Ndole Bay Lodge
(13 chalets and a campsite) PO Box 21033, Kitwe; tel: 02 711150; fax: 711390; cell: 01 780196; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owned and run by Gerard and Barbara Zytkow, Ndole Bay Lodge stands beside Lake Tanganyika in Cameron Bay, just to the northwest of the Sumbu National Park boundary. Being outside the park gives it a little more autonomy, allowing it, for example, to operate a small campsite here.
It has its own private beachfront on the lake, and the chalets and main lodge area are set back from this, spaced out within the dense foliage surrounding the beach. It's a lovely wild spot and, despite its many creature comforts, still feels deep within the African bush.
The chalets are generally very spacious with thatched roofs on stone walls, and en-suite showers and toilets. All are well decorated and comfortably furnished. (Some are large enough for a few extra beds if required – and one even has three separate double rooms with a large lounge area.)
The main area of the lodge has a dining room linked to its bar, both under a marvellously large thatched roof, with a low wall (of natural stone) around it. It's a very practical design – cool and airy, with a space for a welcome breeze. Down beside the beach is another thatched lounge with low walls and open sides leading out on to a wooden sundeck with loungers. Both are comfortably furnished with comfy seats and plenty of space.
Beside the main lodge is a separate campsite which has running water and barbecue stands, and a nice clean ablution block with toilets and hot showers. Campers can book into the lodge for meals, and are usually allowed to use its facilities – provided they are careful not to disturb the other guests.
Activites at Ndole Bay include angling, game drives, nature walks, birding trips, lake cruises, snorkelling and water skiing. It's really the only one of the Sumbu lodges where it is safe to swim and snorkel from the beach in front of the lodge (hence also the water-skiing). Excursions further afield include trips to local hot springs, kapenta fishing rigs (a night trip to watch local fishermen catching fish using bright lights) and Kalambo Falls. You can hire various types of boats here (ranging from US$40 to 180 per day!), snorkelling equipment and basic fishing tackle. Scuba diving trips can also be organised by special arrangement.
The lodge also has a small swimming pool, for magical cooling dips, and a shop for essential toiletries, local crafts and curios and fishing lures! This is an excellent place with exceptionally helpful owners – it's well worth a visit.