Kasempa is a pleasant town with lots of space, in the midst of rolling, hilly country. There are many villages in the surrounding bush, although overall the population density doesn't feel very high as most of the area seems to be miombo woodland.
Landmarks here include the tall microwave communication tower in the centre of town, Kasempa Boys Boarding School – which has a wide catchment from the surrounding area – a post office, a branch of the National Savings and Credit Bank, and the major Mukinge Mission Hospital. It does not have any fuel stations!Mukinge Hospital
Mukinge Mission started around 1925 when Rev C S Foster came to this area as an evangelical missionary. His son, Bob, was born here, studied medicine in Toronto, and then returned to found this mission hospital in 1950 – even supervising its construction! Mukinge is still supported by the Evangelical Church in Zambia, as well as the government.
It has about 200 beds, and cares for about 150–160 in-patients per day – including around four births per day – in seven separate in-patient wards. This includes one for malnutrition and another for isolation. It has two operating theatres, a laboratory, a variety of x-ray equipment, a kitchen, a laundry, a workshop, a training school for nurses, and a pharmacy with basic drug supplies. So, in short, it's the best hospital for a very long way.
Where to stay
There are a couple of small, basic guesthouses in town, including Tamara's Guesthouse
, and the Rainbow Guesthouse
(tel: 08 251112) opposite the old market.
Getting there and away
Kasempa has three roads running into it, meeting at a T-junction. The stem of the T (to the north) is an excellent, tarred road from Solwezi in the north. That meets a generally good gravel road heading southwest to Kaoma; and a variable bush track heading southeast towards Mumbwa. These both look just as good as each other when they leave town.From Solwezi to Kasempa
Taking the tar road southwest from Solwezi, you reach the junction at Mwelemu (GPS: MWELEM) after about 28km, where you continue on tar but head in a more southerly direction towards Kasempa.
After a further 85km, the M11 road joins you from the left (GPS: TUKALU), signposted left to Kalalushi, then at about 103km from Mwelemu, there's another junction (GPS: TUKASE). The road straight on, heading west, is the good, gravel M8 to Kabompo. The left turn, signposted D181, continues on tar and is signposted to Kasempa. There is a small and very basic Rainbow Guesthouse here, if you're desperate to stop.
The tar continues for the remaining 43km to Kasempa (GPS: KASEMP), and through the town as far as Mukinge Mission.From Kasempa to Kaoma
I haven't driven along this road, but am told it's a reasonable gravel road which is passable at any time of year.From Kasempa to the Lunga pontoon
The road from Kasempa to the Lunga pontoon, or the Kabanga Game Scout Post, is basically a very pleasant one, with a few small rural settlements and a lot of open areas. It's generally easy driving, although there are lots of turnings on which to get lost, and a few nasty traps of deep sand.
Turning east at the main T-junction at Kasempa, you cross a bridge over the Lufupa River after 1.5km, then about 2.7km from the centre you pass the distinctive pyramidal steeple of a 'United Church of Zambia' church. A few kilometres later, about 4.4km from the centre, there's a turn on the right to the Mukinge Mission, and the road turns east-southeast – and becomes a good bush track.
About 11.2km from Kabompo the road forks; a left turn heads off east, but the right turn goes southeast towards the Lunga pontoon. It splits again at 21.3km; take the right fork going south-southeast. Similarly about 2km later there's a split and the road to Lunga pontoon is right; by then it heads southwest for a while. Then about 48.2km from Kasempa there's another split; keep right for the pontoon.
About 78.6km from Kasempa the road forks (GPS: TUKABA): the left track heads east to the pontoon, whilst the right leads west of south for about 20km to the Kabanga Scout Post, on the northern border of Kafue National Park.
Staying on the road to the pontoon, you should ignore a clear left turn at 89.3km, which is an access road for a mine. A few kilometres later on the smaller track you pass Jifumpa Middle Basic School, and then within a kilometre there's a four-way junction. Again ignore the track off left. Going straight on leads, in 3km, to the pontoon across the Lunga (GPS: FERRYL).
Alternatively, a right turn leads you shortly to (GPS: TULUNG), the start of a very bumpy (black-cotton soil) track that shadows the east bank of the Lunga River for around 25km to Lunga River Lodge, on the boundary of the park. A continuation then heads northwest to the Kabanga Scout Post.
Note that for the southern parts of this route, from around TUKABA, you have been within a GMA, and so you are not free to camp here – or do anything other than simply pass through.From the Lunga pontoon to Mumbwa via the Lubungu pontoon
Crossing the Lunga pontoon it is then about a 70km drive to Lubungu pontoon (GPS: LUBUNG), along a route which skirts the eastern boundary of the National Park. Beware: this central section of the track between Kasempa and Mumbwa has historically been in exceedingly poor condition.
Further south of there, from the Lubungu pontoon to Mumbwa, is currently a remarkably good gravel road.