Program & Schedule
This program is an essential way for you to understand Zambian culture and give you an opportunity to learn about its rich history. Not only will it make your trip more enjoyable, it will also help you to understand it’s way of life better and become familiar with the location, making your stay more comfortable.
The Culture Week is the perfect way to learn more about the local people, culture, customs, language and so much more. During this week, you will visit highlights of the amazing town of Monze, a small town in the southern province of Zambia.
The Culture Week will kick off with an introduction to Zambian customs, do’s and dont’s and language classes. Later on, you can expect to visit Choma, the capital of the southern province of Zambia where the government offices, zoo and hot springs are located. You will also have the opportunity to visit a shrine/ceremonial site where the Tonga speaking people in Zambia used to pray for rain and protection from any calamities which endangered the people’s lives before missionaries arrived.
Throughout the week you will also have the opportunity to participate in Zambian cooking classes, walks around the town, picnics and sightseeing in the outdoors, and more!
Aims & Objectives
- Improve your understanding of Zambian culture, customs and people
- Help you memorize local helpful phrases
- Help you settle into the local lifestyle for a longer stay.
- Culture and language class
- Walk and sightseeing around the village and Monze town.
- Welcome dinner
- Visit Chikuni Cultural Institute
- Handicraft making class
- Cooking class
- Dinner (cooking class)
- Depart for Choma town and for museum visit.
- Lunch outside
- Sightseeing in Choma downtown area
- Depart for Lochinvar National Park and visit zoo
- Lunch outside
- Continue sightseeing in the zoo and visit hot spring
- Visit holy shrine/Gonde ceremony site
- Project discussion and visit placement.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no further requirements for this program.
Living & Location
Monze is a small town (population 30,000) in the Southern Province of Zambia. The town is named after Chief Monze, widely acknowledged as the spiritual leader of the district’s Tonga people. It is a small farming town, with many of the locals involved in the agricultural industry.
Though small, it has basic necessities and services easily within reach, including bustling markets where you can buy anything - from local fruits and veggies, to delicious dishes and vibrant African fabrics known locally as “chenge”. Its people are quite open and friendly to foreigners, even though it’s tourism industry is not very developed, don’t be surprised if every single person you cross greets you and tries to converse with you! It may seem simpler than busier cities, but you will feel warm and at home in this small town!
Our center is located in Monze, the southern province of Zambia, which is about four hours from the capital, Lusaka. You will stay in a dorm-style center with other participants. Each house accommodates 12 people with rooms shared between 4-8 people (separate genders) and western-style toilets.
The staple food of Monze is Nhima (corn flour) but you will find rice for example in some restaurants that offer international foods. For this program you will find yourself dining on healthy local Zambian foods like nhima, potato, bread, meat, fish, lots of vegetable, nuts and eggs and sometimes rice and spaghetti.
Since our centre is located in the Monze township, there are local shops, restaurants, ATMs and a Mini-Mart within walking distance from the accommodation.
There are many transport options available including taxis, vans, buses which depart every hour to the capital of Lusaka and other towns south of Zambia, including Livingstone.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Livingstone is the home of the mighty Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (“The Smoke That Thunders”), which are one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It also the site of Livingstone National Museum which is located in the heart of the city. A trip to the famous Devil’s Pool on the Zimbabwean side is possible as well, as the border is easy to cross. Make sure you get your KAZA visa if you wish to visit Zimbabwe on a day trip as well, as this visa allows you to visit both countries freely.
Besides that, Livingstone is a sleepy town that is used to tourists and expats, which makes it a perfect and chill go-to place where you will be able to find Western food, cinemas, and more! Getting to Livingstone is very easy from Monze, with multiple bus companies (we recommend Shalom and Road Link) leaving from the main bus station throughout the day. The bus ride to Livingstone takes roughly four hours, making it an ideal weekend trip!
About 50 Km from Monze, Lochinvar has been designated by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) as a "Wetland of International Importance." Lochinvar is famous for its birdlife and wildlife too.
