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Livingstone - Victoria Falls Zambia

 

View of Victoria Falls from the Zambian side
 

The town of Livingstone, the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, is named after the famous explorer David Livingstone who was the first European to set eyes on the Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders - the magnificent waterfall he named after Queen Victoria.


Livingstone was once the capital of Zambia. During this heyday Livingstone developed into a smart little town with quaint colonial style houses. Post independence and during the 1970's Rhodesian war years, when the Zambian government sided with the Zimbabwe freedom fighters, Livingstone became a sorry neglected corner of Zambia. What changes have come about in Livingstone in a few short years... Livingstone has once again re emerged as a tourist destination.


Livingstone is not nearly as neat and orderly as its sister town across the water, Victoria Falls. It has the irreverent atmosphere of a party town, probably due to the large expat community who are at the core of the tourism business in Livingstone. It's a bit grubby but at its core Livingstone has many of the old colonial trappings which hint at days gone by, but which have been reinvented for today's needs. The once run down railway houses that line Mosi oa Tunya road (the main road that runs from the Falls through Livingstone town and eventually leads to Lusaka) have now been renovated in modern, funky African style and now house a host of small businesses ranging from curio shops to restaurants. There are a number of brand new shopping centres, the beautiful colonial golf club has been given new life and even the old cinema in town (which was originally opened by Alfred Hitchcock no less!) has reopened its doors.


Unlike the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls, where most of the accommodations are based in and around the town, the focus of most of the lodges in Livingstone is the Zambezi River. Nearly all our favourite lodges in Livingstone either face the Zambezi River or have hilltop views of the Falls.


The Zambezi River is a life blood to this town. The integrity of the river has been maintained because Zimbabwe has not allowed mass tourism within the Zambezi National Park. This means that all the Zambian lodges along the river have great views of pristine bush.


As in Victoria Falls across the way there is plenty to do if you want it. All the adventure activities are here and more so guests can be as active or as relaxed as they want to be.  

 

 WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT VICTORIA FALLS ?

It’s important for guests to know that the Falls on the Zambian side can be quite dry at certain times of the year. From September to December the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls can range from bone dry to a trickle to impressive, depending on the rainfall that was received in the Zambezi river catchments during the rainy season.


For instance during the drought year of 1994 the Falls were dry on the Zambian side but fully flowing in December 2008. If you are coming only to see this impressive natural water feature then ask your consultant about current water levels.  The water nearly always flows on the Zimbabwe side so we can either arrange accomodation in Victoria Falls or a day visit to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe for you if required.

 

During low water it is always so tempting to walk along the top of the Falls and there are many illegal guides who will offer to do this for a fee – DO NOT BE TEMPTED – DON’T DO IT!!  If you want to be right on the edge of the Falls rather do a Livingstone Island trip. Guests get transported by motor boat from The Royal Livignstone Hotel to the island at the very edge of Victoria Falls for either breakfast or high tea. The brave can swim in Devils Pool under the watchful eyes of a guide. This activity stops during 'high water' months for obvious reasons.