Where to stay
There's a choice of accommodation in Mongu, most of it of fairly poor quality. There are a few relatively large, old-style hotels – like the Ngulu, Lyambai and Sir Mwanawina – which have clearly passed their prime. Without a major injection of cash and energy, these old establishments are in terminal decline.
To fill the gap, a rash of small guesthouses have sprung up, privately-owned and run. These cater mainly to top local businesspeople, foreign aid workers and expats – people who will usually try to find the best place in town. Thus the best of these do have reasonable standards of accommodation and security, although even then they're nothing special. You should try to book something in advance here if you need it, as the better places are often full – although sadly many won't take bookings unless you pay them in advance.
Note that price is seldom a useful guide to quality here – and as new places spring up they will often be better than what is here already.
Given Mongu's bad reputation for theft, you should take maximum precautions against losing your belongings, even when staying in one of the hotels. It is not generally safe to camp randomly around here. If you can't make it into town, and need to stay in the area, then it's better to ask at a village than to camp alone.
Green View Guesthouse
Sir Mwanawina III Motel
New Cross Roads Guest House