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Africa Travel Magazine's "Great Cities of Africa" editions include Lusaka, Zambia and Livingstone, tourism capital and home of Victoria Falls, one of the Top 10 Wonders of the World

Discover the Real Africa in Livingstone!


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 on the right is a fine example of ATA's jet setters - Robert D'Angelo of Philadelphia; Elyse White of Harlem, and Robert Eilets, 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. They also seek to learn facts about Livingstone, our hosts for a key segment of the 2003 Congress. Livingstone Tourism Association has provided the following historical sketch, written by Mr. Gill Staden, a well known journalist from the area. We know that you will enjoy his story.

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.

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:

Natural Mystic Lodge on the Zambezi

More links to come

Livingstone and Victoria Falls

The Southern part of Zambia is one of the most famous regions in Africa. For here is located the Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of falling water in the world, also known locally by the poetic name Mosi-O-Tunya, "The Smoke that Thunders".

Only those who have seen the pillars of spray rising far into the blue sky like a cloud of smoke, felt the slight vibration of the ground beneath their feet heard the tremendous roar of millions of liters of water plunging headlong into a narrow charms, been drenched by the continually falling rain coming through the trees as they walk through the emerald green setting of the rain forest stood on the Knife Edge Bridge o gaze into the deep raging gorge below, or been confronted with the haunting captivating sight of a clear and beautiful lunar rainbow-scintillating with such an unearthly glow, can understand the spell that the Falls has cast over man for centuries.

This region has matured into a Mecca for lovers of the adventurous lifestyle and has now become one of the adventure playgrounds of the world. It is brimming with unlimited

Opportunities for the adventurous.



Named after the Scottish missionary and explorer, the small city of Livingstone is a testament to the years of British colonial rule. Public buildings with wide steps, columned entrances and white facades, Edwardian residences and Cape Dutch churches evoke an atmosphere of a bygone age.

In 1935, when the capital was transferred to Lusaka. Livingstone had to find a new role for itself. By the time of Zambia's independence in the 1960's, it was known as the tourist capital of Zambia, due to its proximity to the Victoria Falls. Complete with an international airport today, Livingstone looks set to burgeon into one of Africa's busiest holiday centers.

The Victoria Falls are 10 km from Livingstone. It is in fact divided into six waterfalls: Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, Armchair Falls and Eastern Falls.

For centuries, these dazzling waterfalls were considered sacred and local people came here to pray and make their offerings. Only following the visit of David Livingstone on 16 November 1855 did they come to the attention of the western world? The Falls is designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It will stand naked of modern attractions and remains as beautiful as ever in its natural setting.

Dr. David Lingstone
Missionary, Traveler, Philanthropist'

In choosing to name the town after Livingstone, its founders, which due deliberation, placed themselves within the aura of a man who was regarded throughout the British Empire as a saint"

After independence in 1964, Zambia' Africanized" all Colonial town, place and street names, except for the town of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls, another legacy of the explorer.

David Livingstone is considered a hero in modern Zambia as well. A national monument stands at the place where Livinstone died in the Bangweulu Swamps, in Zambia's Northern Province. schools, churches and colleges are named after him…

In addition, it is fitting that this largely Christian country salutes a man who dedicated his life to spreading the gospel and ending slavery in Central Africa.

The territories now bordered within modern Zambia, enjoyed the bulk of his efforts.

Born into relative poverty in 1813 in Scotland, David Livingstone struggled to achieve his ambition of being a medical missionary. Accepted into the London Missionary Society in 1838, graduating Physicians and Surgeons. Three weeks later, he was en route to Africa, to Kuruman via Cape Town.

Mission life at Kuruman didn't suit Livinstone and circumstances didn't help either. In fact, Livingstone opinioned that missionaries should only remain at one place long enough to establish a mission station and train native teachers. Towards this end, accompanied by his long-suffering wife, Mary and backers, Murray & Oswell, Livingstone set out in 1849 on an arduous and fruitless journey to establish a mission station at Lake Ngami (Botswana). Undeterred by failure, he tried again, attempting to travel further North in search of a suitable mission site… but fever caused him to return.

