If you are heading over to Zambia don’t just head straight to Livingstone thinking that is all there is to see of the country. Zambia’s capital is beaming with culture and activities to part take in. There are day trips available to Kafue’s river side or exploring the local markets like Soweto market or seeing the bustling in Cairo road. A great tip for Cairo road is to go there on the weekend as the weekdays there is traffic like no other! If you are a lover of retail therapy then head to the malls. What you should not miss out on though, is Kabwata’s Cultural Village. Home to some 70 woodcarvers, basket weavers and artists who showcase their creative spirit in the products they make. This place is not just for tourists, locals in and around Zambia know about this little national treasure. If you are visiting Livingstone many other towns, you will find that you cannot haggle too much with the prices as a lot of those wooden carvings are made here, the buy from here and resell in Livingstone and many other areas on the country.
Kabwata Cultural Village was established in 1974, ten years after independence when Zambia became independent from British rule. Coincidentally we are celebrating our independence today! Today, 24th October, marks 50 years of independence hence why some of you may have spotted a lot of flags in my resent post on our stay at Intercontinental hotel. The month of October is a month of celebration so Zambians are even jollier than usual, as they get ready for national celebrations through out the country.
Visiting Kabwata gives you an opportunity to see a glimpse of what some of the traditional buildings looked like in the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately some of them were torn down as they were going to rebuild on this site but with people uniting to keep this national treasure, you can now witness the beautiful carvings as well as meet the woodcarvers, craftsmen and women who come from all nine provinces of Zambia in keeping with Zambia’s traditional and cultural heritage of the country. There are tours running in the city that will also take you through the city centre, the home of the first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda and other local museums.
Below are some of the shots from the Kabwata, where you can find carvings of animals, home utensils; spoons, salad bowls, you can find wooden tables, stools, toys drums and even jewellery and handbags all made from wood and the Chitenge – Zambia/African print material.