Muchinga Meander

Written By: The Lowdown - Mar• 31•13

2013 03 small coverMuchinga, the name of the escarpment which runs the length of Zambia’s eastern side, but now also the name of our latest Province, with Chinsali as its headquarters.


Travellers to and from Nakonde and Tanzania would be forgiven for not knowing where Chinsali is, nestled as it is the hills sixteen kilometres off the Great North Road.  The decision to reroute the road when it was tarred back in the 70’s has been detrimental to the economies of both Chinsali and its sister town, Isoka, even if only the boost to their micro-economies that passing truck traffic brings.


But Chinsali is a town which figured largely in pre-independent Zambia.  As the birth place of our First President, Kenneth Kaunda and our First Prime Minister, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, it was also home to many of the nationalist stirrings which led to Independence in 1964.


But the district was also home to Alice Lenshina and the LumpaChurch, and today the remains of Alice Lenshina lie in the Mausoleum at the site of the destroyed church,  Sion, which her followers built.  Fifty years on, few people know much about those sad days in Zambia’s history.*



Chinsali town itself has not much to offer, it is no different to any number of small, remote Zambian towns where there are a sprinkling of shops selling everything from hardware to maize seed to salaula to kitchenware and CD’s of questionable origin and quality.  Restaurants, Bars and Night clubs abound should you find yourself in town for the night and wish to partake of the entertainment these establishments offer, you will have a number to choose from. And should you run short of cash, Finance Bank have a presence there, complete with ATM.





Finding accommodation for the night however, could well be a completely different matter.  Difficult at the best of times, we believe that all (or most) guest house accommodation has now been taken up by civil servants who have been posted to the town to set up the Provincial Administration.  How long it is going to take before both office and residential accommodation is built is anybody’s guess.  If you do have business to conduct in the town, we would recommend planning your trip so as to stay in Mpika and to travel to Chinsali for the day.


It must be noted that at the present time, there is no fuel station in Chinsali. Indeed there is no fuel station between Mpika and Nakonde so be sure to leave Mpika with sufficient fuel to get you back to the town or all the way to Nakonde.


If you do find yourself in Chinsali with a few hours to spare take the road south out of town to Lubwa Mission.  Not only is it the birth of KK but it is a beautiful old church built of burnt brick.  Further along the same road, is Ilondola Mission, an old Catholic Mission with its even more beautiful church.  Both places are worth to visit.


Lubwa Mission

Chinsali District is also home to ChipomaFalls.  These are a short five kilometres west of the Great North Road, 24 kilometres south of the Chinsali turnoff.

Chipoma Falls

Chipoma Falls


* For further reading, A Time To Mourn by John Hudson and Blood On Their Hands by Kampamba Mulenga.


Ilondola Mission


Ilondola Mission










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