The Zambezi River
Elephant Back Safaris
Horse Back Safaris
Open Vehicle Safaris
White Water Rafting
Tiger and Fly Fishing
Elephant back Trails
CITIES & TOWNS
In depth synopsis
TOUR & SAFARI Co's
When one looks out over Lake Bangweulu, the
grey blue waters disappear into the horizon, blending in completely with the colour of the
sky and its difficult to tell just where the horizon is. Bangweulu means
The Place Where the Water Meets the Sky.
The lake is exploited more as
a fish source than for its tourist potential. This is unfortunate, as its beauty is
There are rumours of developing a tourist resort and having a luxury cruise
boat for hire. But for the moment this is a an interesting stopover for the intrepid
vehicle traveller or backpacker.
The main catches in the Lake are Cychlids (bream,
tigerfish, yellow belly) and catfish. About 57 000 metric tons of fish are harvested from
the Lake each year. Although fish stocks are not in danger, catches are declining and the
favoured species are becoming thinner.
The fisheries of the Bangweulu are one of the largest in
Zambia. This has lead to some of the highest population densities around the lake where
commercial fishermen have settled. Nevertheless the fishing industry is not economically
well developed and inadequate controls and marketing facilities threaten both
sustainability and profitability of the industry as a whole. Many of the fishermen trade
their catches purely on a barter system for essential commodities.
Samfya is the largest town on the Lake, developed in the mid
1900s as a fishing village. You can
get basic supplies as well as fresh fish. There is a post office, clinic and adequate fuel
Access to the Lake
is from Samfya Holiday Beach, about 1km before town. It is possible to camp there . A new hotel has just been built nearby with small and basic but
adequate rooms facing the lake. There is also the Lake Bangweulu Water
Transport Guesthouse for cheap accommodation.
The Postal Services Corporation runs a transport boat from
the mainland to the three main islands in Lake Bangweulu; Mbabala, Cishi and Chilubi.
of the Njumbo tribe takes place in Samfya in October. If you are there at the time it's
worth finding out about for a fascinating insight into local customs and traditional
dancing. Any of the locals should be able to tell you the exact date as it changes from
year to year, or ask at the Tourist Board in Lusaka. Tel: 225174.
One can hire a motor boat from Water Transport into the
Bangweulu Swamps, which surround the
Lake for hundreds of kilometres. This may take a day or two to arrange, so plan early.
Fuel prices make it quite expensive, and be sure to take a guide.
a list of tour operators that will arrange all your travel requirements to Lake Bangweulu
and other Zambian destinations.