Shiwa Ngandu has a fascinating history which thoroughly deserves a visit to this family-run mansion to gain 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. Built painstakingly over several years, 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 - employing over 1,800 locals in an enterprise that included a hospital and schools. His efforts in establishing a profitable local industry took him through numerous failures and he finally settled for citrus crops that could be transported out of the remote location.
His efforts and attitude towards Africa were recognised and welcomed by the Zambian government, and Sir Stewart became an important political figure, including mentor to Zambia's first president in the early 1960s. Knighted by George VI, and appointed as a Grand Officer of the Companion of the Order of Freedom (the highest honour ever to be received by a white man in Zambia, to this day), he is the only white person to have received a full state funeral in Africa. Buried in 1967, he was given the honour of the local Bemba chiefs and buried upon a holy hill in Shiwa.
"...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."
The book “The Africa House” by Christina Lamb describes his struggle to build the estate which fell into disrepair in the 1990’s.
Charley Harvey, one of Sir Stuart’s grandchildren, and his wife Jo returned to rebuild the manor house in 2002 and 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.
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