Zambia’s Gateway to Victoria Falls and the entire Zambezi Region
Livingstone lies on the northern bank of the Zambezi River at the Zimbabwe border, just north of Victoria Falls. This charming colonial town, named after the legendary Victorian missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone, was once the bustling capital of Zambia. Established in 1905 as the country’s key European settlement, it enjoyed the excellent facilities synonymous with high society and the town still boasts the elegant Edwardian architecture of this era.
Today, Livingstone acts as Zambia’s adventure gateway, as it is conveniently situated near the mighty Zambezi River and the breath-taking Victoria Falls. The relaxed and friendly town of Livingstone, set just under 7 miles (11km) from Victoria Falls, is a fantastic base for visiting the Zambian side of the natural world wonder. With its international airport, Livingstone is also the premier gateway to the rest of Zambia’s luxury safari destinations, including Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa.
The Unique Devil’s Pool, Magical Lunar Rainbows and a Luxury Rail Dinner Experience
For a unique (seasonal) adventure activity, we recommend a trip to Livingstone Island, an island situated in the Zambezi River, 2 or 3 feet from the top of the Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. You will have the opportunity to stand in shallow water, 2 inches (literally) from where the water gushes over the edge of the falls, and swim in Devil’s Pool, a reasonable current-free pool a couple of feet from the top of the falls, close enough to lean over the edge. This makes fantastic photo opportunities with a permanent rainbow from the mist of the falls behind you.
A natural phenomenon that dazzles a fortunate few is the lunar rainbow at one of Southern Africa’s most iconic sites, Victoria Falls. When the moon is full and the Zambezi levels are high, a lunar rainbow or ‘moonbow’ appears like a phantom in the mists of Victoria Falls. The lunar rainbow at Victoria Falls can only be experienced for three days during full moon and when water levels from the Zambezi River are high. The three months considered the best for seeing particularly bright moonbows are June, July and August. Just seeing the Seventh Wonder of the World itself is an amazing experience. Add a once in a lifetime moment of getting lost in the magic of a lunar rainbow by moonlight and you are sure to be bowled over.
Fulfil a romantic dream and escape on a late afternoon train journey amidst the untamed natural Zambia bushveld on the legendary Royal Livingstone Express train. The Royal Livingstone Express is a unique dining experience combining the luxury of the Royal Livingstone hotel in Zambia with the charm of rail travel. The train is an all-inclusive luxury rail experience rooted in the nostalgia of a bygone era. Passengers travel leisurely as the sun sets watching the peaceful and scenic surroundings. There are two dining cars with a seating capacity of 93 passengers and a fully equipped kitchen car to produce a 6-course gourmet dining experience. From departure, the train moves directly onto the old Mulobezi Line, which has also been restored. The journey commences through Dambwa suburb towards the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, running parallel to the Zambezi River. Guests have the opportunity to catch glimpses of white rhino, buffalo, elephant and other wildlife. From there, the train crosses out of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park over the Sinde River and comes to pause some 17 kilometres from Livingstone. By this time darkness would have descended on the Zambezi Valley, and guests will be invited to dinner by the train manager in the dining cars. The train will then slowly push back to the Sinde ‘run around’ to afford the locomotive driver a good view of any obstacles in his path for the return journey in darkness, including of course elephants!
Explore the History and Culture of this Charming Colonial Town
Spend an afternoon museum-hopping in Livingstone. Situated in the heart of town the Livingstone Museum is ideal for history buffs who will be delighted to see the actual journals and belongings of Scottish explorer David Livingstone on display, and the museum – the largest and oldest in Zambia – has dedicated galleries for archaeology, ethnography and art, history and natural history.
A Mukuni Village Tour is one of our most popular Livingstone tours. The local Livingstone Chief, Chief Makuni, encourages visitors to his village which is home to some 7,000 Leya people, to gain valuable knowledge of how an African village is run and the day-to- day routines of the people who live there. A headman will escort you around the village to show how traditional huts are made and decorated, to explain village politics and to answer any questions that a client may have.
Maramba Market is the largest market in Livingstone Zambia – colorful, vibrant and bustling with activity. Here the local people sell everything; “chitengies” (brightly colored fabric), fruit and vegetables, grains and rice, curios, pots and pans made out of old motorcars, farm tools, chickens, beads and clothes. This is where the people of Livingstone come to shop!
Rhino Tracking in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is situated on the edge of the town and provides the perfect environment for unique wildlife encounters and activities along the Zambezi River just above the Victoria Falls. The Park runs from the Victoria Falls, and up 12 kilometres along the Zambezi River. It is the smallest national park in Zambia but is important as it was created to help conserve the wildlife which go back and forth across the Zambezi River, and is home to big game such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, as well as zebra, antelope, warthog and various plant and other animal species.
Less than ten of the rare white rhinos are also present in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, which are guarded 24/7 by rangers. During a rhino tracking safari, guests are provided the rare opportunity to meet up with these rangers and the white rhinos they are guarding and to get close to these gentle giants.
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