Named after the famous Victorian missionary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, the Town was established in 1905. As a major European settlement, the town was made the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1911. As the capital, it enjoyed excellent facilities far superior to anything in the country, as can be seen from the surviving Edwardian colonial buildings that line the city’s main road, and even had the distinction of having the country’s first newspaper.
The capital was moved to Lusaka in 1935 and the bustling city has become a quiet town, a little neglected but still retaining a special charm. The proximity to the Zambezi River and the spectacular Victoria Falls has led it to become a base for travelers from all over the world wanting to explore this Seventh wonder of the World.
There are several Adventure Companies offering Riverboarding, White water rafting, Canoeing, Horse riding trails, Abseiling, local tours to the Victoria Falls and around Livingstone.
Many of the areas hotels and lodges offer day trips into Livingstone town, otherwise chauffeured cars are available for hire if you are not in you own vehicle.
The Livingstone Museum is the countrys biggest and oldest museum, dating back to the 1930s. It has five sections. The Archaeology Gallery, describes human evolution and cultural development in Zambia from Stone Age to Iron Age. The Ethnography and Art Gallery shows objects relating to the different cultures of the country including handicrafts, musical instruments. The History Gallery includes the origins of the Bantu people, the development of British colonial rule and the attainment of independence. It also houses a large collection of David Livingstone memorabilia, donated by the Livingstone family. The natural history section shows various indigenous animals in their natural habitat. There is also an extensive library with books ranging from archaeology, wildlife and also some of Livingstones journals. The museum is open every day from 09h00 – 16h30 and is on the main road through the center of town.
For steam engine enthusiasts, the Railway Museum in Chishimba Falls road holds some fine examples of Zambias railway heritage including old steam locomotives and vintage coaches to the tiniest railway memorabilia and old photographs illustrating life in the pioneer days of the town.
Cruise on the wide upper Zambezi, go to the boat club where youll find a two deck cruiser called the African Queen.
Interesting examples of old colonial architecture are the North Western Hotel, the St Andrews Anglican Church and Coillard Memorial Church all built in the first decade of the century.
Livingstone also has an 18 hole golf course.
The markets are very colourful and lively and can be found in Dambwa north or near the police station.
What to do
Livingstone is rapidly becoming known as the Adventure Centre of Southern Africa, with various adrenaline sports, unmatched scenery of breathtaking proportions, and many other leisure options for outdoor lovers.
* Whitewater Rafting through Batoka Gorge
* Canoeing on the upper Zambezi
* Horseback Trails in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park
* River Boarding mega thrills on the Zambezi rapids
* Bungi Jumping off the 111m high Victoria Falls Bridge
* Abseiling and Gorge Swinging off the sheer cliffs of Victoria Falls Gorge
* Tandem Kayaking An experienced kayaker will take you through the raging rapids of the Zambezi
* Game Safaris Take a drive or a walk through the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park
* Microlighting or Helicopter flips over the falls
* River Safaris, Quiet jet-propelled boats take you into remote parts of the upper Zambezi
* Elephant back Safaris Tame elephants give the best view for game viewing in the Reserve.
* Jet Boating – hi speed jet propelled boats take you down the rapids.
* Fishing Spend a day on the magnificent Upper Zambezi River – pitting your skills against the vivacious Tiger Fish and delicious bream as well as various other fish that the Zambezi has to offer.
* Golf Set in a veritable botanical garden with over 118 tree species, there’s a 9 hole course providing a unique African golfing experience.
* Zambian Airways has scheduled planes to Livingstone from Lusaka and will soon be flying from Livingstone to Johannesburg.
By Road, Livingstone can be approached from three directions. If youre coming from Zimbabwe, cross the border at the town of Victoria Falls over the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, carry straight on this road for about 11 kilometres. From Botswana, cross the border at Kazungula by ferry, and continue east for about 60kms. From Lusaka, Livingstone is 470 kms. Take the southbound Kafue Road out of Lusaka and just after the Kafue River Bridge, turn right towards Mazabuka. This road leads straight to Livingstone.
Utsav Indian Restaurant – found in the main Mosi-o-tunya Rd. They also have a take-away section called Exciting Biting !
The Laughing Dragon – Chinese – just off the main road near the Hungry Lion – a fast food outlet.
Hippo’s pub behind Fawlty Towers serves great meals and has a pool table and darts.
ZigZag also doubles as a booking office for various adventures as well as a small shop which serves lunches and cakes on the pavement.
The Pigs Head, Kabompo Road is one of the local pubs, also serving food.
Eatrite Fast Foods, in the main road
For excellent lunches and steaks try Mr Pete’s just on the outskirts of Town on the way to the Falls.
Chanters is a good restaurant in Lukulu Rd with accommodation as well.
Flying Pizza on the main road near the Adventure Centre serves great pizzas, shwarmas, burrittos, soft drinks.
The Waterfront always has meals available on their terrace on the river’s edge
Both Sun International Hotels have several good restaurants although they’re quite pricey.
African Visions has a wide selection of Zambian and other African works of art and craftwork, and it’s also an excellent Vegetarian Restaurant / coffee shop / second hand bookshop. Find them in Mosi-o-Tunya Rd.
Kubu Crafts sells fine wood crafted furniture among other curios and souvenirs – also found along Mosi-o-Tunya Rd as well as a shop at the airport.
Hemingways – offers tours, transfers and vehicle hire, as well as wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Imperial Car Hire offers a full range of vehicles to tour around Livngstone, and the Falls.
AJ Car Hire and Tours offers chauffeur driven cars or self drive hire and takes tours around the area as well as airport transfers.
Makoro Quest, Bundu Adventures and Bushtracks Africa also do day trips and transfers