UA cultural expedition in the Eastern Province of Zambian to visit the world famous South Luangwa National Park and to attend the Kulamba (“Paying Homage”) ceremony of the Chewa people. Accommodation is Lodging both in the park and during the celebrations of Kulamba. You will be followed by a local guide and a local chef to maximise your experience.
The Kulamba Ceremony takes place at the end of August and is a moment when all the subordinate Chiefs of the Chewa people, currently spread between Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, meet in Mkaika to pay homage to the Paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi and celebrate the history and culture of the Chewa.
The ceremony was banned by the colonial masters in 1934 but paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi Chivunga revived the ceremony in 1984. Since then it has been an annual event. On the day of the ceremony, the centre of attraction is the main area where all the dignitaries are seated. The entrance of paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi into the arena signifies the start of the ceremony. Visitors from Zambia and Chewas from neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique are entertained to a variety of dances that are from three countries.
A variety of dances like Gule Wamukulu (Nyau), Gologolo, Makanja, Muganda, Chinamwali, Chimtali (the female dance) and many others are performed during the ceremony. The Nyau or popularly known as the Gule Wamukulu among locals, is the most celebrated dance among the Chewa people.
The Nyau dance (Gule Wamukulu) was officially recognized by UNESCO in 2006. Nyau dancers are referred to as Vilombo (animals) in Chewa, believed to emanate from dead spirits. There are a lot of Nyau dances at any ceremony. The type of the dance depends to a larger extent on the nature of the occasion. More than 30 different Nyau dances are performed at a single festival with each dancer adorning a different mask in an array of colours.
Some of the Nyau masks are a reflection of human behaviour in true life. The people can tell the type of Nyau entertaining them through its dress or mask. Some Nyau are frightening while others are fun.
Also part of the Kulamba ceremony is an annual initiation ceremony for the young girls who have come of age. The Anamwali or young girls have been in confinement where they have spent time being taught skills and responsibilities of womanhood.
Kulamba traditional ceremony brings together chiefs from 137 chiefdoms in Malawi, 33 in Mozambique and 42 in Zambia. The significance of this is its ability to bring Chewa under different chiefdoms and countries to Mkaika, capital of the Chewa and palace of paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi, to celebrate these festivals together regardless of today’s political boundaries
Our Tour will take you in the heart of one of the most authentic and mystical celebration left in Africa nowadays!
ATTENTION: DATES IN THIS PROGRAM ARE TO BE CONSIDERED PROVISIONAL UNTIL OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION FROM CULTURAL AND HERITAGE COMMITTEE
Day 1: August 16 – Lusaka
Upon arrival at Lusaka international airport, you will be assisted in final preparations (local SIM card, forex, etc.) before your Safari starts. Transfer to a good level lodge. Dinner in Lusaka not included.
Day 2: August 17 – Transfer to Mfuwe
Mfuwe is the closest village from where to access South Luangwa National Park. Even though it is very close to such an internationally acclaimed attraction, it still maintains the spirit and looks of a traditional Zambian village. To reach Mfuwe we will proceed for approximately 700km of tarmac road (Approx. 11 hours), stopping for lunch (not included) in a local lodge along the way. Once arrived in Mfuwe, we will check in at Marula Lodge, where we will spend the night in a chalet. Full board, cooked by the accompanying cook.
Days 3-4: August 18-19
South Luangwa National Park is the most famous of National Parks is Zambia due to the abundance of wildlife and the great opportunities to spot large predators. In addition to a large population of felines (mostly leopards and lions), it is home of a large number of elephants, hippos, buffaloes and numerous endemic species such as Thorncrofft giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeests, Crashway’s zebras. The Luangwa river has the highest concentration of hippos per km2 in the whole Africa and offers great reproduction and hunting ground for many animals, such as fish eagles, jackals hyenas, crocodiles and countless birds. Sunsets on the Luangwa river are unforgettable experiences and the visit to this National Park is consider one of the highlights for any true Africa lover.
During your stay, you will have 2 game drives per day and all meals at the camp. Nights will be lodging at Marula Lodge with a full-board arrangement, cooked by the accompanying cook.
Day 5 – August 20:
Early morning wake and last Game drive in the South Luangwa National Park. Return to camp for lunch and departure in the early afternoon. Stop along the way to visit the Tribal Textiles factory. After the visit proceed to Katete, where you will check in at Tiko Lodge, part of an NGO involved with the local community. Accommodation will be in very rustic chalet with a toilet and a bucket shower. Own arrangements for dinner at the lodge.
Day 6-7-8-9: August 21.22-23-24
Celebration of the Kulamba festival.
With the assistance of our guides and our local representative in Katete among the Chewa people, you will be facilitated in getting the best possible experience during the Kulamba celebrations.
Day 10: August 25
After breakfast, departure for Lusaka. We will stop along the way in the village of Luangwa Feira for a picnic lunch along the shores of the Luangwa River. Arrival in Lusaka in the afternoon (Approximately 450km of tarmac road, 7 hours). Accommodation in a good level lodge and dinner at the lodge or in one of the many restaurants of Lusaka.
Day 11: August 26
Based on your flight schedule, you will be brought to Lusaka International Airport. End of the tour.