Africa Map Pin
Advanced Search »

 +  T4A GPS Maps on SD Card Online Special! Starts 15-Apr-2024 - until SD Card v24.05 gets released mid May!

When purchasing our current SD Card version 23.10 T4A GPS maps from our ONLINE SHOP ONLY, you will automatically receive SD Card version 24.05 in Mid May 2024 as your free upgrade as well as version 24.10 in October 2024. This offer is only valid for online SD Card purchases from our online shop, from the 15th April 2024 until our new version 24.05 is released in Mid May 2024. Contact our Sales team at [email protected] if you need more information.  

Please note that this special offer does NOT apply to our GPS Maps Download Links (ie. these are yearly subscriptions on our shop), APP or purchases made from Retailers.

Town Livingstone

ID: w146702 View large map

Located in Zambia :: Four Nations  :: Livingstone
Category: Places :: Town


In 1855, explorer David Livingstone documented the existence of what he later named Victoria Falls, after Queen Victoria. The local tribes called it ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ meaning ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Tradesmen and missionaries soon settled in the region of Old Drift, 10 km west of the Falls, until the completion of the Victoria Falls railway bridge in 1905, when they moved to higher ground near the bridge, and established the town of Livingstone.

The British South African Company made its headquarters in Livingstone, and the town grew rapidly. In 1911 it became the capital of Northern Rhodesia, but Britain made Lusaka the capital in 1935 in order to be closer to the copper and farming districts. Livingstone’s status as capital city saw it receiving preferential treatment as is evidenced by the many majestic Edwardian buildings which line the streets. Ironically, the town only got its first traffic light in 2011. Originally neglected by tourists in favour of the much smaller town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, tourism activity in Livingstone increased due to Zimbabwe’s political instability after independence. Today, more than 140 000 people live here.

Traveller Description

Close to the world-famous Victoria Falls, Livingstone is the perfect point for exploring this natural wonder. But there’s a lot more on offer besides this.

For the history buffs there’s the Livingstone Museum, with five galleries displaying natural, cultural and historical development in the country, while the Railway Museum depicts the history of the railway in Zambia. At Old Drift there’s a small cemetery which serves as a reminder of the town’s humble beginnings. Or you can simply take a slow drive (or walk) up the town’s main road to admire the grand old buildings which date back to Edwardian times.

For souvenir hunters, Mukuni Park Curio Market is a must; this is a large market selling curios and souvenirs handmade in Zambia. With the official opening of the Victoria Falls Railway Bridge in 1905, Chief Lewanika of the Lozi tribe, put up a display of Barotse arts and crafts in the area known today as Mukuni Park (then Barotse Park). Since then the area was used by traders and artists to display and sell their wares, and in 2013 the Zambian government erected the more permanent stalls in use today. Mukuni Park Curio Market is the ideal place to shop for souvenirs. There’s a large variety of Zambian crafts on display and prices are always negotiable - but be fair, the traders are also trying to make a living! In the park behind the stalls is a display that details the history of Old Drift, Livingstone, the railway bridge, and Mukuni Park.

If you prefer a less touristy market, the traditional Maramba Market is the largest in Livingstone, and sells everything from fruit & veg, curios, clothing, pots, pans and much more. Prices are more affordable, this is where the locals shop!

The Mosi-Oa-Tunya Nature Reserve stretches from the Victoria Falls for about 12 kilometres along the northern banks of the Zambezi River. At 66 km2 it’s Zambia’s smallest park, with big game such as rhino, elephant and buffalo, but no predators. The park was established in 1972 to form a buffer between the town of Livingstone and the animals which cross the Zambezi from the Zimbabwean side. Other game includes warthog, wildebeest and giraffe (easily spotted in such a small park).

But of course it’s Victoria Falls which are the main attraction. At 108 m these are not the tallest waterfall in the world, and at 1 700 m, neither are they the widest. But they are considered to be the largest waterfall in the world as they boast the largest continuous ‘curtain’ of water.
Geology buffs may be interested to know that the Falls, in geological years, is but an embryo. About a million years ago, the Zambezi River flowed from the north uninterrupted southwards, to where the Matetsi River today flows into the Zambezi. Here, the river fell over a 250 m drop, over thousands of years gradually eroding away the ‘lip’ of the waterfall.

Further upstream, in the Batoka Gorge Region, weaknesses in the rock, called fissures, filled with softer sandstone, eroded faster than the basalt, and about 40 000 years ago, formed a deep crack, with the basalt forming a solid rock wall over which the river falls, creating a new waterfall further upstream. The water now erodes a new fissure behind this wall of rock, and the process is repeated, and the falls retreat further upstream. The eight gorges which lend the Zambezi its zig-zag flow just below the Falls were all formed in this manner. Careful observers will be able to spot the beginning of a new fissure on the eastern side of Devil’s Cataract, where the water is gradually wearing away at yet another weakness to form a new waterfall a few thousand years from now.

