Kundalila means 'cooing dove', and this is one of Zambia's most beautiful waterfalls (GPS: KUNDACA). Set in an area of scenic meadows and forests on the edge of the Muchinga escarpment, the clear stream here drops 80m into a crystal pool below, and makes a great place for a picnic and a cooling dip. Look out for blue monkeys that are said to inhabit the forests here, and some cheeky white-necked ravens.
Note that the falls are in an area of military sensitivity, where camping was not allowed in years past. Now it is common, but make sure that the caretaker is clear about how much it costs. Pay in advance, and obtain a full receipt, as misunderstandings are often said to arise here. Those with children should be exceedingly careful as there are no fences here, and many of the paths around the falls lead straight to very steep drops at the edge.
Rates: Entry about US$3 per person; camping US$5 per person per night
Drive to the small settlement of Kanona (GPS: KANONA) where a track, which is clearly signposted towards 'Kundalila Falls National Monument', turns southeast from the main road. Kanona is on the Great North Road, about 65km beyond the Serenje turn-off, 23km east of the Chinese Road (the turning to Mansa), and 180km southwest of Mpika. (If you were to take another right turn off this track almost immediately, you would reach the local ZAWA offices.)
The signpost says 14km and soon you'll cross the railway, and then pass a 'Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses' on the left. Take a close look at a good topographical map and you'll realise that you're in one of Zambia's highest areas – at an altitude of around 1,500m, so it's frequently cool, windy and pleasantly devoid of mosquitoes. Generally you'll sign in with the caretaker, Emmanuel, and pay your entry fee before reaching the grassy car park at the end of the track, where you can camp.
Ilse Mwanza reports that the caretaker should also be able to take you to a second set of falls, the nearby Kaudina Falls, and possibly also direct you to the Chilindi Chipususha Falls, on the Musumpu River.
At the bottom of the site there is an old bridge across the Kaombe River. The path then splits and the right branch leads you to the top of the gorge – with no safety fences. The left takes you on a longer walk to the bottom, where there's a beautiful pool for swimming, if you can bear the water's chill.