Livingstone Zambia Tourism Guide

Zambezi River cruise

Livingstone Zambia Tourism Guide: First, the City of Livingstone lies just 10km from the Victoria Falls, the most fascinating waterfalls in the World. In fact, Victoria Falls was named by David Livingstone, the first European to have come across Mosi-oa-Tunya way back in 1851. ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ translates to ‘the smoke that thunders’.

Many people have heard little about Livingstone Town in Zambia, although Victoria Falls has become a world tourist destination. In this article, let me share a bit of what you did not know about Livingstone.

David Livingstone

The local people of the tribes of Tonga, Baleya, Toka and lunda have settled here way back in the 16th century..
The Baleya are believed to have come from the Rozvi tribe, the once dominant tribe that built the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. These tribes were later conquered by Chief Mukuni, whose origins are from Congo. David Livingstone’s first sight of the Victoria Falls was on Livingstone Island on the Zambezi river.

Today Livingstone Island offers tourists a touch of beach life serving breakfast and ‘high tea’ on the back-flip of the Victoria Falls just meters away. The craziest ‘swimming pool’ in the World is just above the waterfalls, accessed from Livingstone Island. Devil’s Pool, as it’s popularly known, opens during the low water level of the Zambezi river. Usually from February to August. At high water level, however, there is another pool called the Swim of Angels. Tongabezi runs the Livingstone Island Tours, with visitors being transferred from the jetty to the island by a speed boat every hour.

How did Livingstone Town grow

Since its discovery, Livingstone Town has steadily expanded and positioned itself as a renowned tourist hub in Africa. With a populace of 150 000 citizens, the City covers an area of 695 sq km. Back in 2010, it was the Capital City of the Southern province of Zambia. Owing to the gigantic numbers of visitors who visit Victoria Falls each year, Livingstone is presumably the most visited destination in Zambia. Its industry has risen proportionally to reach the calls of tourism. The Zambezi river is the engine of growth for the two nearby capitals of Livingstone and Victoria Falls across Zimbabwe.

Livingstone Zambia Tourism Guide

Today, an excellent range of hotels have been established, ranging from 3 stars to 5 stars World class accommodation. Notable hotels are the Avani Hotels, Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls Waterfront, Protea and the freshly refurbished Fairmount hotel right in the City Centre.

Other lodges and campsites have taken the limelight for visitors to Livingstone in recent years. Jolly Boys is one such club that has attracted mostly youths for its vibrant reception and entertainment. Most activities done in Livingstone can be bought from the accommodation and service providers would fetch you from the lodge or hotel. Restaurants in the city have delicious dishes of fish and local maize-meal porridge known as ‘nshima’ or ‘pap’. Zambezi is a popular clear beer alongside Zimbabwean and South African wines. Night life is quite busy with people switching clubs which are not very far apart anyway in this small town.

Rafting in Zambezi River
Rafting in Zambezi

Getting around Livingstone

Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International airport, formerly Livingstone airport, has been upgraded and an international terminal added. Popular airlines with services in Livingstone include Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, British Airways, South African Airways and Airlink. Most of the flights connect with Lusaka, Victoria Falls, Gaborone, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The airport is just 10km from Livingstone Town. There is Taxis to transfer guests to town. In most cases, though, one can arrange with the hotel or lodge on booking for a pickup from the Airport.

Livingstone Zambia Tourism Guide

Livingstone Town is the hub of tourist activities in Southern and East Africa. Travellers from South Africa and Kenya find Livingstone as the ultimate holiday destination. After weeks of Safari in Africa’s most prominent national parks like Kruger, Etosha, Hwange, Mana Pools, Serengeti and South Luangwa, to mention a few. Livingstone becomes somewhat of a place to relax and admire the magnificent beauty of Victoria Falls in various ways.

Mukuni Big 5

Mukuni Big 5 is the best activity center for most ‘Must-do-Activities’ in Victoria Falls. Packages are well priced, with a remarkable staff that is both expert and reliable. With Mukuni Big 5, it’s a one stop shop for your stay in Livingstone Town.

Zambezi River cruise
Zambezi River sunset cruise

Top of the list of activities here is the signature sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Enjoy the African rhythm of marimba and African traditional dance as you sail through the Zambezi River, wedged by two National parks. Hippos take their usual deep gasp, revealing their giant teeth and tiny eyes. Crocodiles floating like dead logs of wood near the shore, or occasionally just lazing in the sunlight. As the sun goes down and so does your last drink of the day, head back to jetty.

Mukuni Big 5 has embarked on a huge conservation programme for elephants, lions and cheetahs. Visitors may visit their center for a close-up experience with the World’s dangerous animals.

Things to do in Livingstone

There are day trips to Chobe national park for an impressive experience of game drives in Botswana from Livingstone Town. Mosi-oa-Tunya national park is just outside Livingstone and home to rhinoceros, not so common in most nearby national parks. Zambezi National park across the river in Zimbabwe is again home to big mammals like giraffe, buffalo, elephants, kudus, to name a few. As you might have surmised, bird life in the Zambezi River is copious. If you love birds, a morning walking safari will be your best moment to catch the songs of rare species of birds in the Zambezi river.

The waterfalls
Livingstone Zambia Tourism Guide

Unique to Livingstone is the sky above the waterfalls. Take a scenic trip on a microlight above the smoke and rumble of the Victoria Falls only from Livingstone Town. It’s an experience of a life, absolutely not for the fainthearted. How about a 15-minute helicopter overview of the scenery surrounding the World’s majestic Victoria Falls? The view of the Zambezi river, Livingstone Town, the two National parks, the gorges, and the surrounding community on one page.

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