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Solwezi

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Solwezi is in Zambezi Basin, and is the seat of the Northwestern Province of Zambia, a sprawling expanse of territory.

Understand

Solwezi is not exactly endowed with attractions. Aside from being a provincial seat, it's distinction probably lies in being a service town for the gaping Kansanshi open-pit copper mine north of town. Thus, it's probably safe to say it's not on the tourist road. Northwestern Province terrain is characterized by vast stretches of savanna and evergreen forest, and the climate is rather wet, with an annual rainfall in excess of 1200mm. You can expect thunderstorms, dirt roads, and sort of an outback experience here.

Get in

  • 1 Solwezi Airport, Airport Road, ☏ +260218821213. (updated Aug 2020) is served by a number of carriers such as Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines with connections to such places as Nairobi and Malawi.

[| Juldan Motors] provides twice daily bus transportation from Lusaka to Solwezi for $10. Expect a 10hr trip.

Get around

City Drive Rent A Car, Rocker Car Hire, and Axe Car Rental (phone: 0973 169 005) may be able to provide car rental services. There is also a local bus of sorts.

See

There are two points of interest in Solwezi:

  • 1 Kifubwa National Monument, ☏ +243995644323. Pigmented engravings on the rock walls of a stone age shelter beside a set of rapids on the Kifubwa River, believed to be associated with late age hunter gatherer populations, carbon dated to be about 6000 years old. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 2 Mutanda Falls (33km w of Solwezi on T5). 8AM-10PM, Closed Su. Kind of like a cascade or rapid as opposed to a waterfall and more than likely underwhelming if you come here from Victoria Falls, but still picturesque. You can stay here at the Mutanda Nature Lodge, or just a few km away is another cascade on the Mutanda River where you can sit and dine at Georgies Bar & Grill. (updated Aug 2020)

Do

There are occasionally tribal ceremonies with dancing and festivities taking place. The main groups prevalent in the area are the Kaonde, Lunda, and Luvale.

Buy

  • 1 Kyawama Market (across highway from airport). 8AM-8PM Daily. An African type outdoor market where there have been instances of rioting and flooding, so maybe not for the faint of heart. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 2 City Market. Another market: clothes, car parts, vegetables, utensils, loud noise, mud. (updated Aug 2020)

Eat

  • 1 Kanshansi Clubhouse, ☏ +260212658810. Really comfortable and savory dining. But you have to have a Kanshansi Golf Club card to make purchases; establishment doesn't take cash. You may see wildlife such as ibex on the greens while eating. (updated Aug 2020)

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Floriana Lodge Trust (on T5), ☏ +260218821130. pool, hot tub, restaurant, bar. ~$34. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 2 Royal Solwezi Hotel, ☏ +260211821620. Top of the line accommodation for Solwezi. Big pool, spa, restaurant/bar, wifi. ~$101. (updated Aug 2020)

Connect

Go next

West Lunga National Park is a far piece off from Solwezi, but this is a habitat for duiker, bushpig and even possibly hippopotami, baboons, and Nile crocodiles. Geographically-speaking, it's like a flat plateau of dry evergreen trees, brushy and hard to access. The camping scene from the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy comes to mind. There is a dirt road entry at Jivundu 275km from Solwezi.

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