Things To Do
Shiwa N'gandu Estate
Shiwa Ng’andu was founded by Stewart Gore-Browne, an English gentleman born in 1883. Its nestled in the north east of Zambia, a country estate with beautiful English gardens and a slightly austere manor house, an unusual and incongruous sight considering its surroundings. The estate has a very interesting history. Gore-Browne first came across Shiwa Ng’andu in 1911 during his initial visit to Africa with the military commission. Before returning to Zambia after World War I, he spent time in South Africa post the Boer War. Thereafter his desire was to create a philanthropic community in the heart of Africa. On his return to Zambia, he bought Shiwa Ng’andu and the surrounding land. By 1925 he was employing 1,800 local people and with the resources of this tremendous workforce, he built worker's cottages, a school, a clinic, bridges and workshops and lastly a splendid manor house on the hillside above the lake. Sir Stewart Gore-Browne received his knighthood from King George VI and he was also highly respected by President Kaunda. When he died in 1967 aged 84, he was given a full state funeral and was buried on a hill overlooking Shiwa, a rare honour normally reserved for Bemba chiefs. It is a fascinating place with some incredibly interesting features, some wonderful old buildings and lovely gardens with bright bougainvillea, jacaranda and neatly laid out cypress trees. Inside the manor, wood panelled walls, muskets, sturdy chests, stone staircases and old military pictures are redolent of an era long since passed. The small, beautiful and ornate chapel at the main house has often been made available for select weddings with a truly unique atmosphere for those special occasions. SHIWA NG’ANDU MANOR HOUSE Sir Stewart’s eldest daughter Lorna and her husband John Harvey took over and ran the ailing estate in 1955 until their untimely death in 1992. Lack of funding and difficult country economics saw Shiwa fall almost beyond repair until 1999 when Sir Stewards eldest grandson, Charlie his wife Jo and 2 children Tom & Emma took it over and lovingly restored the fame and house to original grandeur. Today the house, the library, estate and incredible archives are open for guests to visit. Shiwa has four comfortable en-suite guest rooms, furnished with most of the original pieces from Gore Browne’s era, creating a feeling of bygone times. Simple hardwood fittings with unique painting and photographs decorate the walls and each one provides a story and memory to be recounted to inquisitive guests during afternoon tea or sundowners on the lake shore. Mealtimes are an opportunity to sample the delicious farm produce and sit at the original dining room table that Shiwa Manor House Gore-Browne frequented in full dress whilst entertaining various dignatories, from Zambian President’s, European Royalty and friends from around the world. At Shiwa House you are guaranteed a warm welcome from the Harvey’s who pride themselves on imparting their knowledge of history and sotries surrounding Shiwa and Zambia. IMPANDALA FARM HOUSE Nestled in a heady grove of tall trees, 10 minutes drive from the main house is Impandala House. This is the most beautiful of farm houses with dramatic views and originally built to house a pair of Scottish missionaries translating the bible from English to Bemba. The house has four spacious and light bedrooms – two en-suite, a warm, hospital lounge and dining room opening on to a typically colonial all round veranda that offers spectacular views down to the lake. Despite being a smaller version of the main house it commands its own impressive history and lays claim to being the location for Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s incarceration and the final signings of the Declaration of Independence of Zambia back in 1964. The surroundings and gardens are regularly visited by game, making it a peaceful haven for bird spotters and is often referred to as a ‘writers paradise’ and those who wish to escape the stress of modern day living. Although both houses only have four rooms it is possible to make arrangements for larger family groups. KAPISHA HOT SPRINGS About 12 miles away from Shiwa N'gandu are the Kapishya Hot Springs, a great attraction in their own right. Here, hot water bubbles out from the white sands of a lovely, crystal clear pool and combined with the cool of the river it makes a gorgeous place for bathing. The springs are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and tall raffia palms ACTIVITIES ON AND AROUND SHIWA Steeped in African history, exclusive Game and Bird walks and drives, community interaction, a visit to an iron age archaeological site, boating or fishing on the lake, a day trip to see the working farm, early morning climbs in to the Swamp Hides to see the rare and elusive papyrus dwelling Sitatunga antelope and forest walks to see the little Blue Duiker, there is plenty to do and see. The guides are experienced and knowledgeable and a diverse variety of some 22 other mammal species inhabit the area. The bird life is prolific with over 375 different species of birds and enthusiastic guiding from either Jo & Charlie Harvey makes this a rare treat for guests. A good mornings hike and climb up Nachipala Hill is always a challenge for the most ardent walkers wanting to take in David Livingstone’s Memorial. Shiwa Horse Safaris, formally from South Africa Horseback Safaris Steven and Lucy are now Shiwa based and have opened up their stables of exceptionally well produced and schooled horses, for experienced riders who want to encounter the African Bush from a truly different viewpoint. They have a long and extremely good reputation for the quality of their rides and can offer a wide variety of horses for the discerning equestrian. Sir Stewart’s legendary Kapishya Hot Springs are a short drive away and what could be a better way to soak away the enjoyment of hosre ridng or a busy day than sitting in the springs with a drink and convivial companions recounting the days events and the African Adventures to come.
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