Livingstone is the perfect addition to a safari in either Zambia or Botswana. It is simply a great place to either start or end your Southern African journey and so easily accessible out of Lusaka or Johannesburg.
Famously named after David Livingstone, it attracts visitors from all over the world mainly to stand and gaze in awe at the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Both thrilling and relaxing activities await you, including Victoria Falls tours, helicopter flights, Zambezi river cruises, game viewing, white water rafting, a swim in Devil’s Pool, picnic lunches or a visit to the Livingstone Museum – the list is endless.
Apart from the Falls themselves, this area is spectacularly scenic and the gateway to a number of exciting destinations in and around Zambia. Superb lodges are dotted along the famed Zambezi River, Stanley Safari Lodge and Tongabezi are just two examples. Activities include game drives into Mosi-on-Tunya National Park, bird watching on a boat safari with guide or simply relaxing by the lodges pool.
Situated in south-east Zambia, this historic town and ‘adventure capital’ of Zambia supports a huge array of world leading adrenalin filled activities, from white-water rafting to bungee jumping, making Livingstone one of the most impressive holiday destinations. This is the perfect location to visit the scenic Victoria Falls, the greatest known curtain of cascading water in the world, situated a mere 10km from the town as well as see the local wildlife. Spanning 1¼ miles wide and plunging 300 feet into the gorge below: up to 750 million litres cascade over the lip every minute in the wetter months. Wander along cobbled pathways, through a tropical rainforest to the edge of this magnificent chasm to witness the spectacular scenery and variety of landscapes. Pastures and tall riverine forests rich in bird species interspersed with baobabs shape the wildlife reserves, a stark contrast to the large rainforest surrounding the falls. With many rare species of plant, most notably ferns, the lush rainforest canopy sustained by the clouds of spray attract diverse bird life.
Located in an area of spectacular scenic beauty, the area around Victoria Falls has been a major crossroads for travellers for centuries; from the early missionaries and traders to recent tourists and backpackers. The Makololo people nicknamed the falls ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’: the smoke that thunders, however it was David Livingstone’s visit in 1855 which effectively was the catalyst that put Victoria Falls on the map, crediting himself as the first white man to set eyes on the falls. Commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes, the spectacular Victoria Falls Bridge was completed in 1905, and today it remains a major landmark of the area; spanning across the impressive gorge between the border posts of Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1911, Livingstone became the capital of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) until 1935 when administration was transferred to Lusaka. In November 2005, the latest statue of David Livingstone was erected.
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is the smallest park in Zambia, covering an area of 66km². It offers one of the best chances in Zambia of spotting a small population of recently re-introduced white rhino, along with common game such as antelope and elephant. The park however is not inhabited by any predators but a highlight is spotting hippos and crocodiles from the river bank. A unique and ideal way to view the wildlife of the park is by both elephant and horse backed safaris which are offered by some local lodges. The rainforest has the addition of baboons, warthog and vervet monkey which are frequently seen on the paths leading to the falls. A varied collection of bird species inhabits the area, with regular sightings of the African finfoot, the half-collared kingfisher and the Rock Pratincole. Birds of prey are often spotted during the early morning, such as the martial eagle. The area’s prolific wildlife can be witnessed on a range of exciting activities; from boat trips to game drives, to elephant and horse backed safaris.
The Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls National Park is one of the country’s most beautiful parks, with the entrance just 5km from Victoria Falls. Its rich and varied habitats of mopane woodlands, grasslands and riverine forests ensure a diverse collection of species inhabit the park. Giraffe, elephant, buffalo and numerous antelope species are commonly spotted along with lion, leopard and wild dog being the dominant predators. The Zambezi River is home to an abundance of hippo and crocodile in addition to tiger fish, giant vudu over 6ft long and plenty of riverine birdlife. Egrets, herons and cormorants often feature as do magnificent fish eagles and colourful kingfishers, making this a rewarding area for birders. A range of activities are offered including game drives, half day walking safaris and birdwatching safaris be open vehicle, foot or boat. For experienced horse-riders, there is an opportunity to join the Anti-Poaching Horseback Patrol to search for wire snares set by poachers and discover the behind-the-scenes story of Zambia’s conservation strategies. The park also offers a selection of luxurious lodges located amongst majestic palm trees along the gently flowing Zambezi riverbanks.
Safaris around the Falls Area
The following safari areas are all located relatively close to the Livingstone area, so would be ideal to visit in addition to the Victoria Falls: Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe, Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe, Kafue National Park, Zambia, Chobe National Park, Botswana, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, Chizarira National Park, Zimbabwe, Kazuma Pan National Park, Zimbabwe
The dry season (April to October) is the best time to view fauna, particularly migratory species such as elephant, however, birdlife flourishes during the summer months of November to March.
January, February, March and April – At the peak of the rainy season, this green season is one of the least popular times of the year to visit yet the Victoria Falls are most spectacular at peak flood season in March and April. However, photography of the full length of the gorge can be problematic as a result of the immense amounts of spray. In contrast, the view of the falls from the air during this time is spectacular. Most lodges in Livingstone should be open throughout this period, and rates are vastly lower than the peak season.
May and June – The rains begin to abate as May progresses, and temperatures fall to an average daytime temperature of 25°C. Most lodges are open throughout this period and rates are still lower than the peak season.
