Zambia – Likumbi Lya Mize – 13 days 2018-04-27T16:57:03+00:00

Project Description



Cultural Expedition


Country:  Zambia
Name:  Likumbi Lya Mize
Type of Tour: Cultural Expedition
Number of days: 13 days / 12 nights
Type of accommodation: Mainly Lodging – Camping in the National Parks
Rates: On Request

Running: ONCE A YEAR (17 August)

A cultural expedition in the heart of Zambian traditional masquerade: The Likumbi Lya Mize of the Luvale people.

Accommodation is mixed camping in the parks and lodging in the main cities. You will be followed by a local guide and a local chef to maximise your experience.

The Likumbi Lya Mize has been declared “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2005. It’s the final and most exciting part of mukanda, an initiation ritual for boys between the ages of eight and twelve. This ritual is celebrated by the Vaka Chiyama Cha Mukwamayi communities, to which the Luvale, Chokwe, Luchazi and Mbunda people belong who live in the northwestern and western provinces of Zambia. Come with us and discover an incredible Cultural Experience, that only a small number of persons outside the Luvale tribe have had the honour and privilege to see. The ceremony actually starts about 1 to 3 months before, when young children are taken away from their village to symbolize their “death” as children, tundanji, who do not belong to the world of the living. The mukanda involves the circumcision of the initiates, tests of courage and lessons on their future role as men and husbands. Each initiate is assigned a specific masked character, who is with him throughout the entire process. These characters include Chisaluke, who represents a powerful and wealthy man with spiritual influence; the Mupala, the “lord” of the mukanda and protective spirit with supernatural abilities; Pwevo, a female character who represents the ideal woman and is responsible for the musical accompaniment of the rituals and dances. The Makishi is another masked character, representing the spirit of a deceased ancestor who returns to the world of the living to assist the boys. The end of the mukanda is celebrated with a graduation ceremony called chilende. The whole village attends the Makishi dance and the audience is entertained with pantomime-like artistry until the graduates re-emerge from the camp and are reintegrated as adult men into their communities and families. This ritual has an educational function of transmitting practical survival-skills as well as knowledge about nature, sexuality, religious beliefs and the social values of the community. Our Tour will take you in the heart of one of the most authentic and mystical celebration left in Africa nowadays!

Day 1: August 17

Upon arrival at Livingstone international airport, you will be assisted in final preparations before your Safari starts.
Transfer to Olga’s Guesthouse and accommodation in a very central area of Livingstone. Dinner in Livingstone not included.


Day 2: August 18

Livingstone, the tourist capital of southern Africa, is the gateway to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world.
During your stay, you will enjoy a guided tour of the Victoria Falls and a Rhino Drive in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Accommodation is at Olga’s Guesthouse, in a very central location within the city of Livingstone. Own arrangements for meals in Livingstone.


Day 3: August 19

After breakfast, you will start off for the Lozi region (Barotseland), one of the wildest and less touristic areas of Zambia, moving along the Zambezi river for 300km. Arrival in Sioma Ngwesi and set up of the camp. Lunch prepared by our accompanying chef and afternoon guided visit to the Ngonye Falls, a small and hidden gem unknown to most tourists, where David Livingstone remained for 4 months, bewitched by the beauty of the place.
Return to camp, and relax on the white beaches of the Zambesi. Dinner on the beach, around the fire.
Night camping.


Day 4: August 20

Breakfast and preparation to continue the journey to Mongu, the capital city of Barotseland.
We will stop for lunch in a local restaurant to try the region’s traditional meal: Nshima. Check in at Dolphin Lodge and accommodation in double room. Own arrangement for dinner.


Day 5: August 21

After breakfast, we will cover the 400 km (of which 270 of dirt road) that separates Mongu from Zambezi, where the Likumbi Lya Mize is taking place. We will stop for a packed lunch along the way and cross a pontoon at Watopa. Arrival is in the late afternoon and we will find accommodation at a local guesthouse.
Zambezi is a very rural area with only 1 luxury lodge, usually reserved for politicians and head of states who visit during the Likumbi Lya Mize ceremony. If it will not be possible to find accommodation In this lodge, we will have to resort to a local guesthouse, therefore, spirit of adaptation is essential.
After arrival, you can wander around the small village of Zambezi, that will be a hive of activities for the Likumbi Lya Mize.
Night spent at the guesthouse. Own arrangements for dinner.