In 1851, Lvingstone and Oswell set out once again. 5 months later they arrived at Shesheke. In addition, Livingstone met with the Zambezi River for the first time and heard mention of "Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders".


Determined to find an ideal location for a mission as well as a practicable route to the West Coast, Livingstone embarked on what is considered his first great missionary journey, a journey that started in Cape Town in June 1852. By December he had reached Linyanti, a year later he headed for Luanda after a frustrating search for a fever-free mission site. and it was a journey from hell. Six months in, twelve months out, arriving back at Linyanti in September 1855.

Now looking for an outlet to the East Coast, he broke his journey to see for himself. the waterfall that thunders and smokes. On the 22nd of November,, 1855, he approached the falls in a small boat from upstream and landed on what is today called Livingstone Island located on the lip of the falls. With the mile-wide Zambezi rushing past on either side, "creeping with awe to the edge of the verge, I peered down into a large rent which had been made from bank to bank of the broad Zamberxi and saw the river leap down a hundred feet before becoming suddenly compressed into a space of yards…

The most wonderful sight I had seen in Africa"

On the 22 November, 1855, Davie Livingstone became the first European to see, what he named 'The Victoria Falls" in honour of his queen. Livingstone continued his journey, reaching Quilimane, Mocambique in May 1856.

IN 1858, Livingstone, now designated "Consul" and backed by Empire, embarked on his ill-fated "Zambezi Expedition" A futile attempt at opening the south-central interior of Africa via the "God's Highway' of the Zambezi River. He still managed to visit the Victoria Falls for the second time on the 9 of June, 1860.

IN 1865, Livingstone embarked on his last great journey in search of the source of the Nile. It was on this journey that he encountered Stanley in 1872 at Ujiji…"Dr. Livingstone, I presume>>"


David Livingstone died on May 4,1873, in Chitambo's Village on the edge of he Bangweulu Swamps, still seeking the source of the Nile… but in the wrong place. His last words referring to slavery recorded in his diary:

"All I can say in my solitude is, may heaven's rich blessing come down on every one, American, English, Turk who will help to heal this open sore of the world."

Zambia's popularity as a tourist destination is in ascendancy, a fact vindicated by a booming Livinngstone. This past decade of democrat has seen unprecedented growth in the town and surrounds.

Zambia has always enjoyed a calm political atmosphere. This, along the great views, easy and affordable access and friendly welcoming people, makes Zambia the ideal choice for viewing the Falls.

Zambia is the seventh natural wonder of the world and the town of Livingstone and encourages exploring the rest of Zambia, the real Africa.

When Dr. David Livinstone or Munali as he was known to Africans met with Munokalya Mukuni (Royal of Royals), neither of then realized they shared one thing in common, the name "Livingstone". For one of the rituals during coronation transforms the Mukuni tile holder into the "Living Stone' And he dies his death is officially announced as the "Living Stone is shattered."

This explains why Livingstone City retained its colonial name at Independence when it became fashionable to replace colonial with local names. The continuation of the name Livingstone made a lot of sense in the psychology of the local people.

Traditionally Munokaly Mukuni jointly rules the Victoria Falls region with a queen known as the Bedyango. Thus the Mukuni monarch practices a dual kinship system between male and female lineages. In his culture, women decide and manage the cultural issues including land allocation whereas men carry management.

By Chief Mukuni


European colonization brought peace and order. Today the Tonga, Leya, Toka and Lozi peoples peacefully cohabit the rural parameters of Livingstone Town. Defined by tribe, ruled by tradition governed by a democracy and occasionally mixing freely in the competitive urban free-market melee, that is Livingstone today.


A country rich in wildlife, Zambia was named after the mighty Zambezi River, which flows through southern Zambia.

He has a population of about 10 millions. It is a very young country. There are 73 identified language groups among Zambia's indigenous population. All of these are Bantu speaking. The country provides fabulous options for the wildlife adventurers including both night and day games drives by open vehicle, walking safaris using remote Bush camps or mobile tented camps, canoe safaris and white-water rafting.

The country's four major parks are SOUTH Luangwa National Park, North Luangwa National Park, lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park. South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi are the most popular of the four, largely due to their concentrations of game.