lakeside lodges. To do this, I'd first call Mrs Neilson, who runs Mpulungu's Caltex fuel station (PO Box 71, Mpulungu; tel: 04 455185; fax: 455112). Coming from Mbala, you pass this on your left about 1km before you reach the main bus station/market area of town.
Mrs Neilson has radio contact with most of the lodges, and acts as a de facto agent for them in town. She'll usually be able to advise what is open, how much it is, and how to get there. She'll probably also be able to contact them on the radio, given a little time. Others who can often help about the various options in the area include Jeanne and Chris Blignaut, who run a business, Samaki Fishing (tel: 04 455103; fax: 455008; email: firstname.lastname@example.org), and also Hazel at Thorn Tree Guesthouse in Kasama.
Do remember that this area is fairly new to tourism, and so details of these lodges and their operations will almost certainly change before you read this.
Lake Tanganyika Lodge
Mishembe Bay – Luke's Beach
Isanga Bay Lodge