About 73km from the T-junction, or 81km from Samfya, Mansa is a larger place with a BP station, a Barclays Bank, and a couple of places to stay. Of these, the Mansa Hotel is by far the best.The Mansa Hotel
(30 rooms) PO Box 710008, Mansa; tel: 02 821606; fax: 821407
The Mansa Hotel is in town immediately next to Barclays Bank, just down the road from the main Catholic church. It has 30 rooms, all simply furnished but very clean and pleasant. Each has an en-suite bathroom, with toilet and bath.
It also has a lively and well-stocked bar, and a small restaurant serving breakfast, lunch (US$3/Kw15,000) and dinner (US$4/Kw20,000). The staff is also friendly and very helpful, making this the obvious place to stop if you're not planning to camp. It's a cut above the average of Zambia's town hotels.
Continuing onwards and driving north from Mansa, after about 9km the road splits and there appears to be a choice. The left turn is to Mwense, Mbereshi and Nchelenge, whilst the road straight ahead is for Kawambwa. Initially this Kawambwa road looks as if it's beautifully tarred, and it is; but only for the first 25km. After that it rapidly deteriorates into a very bad dirt road, which is well worth avoiding.
If you're heading towards Kawambwa take the road to Mbereshi via Mwense, and then turn right at Mbereshi for Kawambwa. It's much easier and quicker.