Emirates Airlines have announced a new route from Dubai to Lusaka (Zambia). At first glance one would not think that this destination could ever attract a scuba diver, a freediver, or spearfisher. However, Zambia holds a multitude of secrets that are not widely published.
To start your trip, you can visit the Munda Wanda Environmental Park, host to an education centre and botanical gardens and operating as a sanctuary for Zambia’s wildlife. An ideal place for a family excursion, it has over 40 species of wildlife, most endemic to Zambia, and over 1000 varieties of flora with an equal balance of exotic and local species. After a couple of days at safari, water lovers can head up to the Copperbelt to Ndola, and explore the magical Lake Kashiba.
Lake Kashiba lies southwest of Ndola in the Copperbelt Province. It is not far from Kitwe and Mufulira which are the original copper mining towns. The lake apparently has a large variety of fish species and it is surrounded by a mushitu (swamp) forest. The lake is 800 metres long and the depth at the centre of the lake is yet to be discovered. Expatriates residing in Zambia over the years have attempted to find the bottom on scuba, and residents have reported over 70 metres of depth in some parts, and 6-8 metres in the shallows.
Other scuba diving trips are offered at the majestic Lake Tanganyika in the heart of the Rift Valley. The waters are crystal clear and Ndole Bay (the first recreational dive operator to open in Zambia) uses up to date equipment (Aqualung, Bauer and Suunto) to ensure diver safety. The lake is relatively shallow (20 metres) and teaming with tropical fresh water fish.
Fishing enthusiasts can take trips on the Zambezi river where there is good fresh water fishing including catfish (locally termed as vundu), fat bream, and tiger. For those who are comfortable with white water rafting there are 23 wild rapids on the Zambezi River just below the Victoria Falls.
Flights from Dubai are non-stop on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with returns on the same days of the week. The duration of the flight is 7 hours. Flight schedules begin on 1st February and are currently listed at 2,890 AED (526 GBP or 787 USD).