We were very inspired by the Tiko community center before going there because we had read the website and thought that it seems to be a very very complete project that covers the need of the local community in a very large scale. And we were definitely not disappointed, actually it was better than expected. Not only the project aim to cover the local community needs but it also aim to teach them self sufficiency or how to only rely on themselves. In other words they give the fish but they also teach fishing. The story is pretty interesting by itself, Elke the founder started with giving education courses like literacy ( a very good way to teach fishing ) but one lovely and wise local woman told her that what they really needed at the moment were jobs. So a lodge was created and then came a restaurant and soon it was about 80 peoples working and "fishing". Coming up with all kind of local products ideas to sell ( jam, peanut butter, craft, soaps...) Today the project has opened to innovative agriculture with they call "climate-smart integrated circular farming" A very long name for a very complete method that produce no waste, actually it recycles waste. Not to forget mentioning the family planning to prevent AIDS, the nutritious program which include the offering of protein supplement made with products grows at the center itself, the literacy and informatic classes for adult, the school fees support for about 150 children and the kindergarten school. All of those amazing practices being organized in a folder called ( 22 steps out of poverty for the subsistence farmers) which is meant to be teach to every interested local people. ("fishing and fishing more") Arriving at a so complete project with so many workers we started wondering if our help will even be needed and if we wouldn't only be learning and be more of a problem than a solution (as unformed people can be sometimes). But in fact there is really room for any kind of knowledge's and skills there and we definitely felt useful very quickly and could "honor our exchange agreement" Also it is really important for us to mention that we have been treated very well by the welcoming local workers. They are always greeting a lot and smiling and helpful. By the way they will welcome you in their house at to show you their way of life so you can experience the "real Africa" which is the essence of the travel. So at the end we can really say thank you very much Elke and all the team and really recommend the place to anyone. Zikomo…
We stayed for a week at Tikondane Community Centre and volunteered. To be honest, we received so much more than we gave. We learned so much about Katete and Zambia, the running of an NGO, permaculture activities and how to fight poverty. The people there were incredible. Don't hesitate to go there if you want a true sense of community and an authentic experience. We will come back!
As a family we visited Tiko Lodge twice on our trip ... on the way from Lusaka to South Luangwa and again on the way back to Lower Zambezi. Tiko was the highlight of our whole trip, welcoming and friendly, safe and secure. The accommodation was amazing: authentic Zambian, clean and tidy with comfortable beds and two bathrooms. It gave our children (aged 7 and 4 years) a real insight into Zambian life. We were given an tour of the community and learnt all about the education and opportunities Tiko gives to the very vulnerable in society. We joined in Saturday Pocketmoney Club with local children (who came to learn how to make compost and other life skills), were taught how to make peanut butter and were served simple, tasty meals on the verandah. All money raised goes directly to the community ... cannot recommend more highly!!!…
I visited Tikonda on my way from Lilongwe in Malawi to Lusaka in Zambia. The perfect place to stay if you want to experience local life. Tikondane is a community centre in Katete. It's a beautiful place where local women are trained to be subsistence farmers to achieve better living conditions, like. The prices are very affordable and all the money goes right where it should be. They offer a lot of activities like a workshop for drumming, making your own jam, peanut butter, soap. Learn about permaculture or visit a traditional ghost dance in a community nearby. I did them all! The people of Tikondane are so warm and welcoming, I felt at home immediately. I had an amazing time, so if you travel to the east of Zambia you should definitely stop at Tikodane.
Tikondane is many things. First it´s a community centre that teaches „19 steps out of poverty“ to help locals turn self-sufficient in a cash-strapped economy. Second, it is a cozy little lodge that you can use as a convenient stopover on your way to Malawi or the national parks on the Luangwa river. You can always choose to stay longer, enjoy the tidyness of the spacious rooms, opt for your own bathroom with a shower and hot/cold running water and eat the delicious home made African food that´s served on the shady verandah. I stayed for over a week, tried to learn the complicated greeting rituals (and produced roaring laughter at every turn) and slowly adapted to the rhythm of the community. I watched the gardening, drying of Cassava with solar power and the production of drinking glasses from empty wine or beer bottles. Eventually (like probably 95% of white female guests) I opted for a closer look at the 95-strong preschool class and met Mwasei who not only manages close to a hundred kids in the morning, but also nine of her own in the afternoon. You want to get a glimpse not only of lion, leopard and elephant in Zambia, but also of peoples´ lifes? You want to meet strong and inspiring Zambian women? There´s no better place to start than at Tikondane. And the best part: Your money does not feed a Western tourism tycoon, but goes to sustain an environment-minded community of approximately 1000 people with a 75-year old German-Australian female founder and a consent-oriented, grassroots democratic structure.…
Of all the accommodation alternative on this route to Lusaka this was probably the best budget place to stay. It is a little community project. The rooms were nice and the food was good. If you want a hot shower you have to let them know in advance. It sells home made peanut butter and jam which is definately worth buying. We enjoyed our stay here. A nice overnight place and you are helping the community too.
11 of us from Australia stayed here (including 6 and 8 year old) very comfortably in the cottage. The accommodation was very cozy, power was available, hot water was delivered when requested for bathing, the food was absolutely beautiful. Elke and her team went out of their way to make us feel like family. The history of the people, the dancing and the atmosphere was an absolute must if you're traveling through.
We went to Tikondane with all the family (kids 9-14-15) we spent 2 weeks in the area in the purpose of volunteering and also visiting a real community. All Tiko crew is amazingly welcoming and although we are big africa travellers we got a better understanding of local communities and issues. You have a basic sleeping facility and a restaurant where you enjoy of the shadow of the Beranda when the sun is too much. If you are looking to go deeper in knowing a Zambina community this is a great option !
The accommodation is basic but clean and very good value. Tiko is all part of a project to bring tourist income into this very poor rural area and understanding that will help you to enjoy the experience- you will have a lot of Zambian life-colourful and sometimes noisy- going on around you so get with the programme! And don't miss the ox-cart ride to a local village, you will not experience anything like this anywhere else! Food is good but limited supplies mean you need to be flexible. Watch out for billing if you are on a budget as they like to recalculate at the end based on current Forex rate, and also if you want hot water discuss arrangements when you arrive, they can be a little complicated.
Tiko Lodge is very near St Francis Hospital, which is why we stayed there. We had a comfortable room with en-suite shower and a shared room with facilities for basic cooking and a dining table. The people were lovely and always did their best to make us welcome and to look after us. There is a restaurant, and we had good breakfasts and coffee there. There was usually some interesting noise - children playing, a Sunday church service at top volume, music and shouting from the bar across the road and always something interesting going on. Be sure to read the in-room information through, and for goodness sake, go on the trips. Ours by ox-cart to a nearby village was extraordinary and wonderful. Loved the place.