Mumbuluma Falls

near Mansa, Luapula Province, Zambia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
The lower Mumbuluma Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Mumbuluma Falls was a series of two wide waterfalls falling some 5-10m each. When we were there, we drew lots of attention being the only mzungus (non-blacks) in the area as apparently this place must've been way off the tourist radar. The whole time we were photographing the falls, a big group of local kids were watching what we were doing the whole time in kind of uncomfortably quiet way. Some of the boys climbed to the top of the waterfall and tried to pose for us. I guess they definitely helped us show a sense of scale regarding this waterfall.

We remembered this waterfall because our waterfall safari in Northern Zambia had already run through complications. In this case, we had spent lots of time getting stared at in Mansa as our safari vehicle had to have its transmission fixed. And after what seemed to be a two-hour delay, we drove another 90 minutes before we finally showed up at this waterfall (that included a few detours and our driver Chester spending lots of time asking for directions).

When we finally did find the right place, we paid and followed a local villager down a short but moderaly steep scramble to the bottom of each of the two waterfalls.

When we got to the bottom of the first waterfall, I had to do some rock hopping while getting my gore-tex boots a little wet to get directly in front of the falls. Once down here, we tried our best to take photos, soak in the scenery, but also tried to engage the local kids (though they seemed more interested staring at what we were doing or perhaps wondering why we were here).

After having our fill of the upper waterfall, we then continued descending to the bottom of the lower waterfall. This one seemed to be slightly shorter in height than the upper one. It also possessed a large plunge pool that was conducive to swimming, which a few of the local villagers demonstrated to us by jumping off the top of the falls and right into the pool.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Direct frontal view of the upper Mumbuluma Falls, which required a little rock hopping and willingness to wet the Gore-tex boots a bit for such a viewDirect frontal view of the upper Mumbuluma Falls, which required a little rock hopping and willingness to wet the Gore-tex boots a bit for such a view
This was Musonda Falls, which was also near Mansa.  We didn't devote a whole page to it given the rather disappointing experience thanks to the hydroelectric infrastructure and unsatisfactory views.  We accessed the falls along the road into Luapula ProvinceThis was Musonda Falls, which was also near Mansa. We didn't devote a whole page to it given the rather disappointing experience thanks to the hydroelectric infrastructure and unsatisfactory views
This was Mambilima Falls, which was also near Mansa.  This one was more rapids than a legitimate waterfall so we also didn't devote a whole page to it.  I don't recall how we accessed this waterfall, but it was on the way to Kawambwa after leaving Musondo FallsThis was Mambilima Falls, which was also near Mansa. This one was more rapids than a legitimate waterfall so we also didn't devote a whole page to it
Partial view of the upper falls with a local boy posing at its topPartial view of the upper falls with a local boy posing at its top

Partial view of the upper Mumbuluma FallsPartial view of the upper falls

Angled view of the lower Mumbuluma FallsAngled view of the lower falls

One of the local boys jumped off the top of the lower Mumbuluma Falls and into the large plunge poolOne of the local boys jumped off the top of the lower Mumbuluma Falls and into the large plunge pool. This proved to us that it was the lower waterfall that was certainly more conducive to swimming (as well as waterfall jumping).


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Fixated on the falls with a boy posing at the top of it


Fixated on the falls with a boy posing at the top of it


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since we were escorted out to Mumbuluma Falls, we can't really say anything too specific about how to get here since we didn't drive. However, based on our notes and what we could glean from looking out the window, we had apparently gone about 32km north of Mansa and then about 8.4km off the main road to get here.

As mentioned earlier, it took us about 90 minutes to go from Mansa to the falls.

Contextually, Mansa was was 472km (GoogleMaps says 6.5 hours drive) east then north of Mkushi, or 765km (GoogleMaps says over 10 hours drive) north of Lusaka.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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