Coming from the south, this is the first 'proper' town since Sesheke, and you're now back on tarmac. Bliss! Approaching from Lusaka, however, Senanga lies beside the Zambezi and right at the end of a very long stretch of (very pot-holed) tar. It's a pleasant place, very linear in layout with a tall radio mast near the centre. Here you'll also find a vital BP fuel station (which usually even has fuel), a hospital (almost opposite the BP garage), a post office and a handful of shops and small bottle stores – but you still can't shake off the feeling that it's out on a limb. Senanga has a Catholic church (tel: 07 230090), with radio communications to other missions; it's looked after by Franciscans.
Where to stay
Senanga's choice is limited. There are a number of basic resthouses in town, and a step up from those is the Mwanambingi Motel (PO Box 290001; tel: 07 230094) on the main road, on the next left after Senanga Safaris. However, your best bet is certainly the Senanga Safaris lodge, described here:Senanga Safaris
PO Box 920077, Senanga; tel/fax: 07 230156 (GPS:SENANG)
The obvious place to stay in town is this passable small hotel which has reasonable rooms, all laid out on a sloping grassy bank down to the side of the Zambezi. The views across the wide river to the floodplains opposite are excellent. There is a lively bar and a quieter dining room which serves edible, but very unexciting, meals. Visiting in September 2003, we arrived during the annual fishing competition, when the place was buzzing with large 4WDs and very serious fishermen; there wasn't a room to be had, and flat ground on which to pitch a tent was also difficult to find. The men's ablutions lacked hot water; the women's lacked any!Mwanambinyi Motel
PO Box 92001, Senanga; tel: 07 230094
On the main road, next to Senanga Safaris, this would make a reasonable second choice of place to stay.
Getting there and away
There is no navigable road on the east side of the Zambezi south of the Sitoti pontoon, so you've got to cross to the west bank to head further south. For a description of that road, read From Ngonye to Sitoti, above.North to Mongu
Heading north to Mongu is tarmac all the way – about 110km. It was tarred relatively recently, in the late 1990s – but it seems this was badly done as the road has degenerated badly. When last I drove here, it had become badly pot-holed to the point of being very painful and slow to drive on; the kind of road that you'd prefer was just gravel!