A new backpackers -- Natwange Backpackers -- has opened up in Lusaka, and sets a new benchmark for the others to follow. Be sure to keep this secret to yourself!
This hostel is located in the affluent, peaceful, northern suburb of Olympia in Lusaka, about two kilometers north of Manda Hills shopping complex, and takes a bit of effort to find -- as there are few signs until you are almost there! Head off the Great East Road, north along Kwacha Road, between Manda Hills Mall and the Monte Carlo Casino. Follow the plentiful signs to the NGO "Good Neighbours" and you'll find Natwange Backpackers opposite and round the corner.
Rooms and Bathrooms
We have rarely, if ever, stayed at a backpackers so well furnished, crisply laundered, and tastefully decorated as this place. It really is a cut above anything else you are likely to see in this part of the world. Recently opened in the past few years, it's dazzlingly clean. The rooms and seven-bed dorm are spacious and have colourful bedding and comfy mattresses. The bathrooms are few for the numbers potentially staying here, but the water is hot and towels are provided on request.
There is a lounge with a large-screen TV and ok Wi-Fi and a lovely sitting area with cushioned sofas undercover in the garden. There is also a clean pool for cooling dip in the hot afternoons.
The breakfast area is also outside in the garden, and is the one thing that is just ordinary about the place. It's functional at best, but the breakfast certainly isn't! Breakfast is included in the price and we sat helping ourselves to the tea, coffee, cornflakes, and toast that are laid out for guests. When we'd filled up, out came the shakshuka, a Middle-Eastern dish of eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms cooked by David, the Israeli co-owner. We were stuffed! The rest of the day we spent lounging around in the garden hammocks trying to digest it all!
The breakfast is indicative of the care the owners David and his Zambian wife, Anita, have lavished on their guesthouse and the attention they give their guests. They are full of information and ideas about what to do in Zambia and everyone is made to feel very welcome. This place really is second to none. It's for people who really want value for money and are looking for a quiet base within easy reach of the city without having to deal with the hassle and noise of staying right in the centre.