Zambia :: Barotseland
Category: Places :: Town
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Mongu is the capital of Zambia’s Western Province. As such, it’s a large town with more than 180 000 residents. It’s located on the eastern edge of the Zambezi Floodplains some 15 km from the Zambezi River. Thanks to the surrounding flat, level ground, the floodplains reach right up to the town’s edge. When the flood waters subside, a 35 km long channel connects the town with the river, via barge and canoe.Traveller Description
Mongu doesn’t offer much for tourists, as it consists of many government buildings. That said, it is a very convenient replenishment stop if you’re en route from Sesheke to Liuwa and/or Kafue NP.
This town is home to the Lozi tribe; their leader’s ‘litunga’ (royal home) is situated in the floodplains at Lealui, about 15 km west of the town. At the end of summer (around March), when the water levels rise and the floodplains are covered in water, the king moves to the homestead in Limulunga. This transfer between the two royal residences is marked by the Kuomboka ceremony, an important event in the Lozi culture.
Kuomboka means ‘to get out of water’ and it sees the king travel to his dry home at Limulunga in a black and white painted barge with a large replica of an elephant on top; his wife follows in her own barge, this one sports a large replica of cattle egret on its roof.
The rainy season lasts from November to April; the plains begin to flood from January peaking in April, and then subsiding completely by June. Green grass appears and the locals use the floodplain to graze their cattle and grow vegetables. The town is renowned for its woven baskets and carpet which are made from local vegetation. The Nayuma Museum sells some of these crafts, and also preserves the culture, arts and crafts of the Lozi People.
Fishing is a major source of protein here and fresh fish can be purchased almost daily. Rice is grown commercially on the floodplains.
|Mongu Municipal Council, Libonda Road, Mongu, Zambia
|Mongu Municipal Council
|+260(0)217 221 039
|Cellphone Reception :
|Main Cellular Network :
|Airtel & Zamtel
|Police Station :
|Petrol Type :
|Gas Refill, Shopping Mall, Shopping Centre, Shops, General Dealer, Bank, ATM, Foreign Exchange, Internet Cafe, Tour Services, Lodging, Butchery, Bakery, Liquor, Restaurant, Pharmacy, Airport, Tyre Repair, Tyre Sales, Mechanical Repair
|Other Facilities :
|Picnics, Fishing, Makoro Trips, Boat Trips
|More Activities :
|Visit to the museum in Limulunga. The Ku-omboka traditional ceremonies( only around February & March) just before the full moon.
|Notes on Activities :
|(Some activities may be offered nearby).
Accommodation in town is limited to guesthouses which cater for local businessmen but the Ikithe Luxury Resort on Lake Makakaela 25 km north of town offers comfortable campsites and sandy white beaches.
CELLPHONE & SIMS:
There is an MTN agent in the old business section of town. So if you have any SIM issues you can go there. But airtime can be bought at Shoprite and many other outlets.
In Zambia mobile data is cheap compared to South Africa. We would suggest that travellers buy a local SIM. Maybe even two, one form MTN and one form Airtel.
For great craft work visit the Mumwa Craft Association, with a market.
Tow-in services are based in Lusaka: Try: +27(0)97 473 7848 / +260(0)96 676.
NOTE: Visitors to Zambia are advised to have their own personal travel insurance. Local police, hospitals, clinics etc. cannot be relied upon.
Please note that any emergency numbers indicated on our data will be for the local police, hospital, clinic etc. and most of the times, don't work. Many tourism sites show the numbers like 999 for police, they often don’t work.
If you have a medical problem when in Zambia, Specialty Emergency Services has a Call Centre (24 hours). Phone them on 737. This company has offices in Livingstone, Lusaka and Kitwe. But they will fly anywhere to assist if visitors have the right insurance. If you want to check your insurance, contact SES on [email protected]. (http://ses-zambia.com/). (2019).
The Atlasmara bank at Shoprite will exchange money hassle free. Bring your passport.
Mostly only accept cash.
The Kobil fuel stop in town usually offers gas refill.
You can definately have your vehicle repaired in this town. You may just need to ask around to get to the correct service provider.
MONGU TO KALABO:
Further west, a tarred road reaching across the Zambezi floodplains to Kalabo was completed in 2016.
MONGU TO LUSAKA:
The town is connected to Lusaka via the tarred M9 or Great West Road.
The road from Mongu to Kalabo is a brand new tar road and it takes about 45min to get to Kalabo. So the old floodplain crossing is not required.
The road from Mongu to Kafue is tar.
SHOPS & SERVICES:
There are several fuel stops and ATMs in town and the modern,conveniently-located Barotse Shopping Mall is home to several banks (including Atlasmara which offers forex services), a pharmacy, restaurants and Shoprite supermarket. This last-mentioned stocks well-priced meat, fresh produce, beer, wine and even camping gear. Forex can also be exchanged at Natsave Bank a few hundred metres away.
Mongu should be on your list of places to get supplies when travelling through the west of Zambia as it’s located in the middle of Kafue NP, Luiwa and Sesheke.
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