When one talks about tourism sites in Zambia, the first thing that people think of is the Victoria Falls and a few wildlife game reserves.
But those who have had the chance to travel the length and breadth of Zambia know that the country has more to offer in terms of tourism.
Much of Zambia’s over 10 waterfalls, along with many other touristic places are still relatively unknown because they have not been commercialised. Also, the road network leading to these places remains largely underdeveloped.
But this has not stopped a growing number of Zambians and some international visitors from getting to these lesser-known tourist spots dotted across the country.
Among the places that boast of having some of the most magnificent tourist spots is Kasama town, the capital of Zambia’s Northern Province.
Kasama is home to Mwela Rock Art Paintings, which are not only a national monument but also a Unesco heritage site with over 100 rock paintings associated with pre-historic times.
The town is also home to some of the most magnificent waterfalls known as Chishimba Falls, located 33km from the Kasama town centre.
A visit to Chishimba Falls revealed that the place is a hive of activity, particularly during the weekends and holidays.
Fed by the Luombe River, Chishimba Falls are a combination of three successive waterfalls – Mutumena Falls and Kaela Rapids, as well as the Chishimba itself. The falls are about 20m high.
Locals regard the Chishimba Falls as one of the most sacred places of power.
“The Chishimba Falls attracts a lot of local and international visitors. Most tourists are just happy to visit a place that is less commercialised and listen to the legends associated with it,” explained Bwalya Mulenga, 35, who resides in a village near the falls.
Mulenga who is always happy to serve as a tour guide added that unlike other waterfalls dotted across the country, Chishimba Falls never runs dry.
“I think that is the reason Chishimba Falls attracts visitors throughout the year. The number of people coming through the falls is also increasing,” he said.
Jane Chiwamina, 56, a resident of Mansa town in Luapula province of Zambia said places such as Chishimba Falls give people the ultimate experience because, unlike others, they are still in their natural state.
“I decided to visit the Chishimba Falls before visiting other tourist attractions in Zambia because I needed to interact with nature in its natural state. I also think it makes sense to visit tourist attractions that are much closer to where you are before going to those located in far places,” Chiwamina said.
She further called for more investments in terms of accommodation and public amenities to ensure that places like Chishimba Falls attract more visitors.
Mary Mwansa, 62, a resident of Kapiri Mposhi in central Zambia who recently visited Ntumbachushi Falls, a tourist site located in Kawambwa (a town in Luapula province of Zambia), said a growing number of people are beginning to visit Zambia’s hidden tourism places.
“It was encouraging to see a good number of people at Ntumbachushi Falls,” Mwansa said.
The Heritage Conservation Commission of Zambia revealed that there is growing interest in Zambia’s lesser-known tourism attraction sites.
“We are seeing more people visiting places other than the Victoria Falls. This clearly shows that people are beginning to appreciate other tourism spots as much,” said Isaac Kanguya, Manager of Information and Public Relations at the commission. – Xinhua