Some call it the tourist capital of Zambia, others call it the adrenaline capital of Africa. Whichever one you go with, you surely can’t be wrong. Welcome to Livingstone, a leading romantic destination that combines a rich culture and history with a wide range of adventure and adrenaline experiences.
Established in 1905 as a major European settlement, the Livingstone town was christened after the famous Victorian missionary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone – the first European to see, name and publicise the Victoria Falls. In 1907, Livingstone became the capital of what was then known as Northern-Western Rhodesia. In 1911, it became the capital of Northern Rhodesia, which is now referred to as Zambia. Many of the Edwardian buildings constructed back then can still be seen along the city’s main road today. Over the years, Livingstone has become a base for travelers all over the world who have come to explore the majestic Victoria Falls.
A major highlight of Livingstone is the majestic Victoria Falls, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. David Livingstone’s experience at the Falls was so stunning and spectacular that he famously wrote in his journal ‘on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed’. Also to Dr. Livingstone’s credit, the great waterfall was named after the reigning monarch at the time, Queen Victoria. If you’d love to have an upclose encounter at the Falls, go when the water is usually low, between August and December. On the other hand, the high water season fall between February and June. This when thunderous clouds of smokes appear and visitors to the Falls on the Zambian side are usually drenched by the spray which makes the experience a refreshingly unforgettable one.
The Lunar Rainbows are also a striking natural phenomenon in Livingstone. Huge rainbows appear through the mist at night when the sky is relatively clear and the moon is full. Adrenaline junkies and Backpackers are known to arrange special night trips during the full moon at high water (January – May) just to experience these priceless views.
Another interesting place to visit is the crocodile and snake park. The huge crocodiles and poisonous snakes within this park are simply a wonder to behold. If you visit on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, which is their feeding time, you will appreciate the voraciousness of these creatures.
The local Mukuni village and Maramba market showcases the life and culture of the Livingstone inhabitants. The leader of the village, Senior Chief Mukuni, is actively involved in promoting his village as a tourist attraction in Zambia. Meetings with him can also be arranged. At the Maramba market you will be impressed by the rows and rows of stalls for second hand clothes, fresh vegetables and dried beans, among others. This is the best stocked market in town, so feel free to take in the sights and sounds. Remember to dress decently and to ask for permission before taking pictures.
The Livingstone Museum is also worthy of mention. This neat and well-kept museum is very informative as it portrays large displays about Zambia’s independence, early man, witchcraft, local chiefs, crafts and an extensive selection of David Livingstone memorabilia – which was donated by his family. You can also make some purchases at a small gift shop within the premises.
The Victoria Falls Field Museum is built around an actual excavation site just beside the Victoria Falls. It portrays the early inhabitants of the area as well as the geological formation of the Victoria Falls.
Finally, Livingstone has a good reputation for providing top notch accommodation for visitors to Victoria Falls. Its hotels and lodges are tastefully furnished while the surrounding historic settlement provides beautiful backdrops and picturesque views of a proud heritage that has been sustained through many generations.
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