Ndola – A Tourist City in the Bud


WHEN you think of Zambia, likely you even hear the ‘thundering smoke’ of the Victoria fall. But there are other places of interest elsewhere in the country. Ndola city alone has more than seven interesting tourist sights despite ranking nowhere near the most visited places like Hong Kong, London or Rome.

Of course every tourist attraction has its own allure. For example if you want to confirm the authenticity of Bible history you make Rome your destination. There you will see the ruins of the famous Colosseum and roads on which the apostle Paul trod. Hong Kong will treat you to an endless array of novelty. But what are those seven sights that you will find in Ndola?

One of them is Nsobe Camp, a small game reserve situated some 60 km South of the city. There, you can see giraffes, zebras, waterbucks and other wild animals during a two-hour safari. Fresh-water fishing is also possible if you are a fisherperson.

After game viewing and a few outdoor games, you can relax in the cafeteria where an affordable cuisine awaits you. There are no restrictions for bringing your own food.

If you want to camp there overnight, tents and chalets are available for hire with 100% security guaranteed by game guards.

In the heart of the city, the recently constructed ultra-modern Levy Mwanawasa Stadium attracts a lot of attention from local tourists of all ages. Sightseers from all over the world fail to hide their amazement at the picturesque greens surrounding the arena; especially in the rainy season.

For the disabled, there is a ramp at each gate that allows easy access. To pass through those gates and see the inside, however, you have to wait until there is an activity. Entry charges depend on the type of event taking place but the periphery region can be viewed anytime without charge.

After watching a football march in the stadium, fans returning to Kitwe can finalize their tour of Ndola by freely visiting the Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Crash Site some 10 km South-West of the city and off the Ndola-Kitwe Dual carriage way. That is where the plane carrying the former United Secretary General crashed in 1961.

Although the Copperbelt Museum in the city center was slowly becoming a white elephant a decade ago, it has in the recent past received a boost by the introduction of a postcard and curio shop inside.

Between 08:00 hours and 17:00 hours you can go in with the family at a reasonable fee of not more than a dollar per head. It has two floors with the upper one having no disabled access. However, most of the fascinating pieces are kept on the ground floor.

To reach the museum in the city center, those entering from the Southern side of Ndola have to cross Kafubu River which rents the city into two. Deliberately it has been broadened at Itawa Bridge to allow for boating but, of late, only fishermen can be seen casting their nets. That aside, the scenery is frankly attractive.

Then there is the Mukuyu Slave Tree (a fig tree) which is an important symbol in Ndola and celebrated as an extraordinary piece of Zambia’s history. As the name suggests, the Arab slave traders held their slave markets under that tree back in the 19th century. People riding or walking on Makoli Road have no excuse for not catching sight of that conspicuous monument.

With all those sights available, a tour of Ndola is incomplete until you visit Lake Chilengwa and confirm the presence of a mysterious force that pulls objects flying over it (including bullets fired from a gun). There is a good road leading to that sight, so a car can be used. However, the lake itself is sunken and its waters can only be reached on foot. Pushing a wheelchair down the steep slop can be dangerous but the lake can still be viewed from above. It is strongly advised that local escort is sought before visiting the lake as it can prove a security risk.

Endowed with those interesting sights, Ndola can be called a tourist city. All it needs is advertising.

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Jim Bridges

Just came across your article I lived and went to school in Ndola just a year into Independance I actually made President Kenneth Kaunda’s fresh orange juice at the first trade fair in Ndola1968 and was a 14 yr old boy in the same room as him what an experience. At school we lined the routes for state visits Julius Nyeere, Haile Salasse, Kamuzu Banda, to name but a few great experience seeing those people IN NDOLA. Great days great times never forgotten….Jim Bridges (England) UK.