Chipata, which was known as Fort Jameson in pre-independence days, was the administrative capital of Northeastern Rhodesia from 1899 to 1911. The town is now a busy, trading centre and as a result of its history, has an interesting “old quarter”.
The airport is located approximately 6km out of town to the west. It has no landing lights, so is a day use only strip. The nearest hotel to the airport is Katuta Lodge, but Mama Rula’s is also relatively nearby.
There are many small Indian shops as well as the large supermarket chain Shoprite Checkers, numerous banks and fuel available. Extended lunch hours from about 12:00 to 14:00 are observed in this town.
Thieves used to be very bad, so do be sensible about your belongings. Another place to stay is Sunnyside Farm campsite, 14km east of town on the Malawi road (continue past Shoprite).
Population in Chipata Zambia
Chipata, population 98,416, is the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Having a boma, a market, a hospital, a shopping centre and a number of schools, Chipata is the business and administrative hub that serves the region. The town boasts a golf course, an airport, a mosque, and even a "welcome arch".
The town is the regional head of the Ngoni of Zambia. As such, Ngoni is the primary language, although Nyanja and English are widely spoken, plus some Indian languages, as a large number of Zambian Indians live in the town.
Chipata is located near the border with Malawi, and lies on the Great East Road which connects the capitals Lilongwe (130 km) and Lusaka (550 km). The town is a popular access point for the South Luangwa National Park.
The Chipata Border Post
Chipata is the main route to Malawi. The border post is east of town, heading out past Shoprite. There is a long stretch of no-mans land in between the Zambian and Malawi border posts, although the two governments have recently come to an agreement over the border and will no doubt be relocating the posts.
It is important to have a yellow fever certificate if you are traveling to or from the north. The gate way to Malawi and the Luangwa game parks is Chipata, which is just 19 km from Malawi.
Attractions in Chipata, Zambia
When you are approaching this town from Lusaka, a Welcome arch signaling the beginning of this bustling town will not miss your sight.
If you have studied abit of history, you will tell by the sight of the warrior’s weapons (spear and shield) on top of the welcome arch that the dominants of this town are the Ngoni. It is indeed in Ngoniland under their parliament Chief Mpezeni.
If need be that a vehicle coming from Lusaka refuels before reaching the interior of this town, they need not worry because turning to the right after this welcome arch is a fuel station. At this point refueling, tyre mending, vehicle spare parts are all available. If you are thirsty there is a small Supermaket attached to this filling station.
If you have come to this town with criminal intentions, then you had better be careful because just about 1 and a half kilometres to the left from this filling station is the main police station.
Turning left from the police station will take you to the main township Kapata Market. At this market people sell different types of commodities including second hand clothes locally known as "salaula."
Back to town at the main police station and moving towards Malawi to the right is Barclays Bank and to the left is the main Post office. Two more filling stations will probably catch your sight as you move forward.
You need not worry about purchases in Chipata because of the availability of supermarkets like Shoprite. You can purchase almost anything in these Supermarkets, local or foreign products.
Most locally produced commodities especially vegetables colourful fruits and some spices are commonly sold at some local markets.
A local market called "Saturday Market" situated in town just along Umozi highway as you are proceeding towards Malawi. Although this market is called Saturday Market, it is in operation every day of the week.
The bicycles you may see on this picture above are a major source of transport to the local suppliers of commodities to this market.
If you have heard a gossip about the availability of a large Indian community in Chipata, then I would say turn that gossip into proven truth because you will tell by the availability of many a Mosque in this town.
This mosque above is located in a business area down to the west of the main police station. This place is commonly known as "Down shops" where most Indians do their businesses. A lot of merchandise can be found here.
Accommodation should not worry anybody in Chipata. There are a few Guest houses and motels with sustainable infrastructure where you can stay at. In fact behind Shoprite is a camping site for camping lovers.
Activities are normal in this town. During the residents’ leisure time a lot of recreational activities are done. People go out drinking or having a nice time. Pool and darts have become major games played mainly in drinking places.
Even young boys and girls are involved in educative activities such as AIDS and other health awareness programmes.
Generally the people of this town just like many other Zambians are friendly and welcoming. "muli bwanji" is a nyanja word most commonly spoken here meaning, "how are you?" and "bwino" means, "fine."
|Languages spoken||English, Ngoni, Nyanja|
|Currency used||Zambia Kwacha (ZMK)|