July, August, September and October – these months represent the dry season which is regarded as the best time to visit Livingstone. Temperatures steadily increase until they peak in October at around 40°C. October is widely accepted as the prime safari month. All lodges are open and peak season rates apply. Victoria Falls are at minimum flow during October and November.
November and December – Early November is climatically an uncomfortable time of the year with temperatures around 40°C. Humidity levels rise as the rains approach, however conditions improve as December progresses. The falls are at their lowest around November and December, therefore this is the best time to appreciate the geology of the area such as the sheer cliffs and the abyss into which the water falls. Most lodges in Livingstone are open during these months, with off peak rates offered.
Daily Variations Associated with Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls never looks the same every time you visit, as it differs depending on the time of day. Sunrise is an excellent time to view Danger Point and Knife-edge Point as three concentric rainbows appear as halos. Towards late afternoon and early evening, the stunning sunset is worth seeing. Moonlight is a fascinating time of day to view the falls as they take on an ethereal glow as the waters take on the appearance of being frozen as they blend into one smooth mass.
Rafting: The best rafting time is during the dry season at low water (July-January). As water levels rise during the summer months, rafting generally closes down and is unavailable due to difficult conditions.
Wildlife Viewing: Early winter (April to June) is not the preferential time as vegetation is high and groundwater abundant so game is dispersed throughout the area. As the dry season develops, wildlife viewing improves (August to Mid-November) as species accumulate around water holes and rivers. At the onset of rains (November-March), animals disperse again, however migratory birds return so this is the peak time for birdwatching. Accessibility of the parks is often limited however.
The Flight of Angels is a not to be missed experience at Victoria Falls or "Mosi-oa-Tunya" as it is ...read more
The Flight of Angels is a not to be missed experience at Victoria Falls or “Mosi-oa-Tunya” as it is known locally – “The Smoke that Thunders”. The pilot will fly circuits to give the best viewing, photographic and filming opportunities.
An exciting option is to take a flight on a Huey helicopter – with fully open side doors, the 13-passenger Huey zigzags through the 125-meter-high (410 foot) rock walls of Batoka Gorge, skimming close to the rapids.
We believe that a Zambezi River Cruise is a compulsory outing when in Victoria Falls, providing an ...read more
We believe that a Zambezi River Cruise is a compulsory outing when in Victoria Falls, providing an opportunity to unwind and soak up the atmosphere of the Zambezi River enjoying the scenery and wildlife with a cool drink.
Photo Credit: Dana Allen
The Livingstone Island lunch and Devil’s Pool tour is a seasonal experience combining a delicious ...read more
The Livingstone Island lunch and Devil’s Pool tour is a seasonal experience combining a delicious lunch on the edge of the Falls and an opportunity to jump into the Devil’s pool.
A Canoeing Safari on the Upper Zambezi River, is a wonderfully relaxing way to enjoy the ...read more
A Canoeing Safari on the Upper Zambezi River, is a wonderfully relaxing way to enjoy the astonishingly beautiful scenery that lines the river before it takes its plunge over the Victoria Falls.
Photo credit: River Horse
A guided tour of the David Livingstone Museum in Livingstone offers an interesting sight into the ...read more
A guided tour of the David Livingstone Museum in Livingstone offers an interesting sight into the life and work of one of the world’s great explorers.
Photo credit: Dana Allen
Take a walk into Mosi-oa-Tunya national park for the privilege of seeing Zambia’s protected white ...read more
Considered to be the best one day White Water Rafting trips in the world – after a safety ...read more
Considered to be the best one day White Water Rafting trips in the world – after a safety briefing and a steep walk into the gorge your journey begins.
A Zambezi Sunset Cruise is a compulsory outing, especially for first time visitors to the Victoria ...read more
A Zambezi Sunset Cruise is a compulsory outing, especially for first time visitors to the Victoria Falls. It provides an opportunity to unwind and soak up the atmosphere of the Zambezi River whilst indulging in canapés and cocktails!
The Victoria Falls Bridge Tour gives a fascinating and entertaining insight into how and why the ...read more
The Victoria Falls Bridge Tour gives a fascinating and entertaining insight into how and why the bridge was constructed in 1904-5.
Spanning the Zambezi Gorge, the bridge built in England was the vision of Cecil John Rhodes in his ambition to create the Cape to Cairo railway line.
Highlights of this tour include: ■ Seeing and experiencing a hundred years of Victorian Engineering, including a guided walk underneath the bridge ■ Informative talks on the history of the bridge ■ Magnificent views of the Victoria Falls and Batoka Gorge ■ Seeing a bungi jump up close and personal
Avani Victoria Falls Resort offers affordable accommodation in a very convenient location in Livingstone. It is surrounded by the Mosi-Oa-Tunya ... Read More
The David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa is situated 10 km upstream from Victoria Falls on the banks of the Zambezi River and 5 km from ... Read More
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is nestled along riverine trees on the banks of the Zambezi River, within the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. A mere 12 kms ... Read More
Sindabezi Island is an idyllic, exclusive camp on a privately owned isle in the middle of the Zambezi River and is the discerning ... Read More
Stanley Safari Lodge is set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking unspoilt bush, just three kilometres from the ... Read More
Tangala House is a luxurious private safari house on the banks of the Zambezi River. Stylishly designed and furnished, it comes with a vehicle and ... Read More
The Big 5 Safari company is a supporter of the The Zambezi Society and support its vital conservation work and anti-poaching patrols.Discover