Northeast of Mkushi, the town of Serenje (GPS: SERNJE) is about 3km from the main Great North Road. To get there, turn at the fuel station (which used to be a BP station, until the company disowned it!). It has a TAZARA station, a (noisy and busy) bus station, a Total fuel station, a bank, a Catholic mission, a teacher training college, a fuel station, a post office, a police station, a small hospital, and three basic guesthouses (not a lot to choose between them).
Where to stay
There's the Sige Siga Resthouse
(tel: 05 382362) at the turn-off from the main road, though this rents more rooms by the hour than by the night. Other options include the Ibolelo Valley View Inn
, near the market and bus station, and the Malcolm Moffatt College Guesthouse
(tel: 05 382151), which has four rooms but is 2km from the centre of town – beyond the market at the college.
Probably the best place, which is a useful point of contact, as well as having good food and local information, is Mapontela Enterprises
(tel: 05 382026). This is on the right as you enter the town and they have two very nice en-suite rooms, with another six under construction. At US$20 per room they're not cheap, but are the nicest around and are run by a delightful Zambian family headed up by a charming matriarch, Anna Mulenga, and her husband, Steve Luker (a retired builder who came to Zambia with the Peace Corps).