Ahhh, Chipata. You are a mid-sized Zambian town with the added benefit of being both a Provincial and District capital. However, rather than sharing the delights of fabulous Indian and Italian food like your counterpart, Livingstone, you are much like Mazabuka… bland and boring. Granted, you *are* full of interesting people doing work in the government and NGO communities who are wonderfully helpful, but as a town, you have little to offer.
Dean’s Hill View Lodge was (relatively) good to us… Dean, the man himself, was a spunky character with a charming heart for animals (chickens, ducks, horses, dogs — all had free range for the entire day and sometimes most of the night! Imagine a large horse traipsing around, at night, directly outside your tent when you desperately need to use the facilities…). The “lodge” staff was nice and gave us an excellent reference for a super-reliable and reasonable taxi driver, Alick. But, there was little water (at all) and only occasional hot water, no soap available (for hand washing all of the time and dish washing some of the time), the smell of meat permeated everything in the kitchen, and the electricity varied considerably.
Dean’s/Chipata was a semi-reasonable place to land, and we were there for ONE WEEK, the first half in a tent and the second in a room. The room was exceptionally clean (especially notable given the inability to clean with the lack of water (let alone hot water) or soap!). All in all, I was happy to move along to our next destination, Katete.