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Building homes for Mwandi’s children orphaned by AIDS

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Mwandi Village

Mwandi means a place of "plenty fish"

Mwandi is a village located between Livingstone and Sesheke and is home to the Barotse Royal Establishment and Chief Inyambo Yeta IV. The village has little tourist infrastructure yet has much to offer tourists who are seeking an authentic African experience. The village is also home to the "kuta", or cabinet. Each kuta has a senior chief at its head, a prime minister (Leashimba) and a Minister of Justice (Mbanwa). The Kuta sits every day and anyone in the village is welcome to attend. The kuta deals with a range of issues affecting the tribal Sesheke district. Strict traditions still apply and anyone that wishes to sit in the Kuta should be aware of these. The kuta may only be entered from the back and upon entering you kneel and clap hands. It is an experience to see how one of the oldest governing systems in Africa still operates today.

The village itself is quiet, except for the bustling market in the main street. The market offers anything from brightly coloured materials to fresh produce and fish. Take time to stroll through and meet some of the locals who are always eager to assist. Mwandi gives one insight into the workings of a modern-day African village. Villagers can be seen collecting water in all sorts of containers from the borehole in town. A bell rings four times a day when the chief is in residence. Once in the morning to announce the start of a new day, twice in the afternoon to indicate the start and end of lunchtime, and at 2100hrs in the evening to indicate that noise should be kept to a minimum.

Mwandi is renowned for fishing as it is not heavily fished by tourists nor heavily netted by locals. It is therefore a part of the river that still provides excellent catches. Most visitors to the Zambezi come for the really big trophy tiger fish. These fish gather in the area over the winter months when the flood waters from the surrounding floodplains are receding. As the waters recede baitfish are forced back into the channels where the big tigers lie in wait. The river bottom is sandy and the river is not too deep, making it a good destination for fly-fishing. Here you will also find good stocks of nembwe, which can be caught either on fly or lure.

Mwandi is a relatively rural village in the South-Western corner of Zambia. The town is home to the United Church of Zambia Mission Hospital , which has a catchment area of approximately 33,000 individuals. With 8,000 living in Mwandi.

Local fishermen on the Zambezi River
Local fishermen on the Zambezi River