Where to stay
Note that scientific, educational and school groups are warmly welcomed here, and special arrangements can be made for them. Meanwhile, for individual visitors there are two options – to camp or to stay in the lodge – so I'll list them separately here, and mention activities below:Mutinondo Wilderness Lodge
(4 individual chalets) Contact address: PO Box 450126, Mpika. Satellite tel: +870 76 2580913; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mutinondozambia.com (GPS: MUTINO)
The lodge here is a lovely spot to stay – though quite idiosyncratic in its way. Each of its chalets is large, solidly built and individually designed. Each has been built carefully on to the rock; one has a particularly spectacular balcony, while all have great views over the wilderness. The 'spacious' chalets are effectively suites, with two rooms to the chalet, whilst the 'standard' ones are smaller – although still very roomy.
Every effort has been made to source the building materials locally, and to use local skills and labour in the lodge's construction. The walls are built from local stone or locally made bricks and the high roofs use traditional thatch. All the wooden sections, and all of the internal fittings and furniture within the rooms, have been constructed by a father–and-son carpentry team from the village of Salamo. Similarly the bricks, stone and thatch used were all manufactured, quarried or harvested locally. In each chalet you'll find a wardrobe and two beds whilst three also have a fireplace, for when it gets cold. Given the altitude of about 1,400m, it can get very cold here!
Three chalets have en-suite showers with a wash-basin and separate toilets. Perhaps the most spectacular chalet, the large stone one named 'Mulombwa', has a slightly separate bathroom with a shower, a homebuilt bath and a toilet. The water for each is heated by individual solar heaters and wood-burning boilers. As you'd expect, most of the staff are also sourced from local villages.
The lodge has a shop whose offerings include jewellery which is designed, and often made, by Lari from locally-cut stones, silver and beads, as well as village crafts, local art and photography. Ask nicely for a demonstration of stone-cutting and jewellery-making!Mutinondo Wilderness camping
(maximum of 5 camping sites) Contact via the lodge.
The campsite here is lovely, with raven-proof cupboards for storing items, good hot showers and clean long-drop toilets. Note that there are a limited number of sites here so you should consider booking in advance if possible. The campsite is adjacent to the lodge; campers are welcome in the bar and, with advance notice, to dine here.
Rates: Campsite US$7 per person per night