Livingstone was named after the famous Victorian missionary explorer, Dr David Livingstone. He 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 retaining 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 travelers from all over the world wanting to explore this Wonder of the World.
Originally known as the Old Drift, Livingstone owes its existence primarily to the Victoria Falls and was established as a staging point across the Zambezi River. The town is named after Dr. David Livingstone, the first European to see, name and publicise the Falls. The Scottish explorer's journey and first sight of the Falls in 1855 opened up Central Africa to other missionaries, hunters, and traders.
The History of Livingstone in Zambia
Livingstone was founded in 1905 at a safe distance from the then swampy banks of the Zambezi. In 1907 it became the capital of what was known as Northern-Western Rhodesia. In 1911 it became the capital of Northern Rhodesia, what is today called Zambia. In 1935 the capital was moved to Lusaka, but Livingstone retained its "Tourist Capital" status as well as much of its original colonial character.
History lovers will find Livingstone alive. Many buildings from the first decade of the century are still in use. It was one of the first white settlements in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and for quite a while it was the only urban center in the territory and the gateway to the north. The town has preserved much of its colonial character, but is a typical African town with a busy charm.
Rich in scenery and heritage, Livingstone today has become the tourist heart of Zambia. We welcome you to the city of heritage and culture.
Where is Livingstone Zambia
Livingstone is a city in Southern Province of Zambia. Until 2012, it served as the province's capital. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It is named after David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer and missionary who was the first European to explore the area.
Getting to Livingstone Zambia
The easiest way to get to Livingstone is by flying into the Livingstone Airport (Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport - LVI). Driving Livingstone will require a bit more preparation, but the town is easily accessible. Rail travel is also an option, although this would be the slowest option. We have broken down the different options below.
Livingstone Town (Zimbabwe) has an international airport serviced by domestic, regional and international airlines. Generally, flights into Livingstone are cheaper than to Victoria Falls, and some people choose this option even when they plan on staying on the Zimbabwe side of the Victoria Falls. However, this only makes sense if visa costs are low enough to make this option viable.
Things to Do in Livingstone Zambia
The small town of Livingstone stands as an entry point to Victoria Falls as well as to the surrounding Zambezi region. As far as activities go, Livingstone has something for everyone. Adrenalin-junkies, explorers, romantics and adventurers will all find something here. These are some of the activities:
- Whitewater Rafting – through the Batoka Gorge.
- Canoeing – on the upper Zambezi.
- Horseback Trails – in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park.
- Gwembe Reptile Park and Safaris crocodiles and snakes at close range
- River Boarding – mega thrills on the Zambezi rapids.
- Bungi Jumping – off the 111 meter high Victoria Falls Bridge.
- Abseiling and Gorge Swinging – off the sheer cliffs of the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls .
- Tandem Kayaking – An experienced kayaker will take you through the raging rapids of the Zambezi River, below the Falls.
- Game Safaris – Take a drive or a walk through the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and see all of Zambia’s plains game. No predators are here so the animals are relaxed and easy to observe.
- 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.
- Lion and Cheetah Walks – No leashes or restraints and no enclosures. Young lions are walked in the bush to encourage survival skills and bush knowledge. This is essential to ensure their eventual release into the wild. The Mukuni Research Centre has an ongoing program for conserving and breeding the threatened Cheetah, through education and understanding of this amazing animal.
- Fishing – Spend a day on the magnificent Upper Zambezi River – pitting your skills against the ferocious Tiger Fish or 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 is an 18-hole course providing a unique African golfing experience. The clubhouse is a national monument and has an excellent restaurant and bar, a gymnasium and a pool.
- Jet Boating – High-speed, jet-propelled boats take you down the rapids.
- Steam Train Rides – over the Victoria Falls Bridge.
|Languages spoken||English and Chi-Nyanja or Chi-Chewa|
|Currency used||Zambian Kwacha|