Shiwa Ng'andu Manor: The Africa House
Shiwa Ng'andu is a house modelled after an English mansion in the Muchinga Province of Zambia. Its name comes from the lake nearby, Ishiba Ng'andu, meaning 'The Lake of the Royal Crocodile' in Bemba. Sir Stewart Gore-Browne, a colonial soldier, bought the land in 1914, and the house was built from 1921-1932.
More about the backstory about Stewart Gore-Browne, how the land was chosen and the house was built can be found here! There is even a biography written about it called The Africa House. The True Story of an English Gentleman and His African Dream.
This truly is a once in a lifetime experience. When I think of the middle of nowhere, this is it! The English manor in Zambian bush, beautiful and antique. Walking the grounds and the corridors was like nothing I've ever experienced in Zambia before. It even has a chapel attached to the house! It's full of rich history, both sad and unique.
You all know I'm a budget/backpacker traveler and to be honest, this isn't a deal at all. The tour is overpriced at $20 with no discount for Zambian citizens or residents. The tour was less than average. The tour guide was not knowledgeable and just shared a few facts but really could not answer any questions or tell any stories, sadly. The tour itself, was a huge disappointment. If you do go, I advise you to read about it online or in the book first. If I had known that in advance, I'm sure I would have enjoyed the tour much more!
With that said...It is still worth it. I promise. There is just nothing like this experience which is why, on one hand, I can understand the high cost of the tour. They also don't get very much traffic so in order keep up with costs it also makes sense.
It is possible to stay there if interested! I think prices are around $150 or more per night. We met a couple who were staying there and then would still come to Kapishya Hot Springs for the day. I would definitely recommend staying at the lodge instead ($75 per person for a bungalow or $15 per person to camp) but they did say they really enjoyed their stay there! Again, a seriously once in a lifetime kind of thing.
Check out a short video here with more descriptions and views of the manor!