Written by Lawrence Mukombo

Visiting Mukinge from another country


Mukinge or Bust!!

We are looking forward to having you here, and hope that the following information will be helpful as you make plans and prepare to come!

Questions? Contact: Michelle Proctor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Each short term housing unit is supplied with the basics. It also has indoor plumbing complete with hot water (living the good life here!).

  • Kitchen: Kitchen utensils, refrigerator/freezer and gas stove or electric rings. Electric kettles, toasters and microwaves in some houses,. “Cooking in Zambia” book is usually available for a small price at Mukinge; it will help you figure out what to do with what you have. If you have a cook book that will help you cook from scratch, bring it!
  • Bedroom: Bedding including linen and towels are provided. If you are coming for longer than 12 months we ask that you provide your own linen and towels. These can be bought in Lusaka if you want to save on luggage space. Mosquito nets are available for use.
  • Laundry: There is no clothes washer and most people hire a local worker to do the laundry. We can help suggest a suitable individual when you arrive.
  • We do not always have 24 hour electricity, but most of the time we have electricity for most of the day. Electricity is 220v and 50 cycle (different from US and Canada, same as UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). Sockets and plugs are British style so you may need to bring an adapter for the socket even if your appliances are 220v. If you are from North America, please note that you will need a transformer, there are not many extra ones out here, so if you need one, please check first. Many electrical appliances are available in Lusaka so buying them here may be an option.
  • FOOD  

    Most everything is available in Lusaka. Here in Kasempa there are some small shops nearby but the selection is quite basic and changeable (flour, oil, sugar, margarine, spaghetti, macaroni, dry soup mixes, oats, bread, eggs, some meat and fish) Other farmers come door-to-door selling what they have available. We try to arrange it so that you have time to grocery shop in Lusaka before travelling on to Mukinge. If this is not possible we will arrange for one months supply of basic food to be purchased for you in town before you arrive. A Shoprite supermarket is now available 2 – 2.5 hours drive away. It has most basics you might need. If someone is going you can often give them a small list (and money) to buy items for you. Some things are not available in Zambia and the following is a list of what current short termers say to bring or have friends send if you can’t live with out it: Nuts – especially pecans, Koolaid, decaf tea and coffee, Ziplock bags, chocolate chips, parmesan cheese and your favourite candy (sweets) or chocolate from home! If you are vegetarian please let us know especially if we are shopping for you (or you may find yourself selling off a load of frozen beef!). It also helps the hosts who will have you over to eat in the first few days you are here.

  • Weather

             Cool and Dry Season: May to July – Weather is sunny, cool and dry. It can be cool at night (30’s and 40’s Fahrenheit, 0 – 10 degrees C), but it does warm up during the day to the 60’s and 70’s Fahrenheit (15 – 25 C)

           Hot and Dry Season: August to November – Sunny and getting hotter, still dry. Almost never over the 90’s Fahrenheit (30’s C). It doesn’t start to get humid until the rains start around November.

           Rainy Season: December to April – sunny warm and wet. Usually rains some every day.


Check here and here for more details on Zambian climate conditions


  • Clothing tips:

                Appropriate and inappropriate clothes to wear:

                                  Ladies: In our rural Zambian culture, THINK CONSERVATIVE DRESS. Legs are out. Skirts and dresses that are below the knee and lightweight clothes are appropriate. Slits in skirts are best if they don’t extend above the knee. BRING A SLIP (OR TWO!) to wear underneath and make sure that the skirt is not see-through. Showing your legs is offensive to a rural Zambian, and the sun is bright making normally opaque skirts see-through! Sleeveless things are OK, but midriff tops (showing the stomach even slightly) are offensive to many rural Zambians. Shorts and trousers are OK inside your home or during your holidays away from Mukinge. Bring smarter clothes and shoes for dressing up. Bring bathing suit if you like to swim. There is a pool that is generally open from August through April.

                               Men: Bermuda-type shorts, jeans or slacks are worn. Casual wear dress slacks and shirt for Sundays. (Suit and tie are not usually necessary, unless you will be doing much preaching.) Simple enough eh?

                                 Foot wear: is usually a good pair of walking shoes and sandals. d)

                                  Rain wear: It is usually too hot to wear a rain coat but an umbrella is essential in rainy season. (Can buy in Zambia if don’t want to use up luggage allowance.) Wellington boots/gum bots are useful for children)

                                Cold season: If you are here during this time bring a sweater, sweatshirt or cardigan as the mornings and evenings really do get cool.

