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Town Nchelenge

ID: w146744 View large map

Located in Zambia :: Great North  :: Nchelenge
Category: Places :: Town


Nchelenge is a village on the southeast shores of Lake Mweru, close to the delta where the Luapula River enters the lake. The settlement is located adjacent to Kashikishi village and the two are often referred to as Nchelenge-Kashikishi. The town is named after a tree-bearing wild fruit, ‘kelenge’ in the local language.

Nchelenge is the administrative centre for the Zambian part of Lake Mweru while Kashikishi is the market and fisheries centre. A ferry runs three times a week to Kilwa and Isokwe islands from Nchelenge.

Traveller Description

The border between Zambia and the DRC falls roughly in the middle of the lake; three sparsely-inhabited islands: Kilwa, Chisenga and Isokwe, are located on the Zambian side. Despite their great tourism potential, these islands have just a few villages and no other accommodation. Large caves on Kilwa contain some ancient rock paintings (not signposted) and it’s said that David Livingstone once overnighted on the island and added his inscription to the rock paintings (unconfirmed). The island was also used by copper, ivory and slave traders, and some related relics can still be found here.

The Luapula Delta is an important breeding ground for local fish species; fishing, especially for chisense (a local sardine), is the main form of economy in Nchelenge. Though it’s not a tourist attraction, the few white beaches remain quiet and unspoilt and the shores are dotted with fishing boats and children playing in the sand.

A large ferry transport trucks from Dikulushi Copper Mine (50 km from the lake in the DRC) to Nchelenge, from where they travel onwards via Mansa through the Congo Pedicle and Namibia’s Caprivi Corridor to Walvis Bay for export, avoiding the poorly maintained roads of the DRC.

Address :  Zambia
Host Website :  Click Here
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  Airtel & Zamtel

Destination Information
Police Hospital Doctor Petrol Diesel Intermittent Diesel Supply Bank ATM Internet Cafe Lodging Camping Bakery Restaurant Pharmacy Tyre Repair Mechanical Repair
Facilities :  Shops, General Dealer
Intermittent Diesel Supply

Fishing Bird Watching
Boat Trips
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information

There are only guest houses here although one may camp on the lake shore with prior permission of the owner.

Passenger ferries to Kilwa and Isokwe depart from Nchelenge.

Tow-in services: Try: +27(0)97 473 7848 / +260(0)96 676 1647 (Based in Lusaka).

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]. (

There is a Police station in the town.

There is a fuel station in Nchelenge but supply isn’t reliable. Food (including fish) is sold from small shops and one should rather stock up in a large town before continuing to Nchelenge - although the Kashikishi market offers a good range of local produce.

For vehicle repair services there is the Mpukis Bros Shop which you can try, they do repair motor vehicles and motorcycles, sale of motor vehicle parts and accessories.

 Travel Tip!

Fuel in Nchelenge is unreliable, be sure to refuel before travelling here.

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