The Lundazi Castle

The Lundazi Castle is one of Zambia’s most unique national monument and pieces of architecture. This castle is actually found within the city of Lundazi city, about 190kms north of Chipata in the Eastern Province, and it is a stone throw away from Lundazi Bus station. The road to Lundazi actually comes pretty close to Malawi at several points and you can get into Malawi through the border post at Mcocha, 20kms east of Lundazi.

Lundazi city is also home to the confluence of the Lundazi River and Msuzi River and it here that a dam was constructed by a District Officer – Errol Button in the 1940’s, due to a shortage of water supply in the nearby settlement. After the completion of this dam, Mr Button was charged with the contruction of a rest house (present day Lundazi Castle Hotel), to accommodate visitors to the valley and plateau area which surrounds present day Lundazi. It is said that Mr Button made a rough sketch design of the building he intended to build on a cigarette box.

The design of the Lundazi Castle was inspired by pointed-arch Norman castles from Scotland which were the trend in the early 1900’s. The ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ rest house was then built between 1948 and 1952 and repurposed into the Lundazi Castle Hotel in its latter years. Today, the Lundazi Castle Hotel has 13 guest rooms which are still in operation. One notable room I got to visit was the one where both that Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Queen Elizabeth were accommodated during their visits to Lundazi, the room led me to a balcony with a tower that has a spiral staircase to the ground floor (see the bottom-right picture).

Travel Tips

  • The site operates as a hotel and national monument, so there is a small fee you will have to pay to view it.
  • There are no flights to Lundazi but you can find buses which travel to Lundazi at the Chipata intercity bus terminus or you can chance / hitch hike from the outskirts of Chipata on the road to Mfuwe.
  • Driving to Lundazi was a feat of patience and perseverance because about 80kms of the 190km road was in such a bad state. What should have been a 3 hour journey took us about 4 – 5 hours drive.
  • There are few settlements along the Chipata – Lundazi but there are no fuel stations so ensure you fill up before you leave Chipata. There are no toll gates on this route.
  • Lundazi has fuel stations and a few banks with functional atms.
  • I recommend Tafika Lodge (+260 955 248 240 / +260 976 355 797) and Country 24 (+260 976 619 855 / +260 976 151 361 / ) for accommodation options.
  • As with all other travels, when you get to this site, be responsible and do your part to preserve it.

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