(24 chalets) P.O. Box 31808, Lusaka; tel: 01 273493; tel/fax: 274233; email: firstname.lastname@example.org (GPS: MUSUNG)
Sitting on the eastern shore of Itezhi-Tezhi dam, Musungwa is about 5km south of the dam wall. It's a long-standing lodge run by Ros Kearney with three large rondavels for the reception, bar and restaurant. Nearby are eleven twin-bed chalets and twelve chalets with four beds – with polished concrete floors and old wooden furniture. All have en-suite shower (hot water from efficient gas geyser) and toilet, and their own private verandas overlooking the lake. The gauze in the windows is largely old and some of the verandas are minute. The lodge has a small curio shop (open 11.00–12.00, on request) and a tiny lending library for holiday reading.
Set just below the main lodge is a swimming pool commanding a stunning view of the lake, and surrounded by some pleasant gardens, complete with grass, bamboo, bougainvillea and the odd palm. The lodge boasts a tennis court, a squash court and a sauna. Activities offered include boat cruises on the lake, plus day and night game drives inside the park. Full day-trips, further into southern Kafue, are also possible on request (mid-June to mid-Oct).
On my last visit here I only stopped for lunch, when the menu consisted largely of cheese and (raw) onion sandwiches (US$5 or US$6 if toasted), with a side salad that materialised as basically a bowl of chopped cabbage. Welcome cold drinks were available from the cool, dark bar – though their range of alcohol far surpassed their choice of soft drinks.
The management advise that barbecues and cultural dancing are a feature of the weekends at Musungwa, while the lodge is large enough to cater for conferences of up to 80 people, and at Christmas it usually hosts themed fancy dress competitions. Fuel is available for sale between 07.30 and 08.30 for residents.
Musungwa was clearly a successful and very popular resort some decades ago. It probably remains the best in this area – and is a place that you can drop in on for lunch or dinner if you're not cooking for yourselves. However, it is now looking very tired and dated. The team there clearly do their best: the floors are all polished, the rooms are clean, and the linen laundered – but they can't escape the fact that the hotel desperately needs refurbishing, if not just re-building.