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Livingstone, the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls ...great places to discover the Real Africa!


Africa Travel Magazine animated logo links to Interactive Map of African Tourism Destinations
A delightful characteristic most ATA delegates share is their eagerness to explore new parts of this fascinating continent. With 53 unique countries and an endless variety of topography, cultures and wildlife species, it's truly a lifetime quest. The trio (below) is a fine example of ATA's jet setters - Robert D'Angelo of Philadelphia, Elyse White (95) of Harlem, and Robert Eilets of New York City, whose photos are seen on our web site and magazine. Like most members, they are anxious feel the spray and catch the splendor of Victoria Falls. Livingstone Tourism Association has provided the following historical sketch, written by Mr. Gill Staden, a well known journalist from the area.

Natural Mystic Lodge ~ On the Zambezi:
Located on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Natural Mystic Lodge offers a unique vacation experience for every travel adventurer. Victoria Falls is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles and was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1989 for being one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.  Visitors can gaze at the mighty Zambezi as it flows into the wide edge of the Victoria Falls gorge. This waterfall is the world's largest curtain of falling water, although its fame has spread far and wide, the magic of the site has been preserved for all to come and see. P.O. Box 60638, Nakatindi Road, Livingstone, Zambia. Members of Livingstone Tourism Association. Members of Zambia National Tourism Board. Email: - Phone: 260-3-322812, Cell: 260-97-791278 -

The City of Livingstone was born on 25 February, 1905, much to the annoyance of the white pioneers who had come to the area. These hardy men and women had settled themselves by the river, 5 km upstream from the Victoria Falls and they felt that a move up to the new Livingstone would be disastrous for trade. The British South African Company (BSAC), who administered this area of Central Africa had, in 1905, completed the Victoria Falls bridge and felt that it was about time to move the pioneers from the mosquito-infested swamplands by the river where the people had lived for the past 10 years. The BSAC had to enforce the edict by giving fines of one shilling per day for anyone who failed to move. Eventually the old settlement was abandoned. There is not much to see at the original site, known as the Old Drift, only some non-indigenous trees and the graves of some of the many who died there. It is now within the Game Park.

The first buildings to be erected at the new Livingstone were made of poles and mud, with tin roofs. The site was high up on a sand ridge in the middle of a forest of teak trees. The railway line had only reached the station, about one km away - quite a distance to walk on the sandy roads. The people were not happy in the new Livingstone and wondered what was to become of them. Then the BSAC decided to move their administrative center from Kalomo to Livingstone. From 1907 to 1935, Livingstone was the capital of North Western Rhodesia, and this was a time of prosperity. It was during these years that many buildings were erected.

We often consider these times as being romantic, and to us it must seem that way, but life was not easy. Water was a continual problem - it had to be pumped up from the Maramba River and bucketed to the houses. The toilets of all the houses were sited at the back of the yards where the bucket brigade using ox-carts came every morning to empty the sanitary buckets. All the roads were deep sand, making a walk of any distance tiresome. A tram-line was laid from town to the railway station and then on to the boat club. Small cabooses were made for people to sit on and they were pushed up and down the hill by servants. Many of the old houses which were built at this time have fallen into a state of disrepair. But some are being lovingly restored and are well worth looking for. In the future if the economy continues to pick up more will be restored and this will enhance the beauty of Livingstone.

Profiles of Zambia in World Media
Africa Travel Magazine's Zambia "Success Story" will continue to grow in length and depth all year, as our reams of notes, treasured photos and mementos become transformed into words and pictures for broadcast, print and Internet media. The message from Zambia's genial Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources, Hon. Patrick Kalifungwa sets the stage for "Ethno Tourism." His warm personality combined with his ministry staff's dedication, won friends and influenced people before, during and after the congress. These efforts signal greater rewards to come for Zambia Tourism, as ATA members spread the word about this exciting destination near and far.
North Western and North Eastern Rhodesia were amalgamated in 1935 to form Northern Rhodesia and it was then that the capital was moved to Lusaka - a more central location. Livingstone continued to thrive for some time because it became a manufacturing center. Factories made blankets, textiles, clothes, cars. But slowly, as the economy started to decline, so did the wealth of Livingstone. After Independence in 1964, Northern Rhodesia became Zambia and shortly after that Zambia adopted the politics of humanism, which is akin to socialism, and a one-party government. More and more Zambia cut itself off from the outside world. The price of copper, their main export, decreased. The economy did not diversify. Zambia became poorer and poorer. Livingstone suffered badly as tourism was not encouraged and the manufacturing base declined. It left Livingstone (along with the rest of Zambia) with extremely high unemployment and dreadful poverty. Finally the people stood up to be counted and voted in a new government which espoused a multiparty democracy. Since then Zambia has opened its doors to the outside world and taken on major economic reforms.

This has led to an increase in tourists visiting Zambia, especially Livingstone.

For full information on services at Livingstone Tourism Association, see the web site:, e-mail: