Named after the famous Victorian missionary explorer, Dr David Livingstone, who explored this area extensively, Livingstone Town was established in 1905.
As a major European settlement, being close to the Zambezi River crossing over to Southern Rhodesia, the town was made the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1911. As the capital, it enjoyed excellent facilities far superior to anything elsewhere in the country, as can be seen from the surviving Edwardian buildings that line the city’s main road. Livingstone 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, but still retains a special charm. A major event in 2011 was the installation of the town’s first set of traffic lights! The proximity to the Zambezi River and the spectacular Victoria Falls has led Livingstone to become a base for travellers from all over the world wanting to explore this Wonder of the World.
There are several Adventure Companies offering Riverboarding, White water rafting, Canoeing, Horse riding trails, Abseiling, as well as Boat cruises, Quad bikes riding, Kayaking and tours to Victoria Falls, Mukuni Cultural Village and the places of interest in Livingstone.
Many tour companies and lodges offer a booking agency service in Livingstone to help make your stay as easy and enjoyable as possible. You can fly directly into Livingstone via Livingstone airport.
Click here to see a list of restaurants in Livingstone
- 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 Livingstone, 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
Kubu Crafts sells fine wood crafted furniture as well as many curios and souvenirs – at Sun International as well as a shop at the airport. The Town Market is also well worth a visit.
- Founded: 1905
- Capital in: 1911
- Named after: David Livingstone
- Also Called: Maramba
Proflight has scheduled planes to Livingstone from Lusaka .
1Time Airlines, Kulula Airlines, British Airways and South African Airways offer daily flights from Livingstone to Johannesburg.
By Road, Livingstone can be approached from three directions. If you’re 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.
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.
Many of the area’s 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 country’s biggest and oldest museum, dating back to the 1930’s. 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 Livingstone’s 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 Zambia’s 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.
Zambezi sunsets are stunning and a cruise on the upper Zambezi is a must on any trip to Livingstone. There are many options from breakfast, lunch or sunset cruises, more social ‘booze cruises’ to more luxurious, relaxed experiences. These boats will take you past the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park where you can glimpse hippos, crocodiles, elephants, giraffe and more while sipping on a Gin and Tonic.
Walking tours around Livingstone can be booked through most agencies to take in the wonderful colonial architecture and history of this unique town
Livingstone also has an 18 hole golf course, complete with clubhouse, restaurant, proshop and gym.
There is also a Reptile Park with large specimens of Crocs and snakes.
There are many markets in Livingstone making and selling everything under the sun but a stop to the Mukuni Park Curio Market is a not to be missed! Find yourself a unique, Zambian produced craft as a memento of your holiday.
The Laughing Dragon – Chinese: on John Hunt Way, behind the Post office
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.
Chanters is a good restaurant in Lukulu Rd with accommodation as well.
The Waterfront always has meals available on their terrace on the river’s edge.
Two shopping centres are located on the main road with various restaurants, and there are also a few located on the main road down to the Falls.
Both Sun International Hotels at the Falls have several excellent restaurants
The Livingstone Golf Club has a good Restaurant, and a bar with a snack menu
The Greens Chinese Restaurant
A trip to Livingstone and its environs of the Zambezi and Victoria Falls may vary according to the season. See the page on Victoria Falls for more information on when to visit the area.
As Livingstone continues to grow as a tourist destination, more and more markets, shops and malls are springing up around town to help both satisfy visitor’s needs and further fuel the blossoming local economy. The Central Market and Mukuni shopping mall offer an array of local crafts and curios and the Central Market is also a great place for sampling the local fare and ambience. For more upmarket arts and crafts, try the River Gallery. For cheaper souvenirs and authentic local food, the street vendors found throughout Livingstone’s streets are always worth a try.