Shiwa Ngandu has a fascinating history. This family-run mansion is well worth a visit to get a truer idea of Sir Stuart Gore-Browne’s vision.
Built deep in the African bush by this English gentleman in the 1920s, Shiwa Ng’andu is a large English country manor house in the heart of Africa.
Sir Stewart replicated his homeland’s style in every way, building classic furniture out of local wood and importing an entire library, collection of ornaments and paintings from England.
Unhappy with colonial attitudes towards Africa, Gore-Browne set about trying to establish a utopian society. He employed over 1,800 locals in an enterprise that included a hospital and schools.
In his efforts to establishing a profitable local industry, he had numerous failures before finally settling on citrus crops which could be transported out of the remote location.
His efforts and attitude towards Africa were recognised and welcomed by the Zambian government. Sir Stewart became an important political figure and mentor to the country’s first president in the early 1960s.
Knighted by George VI
Sir Stuart Gore-Browne was appointed a Grand Officer of the Companion of the Order of Freedom (the highest honour ever to be received by a white man in the country to this day).
He’s the only white person to have received a full state funeral in Africa. After his burial in 1967, he was given the honour of the local Bemba chiefs and buried upon a holy hill in Shiwa.
Sir Stuart Gore-Browne was born an Englishman and died a Zambian.
Perhaps if Africa had more like him, the transition from colonial rule to independence would have been less traumatic.
Charley Harvey, one of Sir Stuart’s grandchildren, and his wife Jo returned to rebuild the manor house in 2002. Today it has been extensively restored and the game on the farm restocked.
The estate can be explored on horseback, foot or vehicle and visits to the nearby Kapishya Hot springs can also be included in a trip to Shiwa Ng’andu. The springs lie in a beautiful area and afford a rejuvenating bathing experience as well as good bird watching and walks.
The book “The Africa House” by Christina Lamb describes his struggle to build the estate which fell into disrepair in the 1990’s.
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