This large, tree-lined town, 349km from Livingstone and 124km from Lusaka, is at the centre of a very prosperous commercial-farming community. The huge Nakambala Sugar Estates dominate it, and you'll see their fields of mono-culture sugarcane lining the main road either side of town.
It's certainly the largest and most developed of the towns between Livingstone and Lusaka, with a major branch of Shoprite supermarket and a Barclays Bank and police station, as well as numerous smaller shops, several 24-hour fuel stations and the odd small café. There's also the Kontola Hypermarket on the roundabout leading into the town, next to a fast-food outlet aptly called Eat Now.
Where to stay
Tastebuds Restaurant is one such café with a good reputation, and they have recently opened a small guesthouse with half a dozen rooms called 40 Winks (tel: 032 30643). This is comfortable but simple, and costs US$20 per person, including a full breakfast. To reach it, follow the signs to Tastebuds and ask them for directions. The best practical alternatives are:Mazabuka Motel
(6 chalets) Livingstone Rd, PO Box 22, Mazabuka; tel: 032 30284
Run by the Garden Group of hotels, based in Lusaka, this is a small and quite acceptable stopover, but not at all plush.Mweka Guest House
Tennis Club Rd; tel: 01 251734.
Rates: US$40 including breakfast; camping US$5 per person
Camping is also available at the basic Cane Break, about 3km south of the town, to the west of the road. Tel: 032 30749.
Excursions from Mazabuka
56km north of Mazabuka, there's a sign to Munali Hills historic site, a stone cairn 1km along the Munali Pass road commemorating Livingstone's passage through the hill pass that separates the Lusaka high plateau from the Kafue Flats. (Munali, meaning 'you have been' or 'you have passed through', was the nickname given to Livingstone.)Mwanachingwala Conservation Area
This relatively new conservation area covers about 470km2 beside the Kafue River, northeast of Lochinvar, and just south of the river. It has been made up of land contributed by the local community of Chief Mwanachingwala, and also some of the private commercial farms in the area. As this goes to press I've few details, except to note that there will be an office in Mazabuka (left turn at the junction by Shoprite, and it will be on the left). See www.mca-kafueflats.org for the latest details.