Livingstone – so much to discover
Livingstone is the tourist capital of Zambia. And the reason isn’t very hard to see.
Situated near the banks of the Zambezi River, it is only minutes away from the world-famous Victoria Falls, locally named Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘the smoke that thunders.’
Because Livingstone is a real, economically active town with its own, unique attractions, it is arguably the most diverse and enjoyable Victoria Falls experience. The town’s culture and history is intriguing, as is evidenced by the arts and craft producers, museums, colonial architecture, traditional village life, local food and the general African lifestyle.
Its history in itself appeals to many. Originally known as the Old Drift, Livingstone was renamed after Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone, the first European to see, name and publicise the Falls.
But there is so much more to discover.
Armed with a Yellow Fever injection certificate and mosquito repellents in the warmer months, the international and local tourist will find some attraction or experience that will remain unmatched forever.
The mere size of the Victoria Falls – 1,7 km wide with a volume of between 20 000 and 700 000 cubic metres per minute falling down a vertical drop of 100 metres – is hard to convey to someone who hasn’t seen them, let alone the majestic, awe-inspiring views.
But members of the Livingstone Tourism Association will tell you that there is so much more than the Falls. It was one of the first white settlements in Zambia – formerly Northern Rhodesia – and for a while it was the only urban centre in the territory and the gateway to the north. Many buildings from the first decade of the previous century are still in use and although the town has preserved much of its colonial character, it is a typical African town with a busy charm.
Livingstone’s Mulobezi Railway line, formerly one of the largest private railway networks in the world, is an attraction in itself. Visit the Railway museum for a glimpse of the past or experience old-world grandeur and style on the Royal Livingstone Express. Perhaps even feel part of Cecil John Rhodes’ dream of a railway line from Cape Town to Cairo.
Between a visit to the Falls and marvelling in the attractions and lifestyle in downtown Livingstone, why not add a wildlife or adventure experience to the mix?
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, runs along the banks of the Zambezi River and offers some of Africa’s finest wildlife, including the white rhino. Since there are no predators, animals in the park are very relaxed and afford some excellent photo opportunities.
Other activities include guided tours for individuals or groups, safari and wildlife experiences such as lion walks, river cruises, fishing, rafting, river boarding, canoeing, microlight and helicopter flights and cultural performances. Cruises on the Zambezi River offer spectacular sunsets and animal sightings.
An exciting volunteering opportunity exists, with placements from half a day to six weeks, for people interested in working behind the scenes at the lion encounter project.
Livingstone and environs offer stylish lodges and hotels, as well as a wide range of accommodation options to use as base for discovering the area.
Members of the Livingstone Tourism Association – including accommodation establishments, tour operators, adventure operators, restaurants and vehicle renting companies – all offer professional, reliable services geared for a seamless tourist experience.