Nachikufu Cave (Family Vacation Part 5)


It was hard to get Ian to smile and point at the same time.

Reading this week:

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The Nachikufu Cave was the one must-see thing on the whole trip. The only way we got my brother to agree to come all the way to Zambia was to promise to go to the cave. You see, Ian is big into cryptids, and the Nachikufu Cave is on the cryptid circuit because of two cave paintings that kinda sorta look like long-necked dinosaurs. So we promised we would go and go we did.

Besides the whole cryptid thing, the Nachikufu Cave is in fact pretty cool. It’s only a few kilometers off the Great North Road and is a very well done little site. If I can quote A Guide to Zambia’s Heritage in the entirety for it’s entry on the cave:

The site was used by the Bisa and the Lala people during the Bemba and Ngoni raids in pre-colonial era as a hide-out. It also comprises priceless archaeological and scientific information that dates to about 15000-20000 years ago.

The rock shelter and cave comprises numerous Naturalistic and Schematic rock art paintings such as elephants, antelopes, and elaborate grid-like/rectangular motifs. Nachikufu Cave undoubtedly offers tourist enjoyment and experience of historic times.

So that all is pretty neat. The cave has a fence around it that is locked, but you have to pass by the caretaker’s house to get to the cave so if you wait a bit he’ll show up. While we were waiting, we enjoyed the landscape which is pretty marvelous. You can definitely imagine the ancient cavemen keeping a lookout for game and sharing stories by painting on the walls at night, and posing on the top of the cave for pictures to post on Facebook.


Once the caretaker arrived and opened the gate, he showed us around the little displays they have of the cave paintings and the archaeological finds in the area. The cave itself is like, a prototypical caveman cave with a nice floor and a big cavern you could take shelter in and a few small paths. There is also a good number of bats. So that all was pretty cool to see. Plus the caretaker has a nice dog that lets you scratch behind his ears.


This pretty much sums up any of my family trips.