Livingstone is a large town of 180,000 people. The main centre is shown in the map under town accommodation. The main road from Lusaka to the Victoria Falls runs through the middle of the town with turnings to the airport and Kazungula (for Botswana and Namibia). The main commercial centre of Livingstone is all along the main road with plenty of shops and services.
Because Livingstone is not just a tourist town, there is a lot going on with people working in the many government offices, schools, hospitals, factories and shops.
The town is generally very safe to drive or walk around. If your vehicle is loaded it is best to park with extra security which is available at Spar or Mosi-oa-Tunya Square (at the traffic lights). You are advised not to walk around after dark.
Being a large town, accommodation in Livingstone is spread around the town and in its outskirts. We have shown maps below under their sections.
- In Livingstone
There is plenty of accommodation in town – hotels, lodges, backpackers and campsites. The residential areas are peppered with guesthouses. These facilities are very convenient as visitors can easily get to town to see the sights. Taxis are readily available for quick hops between destinations.
- Around Town
Livingstone is on a ridge above the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River. It borders on the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Quite a few lodges are sited within the park; some in the Mukuni woodlands and one overlooking the gorge.
- Along the Zambezi River
Between Livingstone and Kazungula (the border with Botswana) there are several lodges all facing the Zambezi River opposite the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. Night noises rumble across the river at night – lions, hyena, baboons. A few of the lodges are world renowned for their beauty and for exceptional service. But others are self-catering. There is camping. Some are mid-market. These lodges are just a short drive from Livingstone, so for those visitors who want to enjoy the activities of the area but want to ‘get away from it all’ in the evenings, these lodges are the perfect choice.
Livingstone is in the south of Zambia (it is 1,500 km to the Tanzania border, our neighbour to the north). It is linked by excellent road and air links within Zambia and to other countries.
- By Air
Livingstone has an excellent International Airport which brings in visitors from all over the world. Within Zambia flights run several times a day between Livingstone and Lusaka where connections can be made to Zambia’s other main attractions. Charter flights are also available. Travel time by air from Johannesburg is 1 hr 40 mins; from Lusaka is 1 hour 10 mins.
- By Road from Zim, Bots and Nam
Self-drive will arrive from Zimbabwe over the Victoria Falls Bridge, just 10 km from Livingstone. From Botswana the journey takes visitors across the Zambezi River by pontoon, 70 km from Livingstone. From Namibia, the border is at Katima Mulilo where a bridge crosses the Zambezi River just after entering the country. It is then a 200 km drive to Livingstone. The road has some bad patches so it is likely to take 3 hours.
Buses are available from Sesheke; taxis from Kazungula. Intercape buses travel between Livingstone and Windhoek, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Bulawayo, Harare, Malawi.
- By Road from Lusaka
To Livingstone from the north, the road is generally good tar, with a bad stretch north of Mazabuka to the T-Junction. The map shows the road from Lusaka (470 km). At the T-junction after crossing the Kafue River, straight on is for Chirundu, Lower Zambezi and Siavonga, right is for Livingstone. The road to Livingstone passes through many villages where ladies sell tomatoes, children cross to school and dogs wander here and there; so drive carefully when passing through them.
13 km south of the T-Junction the road passes through the Munali Hills. These are named after David Livingstone, who was called Munali by his fellow travellers. There is a memorial on the top of the rise – it is said that this was the site where David Livingstone first saw the Kafue River.
Buses travel between Lusaka and Livingstone.
Trains also travel between Livingstone and Lusaka but are not recommended at the moment.
A good place to stop en route is the Choma Museum. It is on the north of the main Choma centre, on the western side of the road. The museum displays the story of the Tonga people and has attractive crafts for sale. Next to the museum is a small cafe (with loos).
The Livingstone Art Gallery is along The Royal Mile (Sichango Road). Local artists display their paintings and sculptures.
Take a walk along the underpath of the Victoria Falls bridge and find out about the story of its construction. All ages.
Jump from the Victoria Falls into the chasm below. 111 metres. Age: 15+
Canoe along the Upper Zambezi. Age: 12+
Visit the Crocodile Park to see these prehistoric animals up close. All ages.
Take a ride on an African elephant. Age: 10+
Go out on a boat on the Upper Zambezi to try your luck at catching a tigerfish. All ages.
Take a drive through the Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park. All ages.
Walking trips are conducted through the park. Age: 12+
Spend a few hours swinging over a gorge or abseiling. Age: 7+
Take a spin over the Victoria Falls in a helicopter. All ages.
Ride in the park on horseback. All ages. Younger children ride around the Avani Resort.
Jet boat at high speed through the gorges. Age 7+
The Jewish Museum is within the Steam Museum along Chishimba Falls Road. It tells the story of some of the many Jewish business people who came to Livingstone in the early 1900s.
Kayak the Zambezi in the gorge – for the experts only at certain times of year.
Visit young lions and meet caracals and cheetah. All ages.
Boat over to Livingstone Island on the lip of the Victoria Falls. Available May-November. All ages.
Take a boat trip up the Zambezi to the elephant cafe to have lunch while the elephants keep you company. Age: 10+
The Livingstone Museum is in the centre of town. It contains lots of interesting artefacts including those from the stone and iron age; David Livingstone memorabilia; the story of Zambia and a Natural History section.
Fly over the Victoria Falls in a microlight. Age: 12+
Fun for all the family, quad bike through the bush. Age: 12+
In the early 1900s a railway line was constructed to Mulobezi and to the forests around the town. At the time steam trains were used to travel the route to bring the logs to the sawmill in Livingstone. Some of the locos and carriages are displayed at the Railway Museum.
Large boats take morning or afternoon tours of the Upper Zambezi to enjoy the wildlife. All ages.
In a small boat, investigate the islands in the Upper Zambezi. All ages.
The Royal Livingstone Express takes visitors on a ride along the tracks into the park or to the Victoria Falls bridge. All ages.
Take a rubber dinghy up the river to the base of the Victoria Falls. Available May-July. Age: 12+.
Raft down the gorges on some of the world’s best rapids. This activity is available when the river is safe to negotiate – usually July-April. Age: 15+
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park has a section where the wildlife is viewed. The entrance to this section is found along Sichango Road.
Animals to be found there are: Tree squirrel, African elephant, Burchell’s zebra, White Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Warthog, Giraffe, Blue wildebeest, Red hartebeest, Common duiker, Impala, Sable, African buffalo, Kudu, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Puku, African wild cat, Serval, African civet, Large-spotted genet, Slender mongoose, Lesser bushbaby, Chacma baboon, Vervet monkey, Pangolin, Crocodile, Land monitor, Water monitor.
The Game Park is also the site of the first pioneer village, known as the Old Drift. There are two monuments – one at the site of the cemetery and one at the site of the river crossing before the construction of the bridge.