Birders may note that the Batoka Gorge is listed as an Important Birding Area, and is a breeding area for the endangered Taita Falcon, as well as lanner falcon, peregrine falcon, and Verraux’s Eagle. Reptile fans can enjoy close-up views of crocodiles, snakes and tortoises at the Livingstone Reptile Park.

Probably the most frequently-asked questions about visiting the Victoria Falls is where to view it from: the Zimbabwean side or the Zambian side? While the best view of the Falls is undoubtedly from the Zimbabwean side (though this may be a matter of personal opinion), if you want to see the Falls in their full glory, you need to do both, as the Eastern Cataract is only visible from Zambia. From this point you also get a lovely view down the length of the falls as the sun sets.

David Livingstone first viewed the Falls from a small island above the Falls, today named Livingstone Island. This small island on the edge of the Falls is situated on the Zambian side, and viewing the falls from here, is a unique experience. While viewing the Falls from the Zimbabwean side gives you a full view of the falls, a visit to Livingstone Island brings you up close to the thundering masses of water of the Main Falls, an exhilarating experience.

Near Livingstone Island is Devil’s Pool; a swim here is on every adrenaline junkie’s bucket list. This natural pool, which can only be accessed from Zambia, was created by erosion right on the edge of the Falls; a shallow ledge forms a natural barrier, preventing people from being washed over the edge and into the 103 m chasm below.

Access to Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool is by boat and seasonal, as they can only be accessed in periods of low water, usually from August to January, but this may vary depending on water levels. If Devil’s Pool doesn’t satisfy your adrenaline fix, you can abseil into the gorge, go white-water rafting (seasonal), bungee jump or swing off the Victoria Falls Bridge, or enjoy a microlight flight over the Falls from the Zambian side.

For the more faint-at-heart, helicopter flights over the Falls are available from both Livingstone and Victoria Falls, whereas microlight flights can only be done in Zambia. Or enjoy a typical English High Tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, overlooking the Zambezi River – totally adrenaline-free! A great way to end such a day would be a ride aboard the Royal Livingstone Express; this old steam train offers a 5-star dining experience and stops for 20 minutes on the Victoria Falls Bridge for sunset views of the falls before returning to Livingstone station.

Alternatively, a classic end to the day in these parts is a chilled sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, just don’t expect the wildlife you see in Botswana on the Chobe river. The Zambezi here is fast flowing and deep, and while you can expect some hippo and good birding, and the occasional giraffe and other antelope on the northern banks, wildlife is not as prolific as on the Chobe River boat cruise. The sunsets are usually spectacular though!

Address :  Livingstone Tourism Association, Zambia
Contact :  Livingstone Tourism Association
Tel :  +260(0)21 332 2365
Email :  Click Here
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  Airtel or Zamtell

Destination Information
Police Hospital Doctor Tourist Information Office Petrol Diesel Gas Refill Shopping Mall Bank ATM Foreign Exchange Internet Cafe Lodging Camping Butchery Bakery Liquor Restaurant Pharmacy Airport Airstrip Car Rental Tyre Repair Tyre Sales Mechanical Repair Towing Service
Facilities :  Shopping Centre, Shops, General Dealer, Tour Services
Tourist Information Telephone :  +260(0)213 326 656
Towing Service Telephone :  +260(0)96 658 7526
Petrol Type :  ULP/LRP
Diesel Type :  500ppm

Other Facilities :  Medical Centre. Fast Food. Auto Dealer/s. Commercial Offices.

Game Viewing Game Drives Quad Bikes Hiking Trails Guided Walks Horse Trails Fishing Swimming Canoeing Makoro Trips Bird Watching
Night Drives, Tours and Excursions, Mountain Biking, Golf, Snorkelling, Surfing, Water Skiing, Sailing, Boat Trips, White Water Rafting, Scenic Flights
More Activities :  Visit to the Livingstone Museum. Archaeology Gallery. Bungee jumping. Elephant back riding. Safaris. Sunset cruises.
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information
Closest Main Route :  M10 & T1

Accommodation options stretch from camping to low budget backpackers, affordable guesthouses and five star hotels. Whatever accommodation you prefer, you’ll find it in Livingstone.

The town is about ten kilometres away from the falls, with only the upmarket Royal Livingstone Hotel and the more affordable Avani Victoria Falls Resort situated near the falls. Campsites are usually situated along the Zambezi River or one of its contributories, but not within walking distance of the Falls unless you’re up for a day’s walk!

Car rental services are situated at Livingstone International Airport.

