KITWE IN ZAMBIA
Sixty four kilometers west of Ndola is Kitwe, the hub of the Copperbelt and the principle industrial and commercial centre of the area. The city owes its existence to the copper mining industry but a considerable number of secondary industries have been established. Planned on modern lines, Kitwe has a large shopping area with hotels, a cinema and theatre. With the upsurge of copper prices in the 1950’s Kitwe developed from a small township to the second largest city in Zambia, obtaining city status in 1966. It then developed as an industrial and commercial area and later an important agricultural area. The good central position of the city in the Copperbelt area made it the most popular choice for industrial developers. Other industries include furniture manufacturing, batteries, clothing, asbestos and cement production, consumer goods manufacturing among others. Kitwe also has three well equipped hospitals.
Kitwe is largely undeveloped as a tourist town, due to the focus on mining and industry, but nonetheless is blessed with beautiful scenery and has two big rivers within its boundaries. Mindolo dam, about seven kilometres to the Southwest of the city center along Kalulushi road, has a boating club, swimming pool and bar. If you travel down Obote Ave, you’ll find the market place where there is a fairly large curio stall selling a wide variety of copper items and other Zambian arts and crafts. Definitely worth a visit if you’re passing through. Makwera Falls and Lake is about 9 kilometers off the Kitwe-Ndola dual carriageway. The lake is a center for fish farming. The falls are small but quite picturesque as they tumble from a small river over a wider rocky outcrop before settling in a shimmering pool on the rock basement. If one has an interest in mining it is possible to visit the mines and take a tour down one of the shafts. Thirty kilometers from Kitwe on the Kalalushi/Kasempa Road is a very charming bird sanctuary run by the Wildlife Society by the name of Chembe Bird Sanctuary. Thick woodlands surround a small lake and there are shady campsites at the waters edge. There are communal ablutions, lots of trees, plenty of firewood and well water. One can walk or drive around the lake and into the surrounding woodlands. Boats can be hired for fishing or bird watching from the lake.