360 Degrees of Sky - Life in Rural Zambia

Hotel d'Horreur

Accommodation in Lusaka is a curious thing. There is a place we like to stay at because it's cheap and cheerful. With emphasis on both those things – it costs very little money to stay there and the company is always good. Unfortunately everyone else likes to stay there too, so it's usually booked pretty solid. We did manage to book a room for last weekend however. Or so we thought. But on rocking up, with an hour before the Embassy do started, we got told there was a mixup and now there was no room at the inn. And thus ensued a fraught 2-hour drive around Lusaka desperately trying to find somewhere to stay.

Unless you are a big businessperson on an expense account (we're not) and stay at somewhere plush like the Pamodzi or the Intercontinental Hotels, you are left with a choice of guesthouses which beggar belief. Many are openly brothels. The rest charge exorbitant prices for d├ęcor last seen in Auntie Marge's house, after she overdosed on her HRT meds with too many back issues of Gardener's World and Woman's Weekly to hand. As we drove round and round the capital The Husband was getting a bit hysterical at the thought of showing up to the reception late, in case it was a sit-down affair. I was more worried about them running out of booze, but figured that the combination of an Irish reception in Africa would mean the show wouldn't start until at least a couple of hours after the advertised time.

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