REMARKABLE ENGLISH STATELY HOME SET IN AFRICA
Shiwa N’gandu (Africa House as it is known by those who have read Christina Lamb’s book so called) is a majestic ‘English House Manor’ built in the Zambian wilderness over 80 years ago.
The house carries a great romantic story which in its own would make it worth a trip here. Now owned and run by the original owner’s (Sir Stewart Gore-Brown) grandson Charlie Harvey and his wife Jo, they share the history of this “English Country Home” in the African bush.
All rooms are simple with original hardwood furnishings and paintings and en-suite bathrooms. Fireplaces are lit every night and the atmosphere at Shiwa is unique. The food is good, simple wholesome farm fare. The garden is full of beautiful flowers and the lawns well maintained. Guests have complete run of the house and many spend hours enjoying the library of Sir Stewart’s books, record collections and in the archives. Outdoors, there is plenty to do with game viewing, boating on the lake, fishing, superb bird watching, river walk, historical drives and walks, meeting the people on the estate, visiting the schools and hospital and ongoing projects.
You can read all about the Shiwa Ng'andu story in Christina Lamb's superb book which we have reviewed here: The Africa House: Christina Lamb
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Shiwa Ng'andu Manor House
Sir Stewart’s eldest daughter Lorna and her husband John Harvey took over and ran the ailing estate in 1955 until their untimely death in 1992. Lack of funding and difficult country economics saw Shiwa fall almost beyond repair until 1999 when Sir Stewart’s eldest grandson, Charlie his wife Jo and two children Tom & Emma took it over and lovingly restored the farm and house to original grandeur. Today, the house, the library , estate and incredible archives are open for guests to visit.
Shiwa has four comfortable en-suite guest rooms, furnished with most of the original pieces from Gore Browne’s era creating a feeling of by gone times. Simple hardwood fittings with unique paintings and photographs decorate the walls and each one provides a story and memory to be recounted to inquisitive guests during afternoon tea or sundowners on the lake shore.
Meal times are an opportunity to sample the delicious farm produce and sit at the original dining room table that Shiwa Manor House Gore-Browne frequented in full dress whilst entertaining various dignitaries, from Zambian President’s, European Royalty and friends from around the world. At Shiwa House you are guaranteed a warm welcome from the Harvey’s who pride themselves on imparting their knowledge of history and stories surrounding Shiwa and Zambia.
Impandala Farm House
Nestled in a heady grove of tall trees, 10 minutes drive from the main house, is Impandala House. This is the most beautiful of farm houses with dramatic views and originally built to house a pair of Scottish missionaries translating the bible from English to Bemba.
The house has four spacious and light bedrooms – two en-suite , a warm, hospitable lounge and dining room opening on to a typically colonial all round veranda that offers spectacular views down to the lake. Despite being a smaller version of the main house it commands its own impressive history and lays claim to being the location for Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s incarceration and the final signings of the Declaration of Independence of Zambia back in 1964. The surroundings and gardens are regularly visited by game, making it a peaceful haven for bird spotters and is often referred to as a ‘writers paradise’ and those who wish to escape the stress of modern day living.