Open all year
The Victoria Falls is where the wide Zambezi River simply drops some 100 meters into a narrow gorge. The Falls lie across the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Livingstone is the town on the Zambian side. Called "Mosi-oa-Tunya", (the smoke that thunders) in the local language the Falls are one of the seven wonders of the world and when you first come to Zambia Livingstone is must visit destination.
There are many hotels from large to small, from high to low cost but there are some wonderful small personalized lodges that fit perfectly with a safari. Of course there is more to Livingstone than just visiting the Falls. The gorges themselves create many high adrenalin stunt-like opportunities, the wide and very beautiful Zambezi upstream of the Falls is wonderful for boating and canoeing. And of course the bridge is famous for jumping off! One of the top things to book is a few hours on Livingstone Island - this is a small island right on the edge of the Falls. Here you are not looking at the Falls but are right on the edge, as the water starts to tumble over. Quite a feeling. Then there is viewing the Falls like the angels, from above - by helicopter or microlight.
Livingstone is an interesting town and you should take a morning to spend time here. It has not been modernised and the old colonial buildings are still there. In places you certainly feel like you are dropping back fifty years. The museum is a gem and well worth a visit and if you don't mind being a little pushed, so is the market.
From most of the small lodge type accommodations activities on the river will be included. Here are other options and it is good to book some of these ahead. Livingstone Island needs to be prebooked.
Activities (only the key ones, there are more!)
Adrenalin in the gorge
Note: Livingstone Island and white water rafting are dependent on the river levels and may not be available during March to May.
Camps that we most regularly book
- Tongabezi, on the shores of the Zambezi River, was the first of these camps to open in Livingstone (1989). With 8 cottages and 4 very imaginative houses (with great views) Tongabezi has a unique flavour. They also run an intimate 8 bedded island camp - Sindabezi.
- Islands of Siankaba (14 beds) is further upstream and some say too far from Livingstone for a two night stay. But if you are staying for 3 or more nights it is perfect - the advantage being that the boats from Livingstone cannot reach this area due to rapids so you have a very quiet and remote feel to the place. Excellent for those wanting to extend their "remote safari" feel. Platforms and tents out over the water - this camp is run to a very high standard.
- The River Club is set on high ground overlooking the river. The 8 open front rooms have excellent views of the river. The central building is an old colonial house and has an Edwardian flavour with some lovely old books and sporting equipment.
- Stanley Safari Lodge is set back a few kms from the river on high ground and has a direct view over the spray of the Falls. The 10 cottages are made of stone and thatch. A sunset cruise on the Zambezi plus a Falls tour are included in the daily rate.
- Maramba River Lodge is set on the banks of the Maramba River amongst mopane and mahogany trees in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Just 4 kms from Victoria Falls and with six luxury safari tents, ten safari tents and 9 chalets, is an ideal camp for the more budget conscious traveller.
- Map of Livingstone