Day 6: August 22

First day of the Likumbi Lya Mize.
Makishi (the spirit of the ancestors of the Luvale people) emerge from their graves and possess the bodies of the dancers. These spirits, confused and disorientated are led by the Luvale women along the streets of Zambezi, screaming, shouting, dancing and performing esoteric rituals along the way. At sunset, they will gather along the shores of the Zambezi river and cross by boat on the other side, symbolizing the crossing of the passage from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
Own arrangements for meals during the celebration. Night at the guesthouse.


Day 7: August 23

After breakfast, we will have a meeting with a local historian of the Luvale people and organiser of the Likumbi Lya Mize, who will teach us about the history of the Luvale people, their traditions and the Likumbi Lya Mize, explaining the rituals and meaning.
In the afternoon, celebration of the Likumbi Lya Mize on the white beach of the Zambezi. At Sunset, return to the guesthouse.
Own arrangements for meals during the celebration. Night at the guesthouse.


Day 8:August 24

After breakfast, visit of the Zambezi village and purchase of gifts to present to Senior Chief Ndungu to thank him for his hospitality.
We will then have a private meeting with the chief inside the Royal Palace of Mize, during which we may ask questions about the tradition of Likumbi Lya Mize or simply pay our respects.
In the afternoon, the celebrations of Likumbi Lya Mize will take place outside the royal palace.
At Sunset, return to the guesthouse.
Own arrangements for meals during the celebration. Night at the guesthouse.


Day 9: August 25

After breakfast, we cross the Zambezi river and reach the royal palace arena, where the climax of Likumbi Lya Mize will take place. We will have VIP seats in a vantage position, being personal guests of the Royal Family.
Attention: it’s possible that we will have to wait for quite some time in order to allow all the head of states, the politicians and representatives of all tribes to reach the Arena. Therefore, we will have to be patient while waiting for everything to be ready. During the day, there will be many celebrations and rituals that will be explained by your guide. Makishi will enter the arena and kneel in front of their king, while the living will be chanting the prise of the Luvale people. There will be numerous dances by the traditional dancers animal sacrifice and finally the children will come back to life in a climax of dances.
Lunch and drinks can be bought from the numerous stands next to the arena.
At sunset, we will return to the guesthouse for our last night in Zambezi.


Day 10: August 26

Early departure for a long transfer to the Kafue National Park across Miombo forest and rural villages. We will have packed-lunch along the road to try and arrive to our destination as early as possible before sundown.
We will set our camp at Mayukuyuku Lodge and dinner will be prepared by your guides, Accommodation will be camping in the unfenced wilderness.


Day 11: August 27

Day completely dedicated to exploration of the Kafue National Park. Wake up at dawn and quick breakfast with hot beverages and biscuits before leaving for a sun-rise game drive in the Park. Return to camp at mid-morning, brunch and relax in the warmest hours of the day. Afternoon game drive and return by sun- down. Dinner cooked by your guides and night spent camping.


Day 12: August 28

After breakfast, time for a last Game drive in the Park and brunch, followed by a 3-hours transfer on tarred road to Lusaka.
Accommodation in a good level lodge on a B&B basis. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare your luggage before having a farewell dinner!


Day 13: August 29

Based on your flight schedule, you will be brought to Lusaka International Airport. End of the tour.


• All accommodations detailed in the program
• All meals detailed in the program
• Vehicles, fuel, driver, cook and certified guide
• All camping gear (excluding towels and pillows)
• All Park entry fees
• All game viewing activities detailed in the program

• International flights
• Alcoholic beverages
• Visas
• Activities not done by African View Tours and Safaris and not included in the program
• Travel insurances
• Personal expenses
• Gratuities
• Anything not specified under “inclusions”

On Request

13 days – Min. 4 pax (2-3 pax: +50%)


Sunday 11 and Wednesday 28


Sunday 2 and Wednesday 12


Monday 7 and Wednesday 16


Sunday 8 and Wednesday 18