Magoye and Research Station
Magoye lies off the main Great North Road, North of Monze but South of Mazabuka. An Experimental Research Station is based there. A reproduction of Magoye as it was around 1960 from "The Northern Rhodesia Journal".
Mazabuka lies on the main Great North Road, North of Monze but due South of the Kafue river. Most noted for its massive sugar cane plantations.
This imposing structure is a monument to Monze's happier days when it was the centre for local farms producing large quantities of grain. Probably the largest building in Southern Province of Zambia. The silos are located to the North of Monze, on the East side of Great North Road.
Luangwa National Park
Founded as a game reserve in 1938, it became a national park in 1972 and now covers 9,050 km2 of woodland savannah. A world renowned wildlife haven having one of the finest wilderness experiences Zambia has to offer such as walking safaris.
From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.
Name: Republic of Zambia
Language: English, Bemba, Nyanja
Currency: Kwacha (ZMW)
Time zone: CAT (UTC +2)
Zambia is a huge country, shaped interestingly like a butterfly. It is home of the glorious Victorian Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Proud of its African heritage, it has had its political struggles. The people rose to gain independence from Britain in 1964, and it only became a multi-party democracy in 1991.
Many Zambians rely on traditional farming and for these people daily life can be a struggle, particularly when crops fail or illnesses spread. But is also has a strong mining industry, and its football team is fondly known as the “Copper Bullets” due to its heavy mining of this particular mineral.
Though English is its official language, it is a country full of up to 72 local dialects and/or languages, with Bemba being the most prevalent.
Though it can be hot in the lower valleys, much of the land lies across high plateaus where weather can be easier for first timers to the african heat.
Zambia is known as a land of three seasons that fall broadly into these three periods:
- Rainy season (December–April): During these months it is warm and wet, with temperatures in Lusaka generally in the low 20s°C. Most yearly rainfall occurs at this time. But sunshine is still frequent – Lusaka sees around five hours per day in January.
- Cool dry season (May–August): In the middle months of the year, temperatures drop, averaging around 16°C in Lusaka. July is usually the coldest month, with clear skies at night giving the occasional ground frost, even in the valleys.
- Hot dry season (Sept–November): Just two months separate the coldest month (July), from the hottest (October) as temperatures rise rapidly and reach into the 30s°C. High humidity can make this one of the least comfortable times of the year. The first rains clear the air and wash away the dust.
Following the arrival of missionaries in the 1800s, Zambia was influenced to be predominantly Christian, so Easter and Christmas holidays are celebrated. But many people also retain more cultural beliefs and customs.
Traditional ceremonies are held annually in various regions. Some mark when children become adults or commemorate a season, for example Shimuenga gives thanks for the safe delivery of crops and livestock. Others mark an historical event – Umutomboko celebrates the Lunda's conquering of the west.
But perhaps the most famous traditional ceremony is the Kuomboka, This ceremony dates back more than 300 years when the Lozi people first settled in the upper regions of the Zambezi. In this event, the Lozi people make their way in boats along the Zambezi for a ceremonial trip away from the annual floods. Kuomboka literally means ‘to get out of the water onto dry ground’. The Litunga (king) and his family lead the procession in a barge with white-dressed paddlers.
As in many countries, sport is hugely important. Football is the country’s main passion and Zambians were ecstatic when their team won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. This win was very moving due to a national tragedy years earlier where its national team was killed in an airplane accident.
For many Zambians, the staple food is maize/corn. The local cuisine is based on nshima, a stiff porridge made from ground maize. Other local dishes include ifisashi (green vegetables in peanut sauce) and samp (a crushed maize and bean dish).
If you’re brave enough, Insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas and flying ants are considered delicacies in Zambia. In fact during the rainy season, Zambians look forward to the once-a-year feast of fried termites.
Many meat dishes are available in stir fried form such as stir fried beef, pork, chicken and even fish. Stir fried vegetables seem popular too. Other foods like spaghetti, sandwiches and kebabs are becoming more common to find here, and even fried chips, chicken and sausages are becoming a common fast-food.