Kawaza Village Briefing
A genuine chance of experiencing rural Zambian daily life
The Valley is the home of the Kunda tribe who migrated from the Luba area in Congo in the first half of the 19th century. The Kundas form a small tribe of about 35,000 people. Traditionally the Kundas were hunters but today the majority live as subsistence farmers. The conditions are tough, with extreme seasons and crop raiding animals. The villagers in the Nsefu area are still living in the very traditional way.
In 1997 teachers of Kawaza School and members of the community, along with Robin Pope Safaris, took the exceptional step of introducing cultural tourism. They believe that modern tourists are not only interested in wildlife but also have an interest in meeting with and learning from the local people. And they certainly feel that the school children will gain from interacting with guests from different cultures.
A committee of 7 villagers and 3 teachers have developed a unique opportunity for the guests, who can either spend a day at the villages or overnight, staying in traditional huts in a village, sleeping on raised mats (with mattresses) and eating local dishes prepared on an open fire.
Upon arrival, a detailed program based on the wishes of the guest is drawn up The options include:
- a walk in the bush to hear about the different trees and plants and their traditional uses
- visit to the palace of the Senior Kunda Chief
- visiting local institutions (the local church, the clinic)
- spending time with the traditional healer
- interacting with the school children at Kawaza School.
However, probably the best way of getting close contact with the people is to take part in the daily life activities both at the village and by visiting the nearby villages on a "village walk". Guests are invited to join the villagers in drawing water, hoeing the field, grinding maize, brewing the local beer or whatever the villagers will be planning for the day.
In the evenings the villagers entertain with dances, drumming and drama. And the finest story tellers will recount the old, dramatic Kunda stories with everyone around the fire.
Throughout the stay there will be hosts allocated to you who speak excellent English and who understand the needs of tourists. If a day or staying up to a week we will provide an RPS guides as well. In the village, the guest will experience the traditional way of living. The only exception is the toilet facility which has been built as an English style long drop with a thunderbox. The beds have a mattress with sheets and a mosquito net.
Kawaza Village has not been 'set up' as a profit making scheme for a tourist company. It is a community who wish run a business and exchange ideas and culture with guests from outside the area. They feel that they and their children will benefit from this exchange. They also wish to raise money for the community development projects and for the school.