The ideal base for visiting Victoria Falls, Livingstone is a small town which has it all, from great views of the falls, to relaxing on the Zambezi and indulging in the many adrenaline-fuelled activities available.
Basing yourself in the small town of Livingstone to see the Zambian side of Victoria Falls gives you access to a number of camps in great locations. These are well worth visiting in themselves, offering a number of activities in the park or on the Zambezi, and most lodges are actually on the river, between a 20 and 45 minute drive from the Falls.
Unlike the Zimbabwean side of the falls, from which the Falls are within easy walking distance, Livingstone is about 6km from the river, and you need to get in a car to get there. Whether the Falls are best viewed from Zambia or Zimbabwe is a rather subjective issue, and depends on when you visit, and who you talk to. From Zambia, a look along the gorge lets you see the area of the Falls immediately in front of any viewpoints.
However, the river can get pretty low at the end of the dry season (September through to November), and both countries suffer when the river is in spate (March), as you see an awful lot of spray and not much of the falls themselves. You also get a free shower!
You can generally spend around three nights in these camps enjoying the environment and relaxing when you are not doing the rafting, bungee jumping or other Falls activities. Of course, it is less easy to be independent here, as you need to get transfers to and from the Falls, but the camps are well-equipped to organise transport and activities for you.
Livingstone itself is quite a small town, but larger than Victoria Falls, with a number of nice coffee shops and a few restaurants. There is a decent craft market to visit and a couple of good museums if that is your thing, and offers a pleasant, unhurried, African-time air.
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- Swim to the edge in Devil’s Pool
- See the mighty falls
- Boating on the Upper Zambezi
- Stay at the beautiful Tongabezi
Top Reasons To Visit Victoria Falls Livingstone
Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.
Best time to go visit Livingstone Victoria Falls
Visit Victoria Falls in July and August to enjoy a 25°C Zambian winter
While the Falls will be more subdued, Livingstone is at its most tourist-friendly during July and August, with warm weather, better visibility and a huge range of water sports available for visitors.
This is all thanks to a lower water level within the Falls themselves, which will allow intrepid tourists to enter the water to swim or go rafting, without any of the risks of getting caught in the rapids. The local safari parks on both sides of the Falls are also in their prime, giving you a more versatile range of options when planning your visit.
Summer in Zambia falls in our wintertime, so for the most spectacular experience of Victoria Falls, visit Livingstone once the rainy season tapers off, having replenished the water levels. This leads to some extraordinary noise as the water moves over the rocks, as well as the awe-inspiring sight of steam rising as the Falls cascade.
The closest thing to a downside for visitors coming to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls at this time of year is that it is somewhat out of step with the best times to visit some of its surrounding areas, particularly when a safari trip is concerned. During this period, the Falls themselves are also too active for all but the most experienced water sports enthusiasts to swim or kayak. However, for pure spectacle, a visit to Victoria Falls during this time is simply unbeatable.
Best time to go visit Livingstone Victoria Falls
Our Favourite Camps & Lodges
The location of the Tongabezi is awe inspiring on the banks of the Zambezi with stunning views of the river from all of the rooms except the garden room.Learn More
The River Club is a slightly incongruous mixture of croquet lawns and pavilion-like summerhouses alongside reed and thatch rooms overlooking a broad swath of the Zambezi.Learn More
Sindabezi is one of those places that you want to tell all your friends about and at the same time keep entirely to yourself.Learn More
Toka Leya is a more modern take on a tented camp, raised up on platforms allowing animals to pass through camp without risking a human/wildlife conflict.Learn More
Livingstone (FAQS) NEED TO KNOW
Is Livingstone the best place to see Victoria Falls?
The debate between which side of the river — Zambia or Zimbabwe — offers the best views of Victoria Falls has raged since visitors first set foot in the area. Ultimately, it’s a subjective decision, but will depend on what you’re looking to get out of your trip to Victoria Falls. Livingstone has more to offer visitors, but is a longer drive away, as well as a more diverse range of authentic accommodation options in the form of lodges and camps.
What activities are there to do in Livingstone?
Visiting the Livingstone side of Victoria Falls offers a thrilling range of things to see and do, including many ways to see the Falls themselves. For example, you can take a walk along the falls, and even cross from Zambia to Zimbabwe, provided you have the time to negotiate with immigration officials. Otherwise, a fifteen-minute Microlite flight can offer an incredible panorama of the Falls, provided you’re happy to join the queue, or a helicopter trip to get right into the gorge.
More intrepid individuals may be interested in going white water rafting, while those who want to see more of the area’s culture should visit Livingstone Island. Enjoy high-tea or lunch, and take in the lunar rainbow visible during the full moon. You can also access the daring Devil’s Pool if you fancy a dip on the very edge of the waterfall — a highly recommended excursion, if not one for the faint of heart.
What is the accommodation at Livingstone like?
The Zambia side of Victoria Falls provides a range of brilliant lodges to suit any traveler, from the creature comforts of the Tongabezi lodge on the banks of the Zambezi to more rough-and-ready camps like the modern tented expanse of Toka Leya. Whatever you’re looking for on your Livingstone trip, you won’t be disappointed by your choice of lodgings.
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