For internet access, visit the City Cyber Business Centre situated along Dambwa central market open between 08h00-18h00 daily; Most accommodations and restaurants now provide free WiFi access.

There is a central police station in Livingstone.

NOTE: Visitors to Zambia are advised to have their own personal travel insurance. Local police, hospitals, clinics etc. cannot be relied upon.
Please note that any emergency numbers indicated on our data will be for the local police, hospital, clinic etc. and most of the times, don't work. Many tourism sites show the numbers like 999 for police, they often don’t work.

If you have a medical problem when in Zambia, Specialty Emergency Services has a Call Centre (24 hours). Phone them on 737. This company has offices in Livingstone, Lusaka and Kitwe. But they will fly anywhere to assist if visitors have the right insurance. If you want to check your insurance, contact SES on [email protected]. (

Note that petrol and diesel prices change all the time, and you can expect to pay different prices at different fuel stations. 'KR' in the petrol and fuel prices refer to 'Kwacha renewed', as the many zeros are being removed from Kwacha currency. Some fuel stops in Livingstone includes the Engen fuel stop, Total fuel stop, Puma Fuel Stop, all situated along the main T1 highway in Livingstone.

Done at Ankufa Supplies Gas Refill where SA Gas bottle refill is done but cannot refill UK bottles.

Livingstone Central Hospital open 24 hrs a day situated along Zambia Youth Ave. There is also the Southern Medical centre along Mokambo Rd, also open 24hrs - try +260(0)21 332 3547. Clinics also includes the Maramba along Maramba Rd and Mahatma Gandhi Clinic along Kanila and Maoma Rd also open 24hrs.
Most pharmacies are situated along the T1 major highway. These includes the Healthrise pharmacy, Health and Glow pharmacy and HK pharmacy amongst others.

For vehicle repairs and auto parts visit Autoworld situated along John Hunt way open till from 08h00 to 17h00 during working days; 08h00-12h00 on Saturdays and closed on Sundays; Try : +260(0)97 996 7768.
There is also Foley's Land Rovers situated along Balewa Rd, open 08h00-17h00 during working days and 08h00-12h30 on Sat; Try +260(0)21 332 0888.
Or contact Desmond Hitchens on +260(0)96 504 0950.

Shopping can be done at modern supermarkets such as Spar and Shoprite, or the traditional Maramba market. Banks, ATMs, Forex Exchange, fuel stations and restaurants dot virtually every corner of the town. Whether it’s the start or end of your tour, or a halfway stop, you’ll be sure to find what you need in Livingstone.

For craft market, visit the Mukuni Park Curio Market along Mwela Street. Bobbili Gems and jewellery offers a selection of jewellery, necklaces and earings.

Tow-in tel is for CFAO Zambia but they cater for their clients only who have the Nissan vehicle brands.
Also try Deemac Vehicle Recovery +260(0)95 419 5050.

Tyre repairs services are also offered at Foley's Land Rovers situated along Balewa Rd, open 08h00-17h00 during working days and 08h00-12h30 on Sat; Try: +260(0)21 332 0888. (Jan-2019).
Tyre repairs and sales are available at Autoworld in Livingstone.

 Travel Tip!

Livingstone is more affordable than its Zimbabwean counterpart - the small town of Victoria Falls. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, base your visit in Livingstone and if you wish to see the Falls from the Zimbabwean side, park your vehicle at the border, and walk across to Zimbabwe.

You will always be hassled by peddlers trying to sell their wares, insisting they have a better deal than anybody else. Keep your cool, and just give them a firm and friendly, ‘no thank you’. Curios will be cheaper if you buy in the local currency (Zambian Kwacha) rather than euros, dollars or South African rands. But don’t exchange money in the street, as you won’t get the best rate and you might find yourself short-changed. Rather make use of one of the many ATMs in town and withdraw cash.

You may be approached by an ordinary citizen in the street, offering to take you to Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool at a very cheap rate. These people are generally not qualified guides and may not take the necessary safety precautions required for these activities. There are professional companies in Livingstone and Victoria Falls that offer outings to Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool, taking the appropriate security measures to ensure your safety. Your life is not worth a few dollars saved so rather support the local community by buying souvenirs from the local market, filling up with fuel and stocking up with supplies at the supermarkets.

Comments [ leave a comment ]

Be the first to leave a comment.

Extras [ add media ]

Be the first to submit a link or media file

Padkos Links [ submit a link ]

Be the first to submit a link

Disclaimer: Please note that the Tracks4africa content is researched continuously and the data is updated regularly. Although we endeavour to keep our information as up to date as possible, this is not always possible due to the high volume of listings on our database. Therefore, please treat our information as a guide and reconfirm important items with establishments directly. Please help other travellers, by helping us to keep our data up to date, by submitting data corrections.