I first heard about the Lundazi Castle on Facebook years ago. It has been on my bucket-list since. Lundazi is in the Eastern Province of Zambia, over 730 Km away from Lusaka. I assumed the Castle was out of town and I would have to trek to see it but I was surprised when I discovered that it was right in the center of the town. It is literally a stone throw away from the bus station.
The Castle operates as a hotel and a national monument. So you can book a room if you want to have the full experience though you might change your mind when you see how lumpy some of the beds look. But touring the castle is enough for me that is exactly what I did. I left to wander around the castle on my own with no guide so I took my time.
The castle was the idea of a guy called Errol Burton, a permanent secretary in the ministry of Natural Resources. He was in charge of building a dam in Lundazi and there were no bulldozers or wheelbarrows in Lundazi so the workers had to use grass baskets to carry the soil. So after the dam was done, the Errol dude was like I think we need a rest house to go with this dam. And so he designed a Norman castle on a cigarette box and built the house. And it seems so many people liked and visited it because later they had to do an extension. And guess what it’s first name was… “Rumpelstilskin”. Ha! They jacked a name from a story book and thought we wouldn’t know huh? Anyway, later on the changed the name to Lundazi Castle Hotel when it changed from being a rest house to being a hotel (wait! Isn’t a rest house a hotel?)
I walked around the castle and discovered tiny windows, steep staircases and weird nooks. The hotel is functional so I couldn’t go into the rooms but there was so much to see in narrow hallways. The hotel has a bar and serves food to it’s patrons so you don’t have to book a room to hang out there. It was getting late so I couldn’t go out to the dam but I saw it from a distance and it is huge. It adds to the aesthetic of the place.
When I was done, I just walked away with no one taking notice or paying attention. I figured their nonchalance was a result of one of two things; they either get so many visitors that they just don’t care anymore or they get very few touring visitors so they just don’t care. But I was happy to be left alone because I prefer to tour on my own.
I’m glad I finally saw the castle. It was just as grand as I though it would be. It’s off my bucket list but I would like to go back again and see more of the dam.
Have you been to the Lundazi Castle? Would you like to visit it or nah? Do you know any other grand buildings in Zambia? Let me know.