    Other Supplies:

    Torches: you will need a good torch (flashlight) for the evenings /nights. You do need to watch that you don’t step on a snake!! There are no street lamps except close to the hospital so it does help you see to get around. It gets dark between 18:30 – 19:00 hours daily.

    Insect Repellents: The rains tend to bring a lot of bugs and creepy crawlies so bring some repellents if you will be here during the rainy season. There are less mosquitoes in cold season but there is still malaria around at that time of year.

    Cameras etc: Feel free to bring cameras, video recorders or tape recorders. If your batteries are not a standard size (e.g. “AA”) then bring extra as they may not be available here. Rechargeable batteries are a good idea.

    Music: Most of the homes will not have a CD player so if music is important to you, you might want to bring one along. If using CD player on a lap top small speakers are a good idea.

    Sun-protection: Sun glasses are usually helpful as well as a brimmed hat and sunscreen if you will spend much time out of doors.

    Lap top computer: If you have one and use it a lot then it is good to bring it. If you want to email bring a lap top with outlook express or appropriate email manager. Wireless internet connection is available at Mukinge.

    Money There is little available to buy when you are out here but you will get local people selling vegetables at your door. In addition you will be responsible for paying the salaries of any inside or outside workers you may have working for you. Current average wage is about 50 cents US per hour.

    There is no bank that you can get cash from in Kasempa. The easiest way to get cash is to use an ATM machine in Lusaka before coming out to Mukinge (there is one at the airport) The Machines here only take visa cards (not mastercard or a visa that requires cirrus) so it is a good idea to bring one and know your pin number. If you do not have a card with a pin number money can be obtained using your visa card at the counter inside the bank but this is a long process and the banks are only open at certain times so we recommend you try to bring a visa card with pin number with you. Cash can also be obtained from the Church General Office (Known as GO or Chamba Valley) which is in Lusaka. The smallest personal check that they can accept is US$ 100 or equivalent. You have to give 5 working days notice and it is dependent on the cash availability and of course transport to get your money to Mukinge.

    Charges for electricity, gas for cooking, water and wireless internet access are paid at Mukinge.

    Between the months of August and April there is a monthly charge for the pool (If you want to use it). This is levied to make the pool available for use.

    Be considerate of others who are doing things for you. We recommend that you offer to help pay for fuel if you get a ride from someone (to or from town, the game park etc.). Not everyone needs help paying for fuel, but all will appreciate the offer.



    Packages sent airmail take 6 weeks to arrive from North America, Australia and New Zealand and 4 weeks from Europe. Some have arrived a year later! If you have family or friends that are planning on sending you loads of goodies by mail, here are a few suggestions:

  • Packages should be sent to you c/o Mukinge Hospital, PO Box 120092, Kasempa, Zambia, Africa.

  • Packages of minimal value (e.g.: US$10-15) sent in a padded envelope come through usually without difficulty.

  • Larger packages are better divided up into multiple smaller ones. It is usually the packages of higher value that attract attention in customs. If they charge customs duty it is based on the indicated value + postage paid + insurance value (if not insured they add a nominal insurance value anyway)

  • Advise people sending parcels NOT to overestimate the value. Nothing you receive, presumably, is for resale, so most things can be listed as “NCV” (no commercial value) or as gift.

  • More and more is becoming available in Lusaka. If your friends want to send you supplies or goodies, it may be more efficient (though not perhaps as much fun!) if they make arrangements to send cash so you can buy your own treats. However bear in mind that trips in to Lusaka are few and far between!

  • Social Life Is limited so we create our own On Friday nights there is usually a group of us that meet for a potluck meal and usually a movie, so you will be free to join us. If this is something you would enjoy, we are always looking for new DVDs, so bring out some good ones with you! Email first to see if a particular film is already here as we have quite a collection!

  • There are several meetings held through out the week

                There are prayer meetings every Wednesday

                 Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) meets on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

  • Church.

                Sunday morning services in the local churches vary. Most are in Kikaonde, some with English translation of the sermon. Two local churches have morning service in English. Sunday evening we have a station wide service (in English) in the hospital chapel.

  • There are lots of good places to walk here so bring your walking shoes, small backpack and a water bottle if you like to walk.

  • Swimming. The pool is generally open August through April.

    What areas do missionaries work in at Mukinge?

    We are involved along with our Zambian colleagues in many ministries:

  • Theological Education by Extension (TEE)

  • Scripture memory programmes

  • Christian literature production

  • Medical work

  • Nurses Training College (NTC)

  • Education –

               Mukinge Girls Secondary School

               Mukinge Hill Academy

    We hope that this answers some of your questions. If you have other questions, please contact us at one of the above addresses. We are looking forward to having you here to serve with us!