On the edge of Sumbu National Park, Sumbu Township has grown considerably over the last few years and now has about 10,000 residents. Most of the employed population either work for various government bodies – the national parks, police, immigration or council – or are involved in commercial fishing on the lake, mostly for kapenta. There are lots of small shops and bars, and an open-air market for vegetables, dried fish and second-hand clothing, but no places to stay. There is also a government-run clinic, with a doctor available (but seldom any drugs), and normally petrol and diesel here too.
Sumbu isn't nearly as cosmopolitan as Mpulungu (!) but can be fairly lively. It doesn't yet have electricity (although there have been plans for several years now to connect it to the grid). Most of the water-taxis from Mpulungu end up at Sumbu.