visit as a tourist

what to do and what to expect

Doris, kids and volunteers  - Visit as a Tourist

Katete is a quiet town so student volunteers won’t be out partying every night. On the flip side, you experience life in a small rural town as many people in Zambia live, and get to spend time working with Zambians that you probably won’t find in a city. And there are activities and places to visit nearby and in the surrounding area!

Available rooms – accommodation you will be staying in- here!


(ask at our reception, or book parts of it online:

  1. Tiko Tour:  

Duration: 45 minutes unless you want to understand the cycle of the Black Soldier Fly Maggot, then it will be more like 90 minutes.

A friendly member of the Tiko crew will take you around. Tiko has two hectares. Visit the gardens, the village area with chicken, ducks, rabbits and goats, watch early childhood classes, spend time in the craft shop, see the Guernsey Great Hall with machines as well as its conference part (one church is meeting there on Sundays), see the production unit for chicks, and the five focal points of climate-smart integrated farming. When you have had enough, just sit on the big verandah which doubles as reception area and cafeteria. For colder days, there is the dining room.

  1. Drumming
Tiko Experience - Drumming

Duration: 1 hour

Learn drumming with Joyce, one of our wonderful energetic women, who will teach you the amazing African rhythm. Do not miss this great opportunity.

  1. Cooking:

Duration: half a day Prepare the yummiest Zambian dishes on the mbaula with charcoal or the claystove with firewood, and enjoy them afterwards in our lovely restaurant

Tiko Experience - Cooking
  1. Peanut Butter or Jam making:

Duration: 2-3 hours.

Discover the secrets behind Tikondane’s, learn how to prepare the famous peanut butter and jams with the fruit of the season. Ask at reception what’s being made today!

  1. Permaculture:

Duration: Half a day.

Improving soil fertility, providing year-round food and water are vital. We invite you to work and explore with our experts in our gardens to pick some of our tricks to use at home! The latest are our vegetable rings, which are filled with compost, humus and stones in equal amounts to grow the most wonderful vegetable. A potato tower can cover the half and acre’s crop!

You might want to have a look at our course book ‘TIKO 22 STEPS OUT OF POVERTY FOR THE SUBSISTENCE FARMER – ask at the reception.

  1. Compost making

The hot Berkeley 18-day method works well for us – at the end we always find a handful of worms, which we then put to work in other containers to give us HUMUS and VERMILIQUID, the latter being a powerful fertilizer.

  1. Climate-smart integrated/circular farming – New unique low tech knowledge

In different places you will find HYDROPONIC FODDER, AZOLLA and Black Soldier FLY MAGGOTS – have fun and think of the people in Katete who, with affordable chicken feed thanks to these products, will have less malnutrition and hunger. 

Tiko Experience 7 integrated circular farming
  1. Soap making:

Duration: two and a half hours. 

Find out how to make soap the traditional way and why not buy some in the shop afterwards! 

  1. Weaving

Duration: half day.

Spend some time with our weaving team and learn how to make scarves, stoles and scarves as well as travel wraps and bedspreads. In the craft shop you also find educational items for children, namely knitted family members for playing family and the big five from the game park sewn by hand.

  1. CHINAMWALI the women’s initiation dance

‘Chinamwali’ is the equivalent of the ghost dance for women. It is an eye-popping initiation dance and training that Zambian women in the villages go through the moment they have their first period. The training is performed by the adult women of the family, the girl having to stay in the house for up to three months. The women practice this dance however once a week or more for the rest of their life. You can observe something that is so secret that local boys and men are not allow to see. Luckily Muzungu (white) men are allowed to do so as ‘honorary women’. The women make their own songs and the drumming and the dancing are spectacular.

There is a regular practice of the Chinamwali dance at Tiko on Fridays.

Further afield

  1. Visit a local family in a compound (nearby) or a village (further away).

Anyone of the Tiko crew will be very happy to show you, their home. In both types of areas, mud houses have been replaced almost entirely by brick houses, so the surroundings tend to be less romantic – especially when you notice the many would-be windows filled with bricks until there is money to buy a window frame – The visit will be amazing, though, with the friendliness of the people and the laughs of the kids. Seeing the inside, it will make a last impression on you. And they love to invite you to a meal! 

  1. St Francis Mission Hospital
Tiko Experience 12 12-	St Francis Mission Hospital

SENTI, as it is called by the people, is right next door to Tiko. Both, the hospital and Tikondane Community Centre were given the land by the local Chief M’bangombe, who is the right-hand man of the Paramount Chief of the Chewa..

Elke worked there before she founded Tiko and she has permission to enter the hospital at any time, while otherwise visiting hours may have to be observed. The hospital has 300 beds and always a Muzungu doctor on hand. It was founded by a famous doctor, Cairns, a surgeon, who has written two books on surgery in the tropics, which made teaching nurses a lot easier. The hospital has been run by a local man successfully for some twenty years now and has many overseas students. 

Originally the hospital was started in Msoro, a small place close to the game park, where a cathedral was built in 1910 – cf below about a visit there. The area had so few people, however, that the hospital asked for land close to the main road, the Great East Road, which runs from South Africa to Tanzania. They were given the land, but on the condition that Catholics and Anglicans had to manage the hospital together.

  1. Tour of Katete:

Duration: 2 hours. 

Explore Katete market and experience all the sights and smells! You can find all sorts of things at the Markets including beautiful fabrics with African designs, the ‘Chitenge’ from which you can have a skirt or a shirt made by a talented Tiko tailor. There are some in our shop for you to choose too. If you are interested, you can be taken to the leader of the traditional healers. The centre is not very far from Tiko, but far enough to enjoy a trip on a bike taxi.

If you take a taxi, you may see the other side of Katete, the Boma, where the British had their offices, 12 km away.

And you might want to drive to see the dam, built by the EU, to give water to the townspeople. There was a crocodile once we visited!

  1. Tour of Katete Industrial area:

Duration: 2 hours 

Near Tiko, is one area where bricks are made by a number of people. – On checking recently, the area had moved quite a distance away. Bricks need a lot of forest to burn, so the ‘factory went a bit further away from the police. Many people, however, have moved to using cement blocks for their houses.

  1. Church Services Sunday

Duration: 2.5 to 5 hours. 

The locals are very religion, they have about 23 denominations in Katete.You can check our list at reception and choose one to get more familiar with their costumes and believes. A member of the Tiko crew will take you and the congregation will receive you with open arms. 

  1. Mphangwe mountain
Mphangwe mountain

Duration: half or three quarters of the day.

For those lovers of hiking, the ones who always look for the high places to find the better points of views, climbing Mphangwe mountain is for you. Enjoy a magnificent view at sun rise or sunset.

There is an easy and a very difficult way up, on either end of the mountain – in both cases you need transport to get there.

Mphangwe hiking team

Further away tours

  1. Rockface-Chadiza area

Duration:  a bit more than a half day, please book a week ahead. Min 2 persons.

Visit the breathtaking rock face on the top of a medium mountain, where inmmemorial waterfalls have left a multi-colored miracle. If you have 4×4 vehicle, you only need the guide.

  1. Cathedral visit

Duration: 10 hours. Min 2 persons. 

Visit the cathedral in the middle of nowhere at Msoro. 110 years old and truly magnificent, especially if you should be there on the occasion of the inauguration of a priest!  Please note that the 80km road to get there is slow and bumpy and the trip will take over 3 hours. A taxi can take you there, but not willingly – the road is just too bad.You can go with your 4×4 and a guide. There is a bus, but the guests who took it, spent the night on the road. There are hot springs nearby, sadly without any amenities that would allow you to prepare for a bath.

  1. Ghost dance (Gule Wamkulu)

Duration: 2-3 Hours. Min 2 persons.

Encounter the mystical and very energetic Ghost dance, ‘Gule Wamkulu’ by the Nyau, which is learned as an initiation rite by the village’s young men, practiced regularly and performed at official functions to do with the chief.

The dance is a taste of the ‘real’ Zambia and was formally recognized by UNESCO in 2005 for its cultural significance. Tiko has been given permission by his royal Highness, Chief M’bang’ombe, to have its guests watch the rehearseals wich take place at night and involves the whole village, children and women included. It is not a show and early booking is essential because they happen in villages randomly.

  1. Kulamba

End of August, from this year again (covid no more) there is the big traditional ceremony of KULAMBA. The paramount chief of the Chewa has 12 million subjects, and more than in Zambia are found in Mozambique and Malawi. The show, however, takes place only ten km from Katete.

Chiefs festival 3
Chiefs festival

Saturday is the main day, but the days before there is lots to see – this will be an unforgettable experience and our crew will be happy to help. For the Saturday we organize tickets in advance, which are not easy to get, and we get seats in the best area, but to be really in the best place, one has to be there early

  1. South Luangwa National Park

Two and a half hours by taxi.. Public transport is much cheaper but less comfortable and starts off at midnight, when you want to return. We used to recommend Flatdogs Camp sleeping in a safari tent surrounded by elephants and hippos, but there are now many new lodges, which may be cheaper. At Flatdogs Tiko volunteers get a discount. Well worth it

To book accommodation or for any queries please contact Tiko Lodge on telephone: +260 777501737 or email:

We trust that you will have an interesting time and will get a chance to see ‘the real Africa’.

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