Livingstone & Surrounds
Livingstone was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census.It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer who was the first European to explore the area.
Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: the Smoke that Thunders), is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855 from what is now known as Livingstone Island, one of two land masses in the middle of the river, immediately upstream from the falls on the Zambian side. Livingstone named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria, but the indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya—”the smoke that thunders”—continues in common usage as well. The nearby national park in Zambia, for example, is named Mosi-oa-Tunya, whereas the national park and town on the Zimbabwean shore are both named Victoria Falls. The World Heritage List officially recognizes both names.
In 2013 the government of Zimbabwe declared its intention to officially rename the falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, citing continuity with other renamings such as Harare (from Salisbury), and Zimbabwe (from Rhodesia).
While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water.
Mosi-ao-Tunya National Park
Mosi-ao-Tunya National Park is divided into two sections; a game park along the riverbank and the staggering Victoria Falls, each with separate entrances. The immense and awe-inspiring Victoria Falls are known to the local people as Mosi-oa-Tunya – “Smoke Which Thunders”, and is the greatest known curtain of falling water in the world.
However you describe them, the falls are a breathtaking spectacle which, “roar as if possessed”, and spew vast clouds of mist from a dark and seething cauldon.” They are one of the greatest natural wonders in the world.
This is a small wildlife sanctuary (only 25.5 square miles (66 square kilometres) running along the north bank of the Zambezi, encompassed in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. It is worth a short visit not only for the sight of what are probably Zambia’s only remaining rhino, but also for some other common species.
Within this park is the Old Drift cemetery where the first European settlers were buried. They made camp by the river, but kept succumbing to a strange and fatal illness. They blamed the yellow/green-barked ‘Fever Trees’ for this incurable malady, while all the time it was the malarial mosquito causing their demise. Before long the community moved to higher ground and the town of Livingstone emerged.
Livingstone’s main street is dotted with classic colonial buildings, and while some are decaying, many others have been restored. Victorian tin roofed houses with wooden verandas are a typical example of the English settler architecture and there is also a distinct art-deco influence. Livingstone is a quiet lazy little town with much charm and a feeling of optimism in the air.
Baboons are frequently seen on the paths leading to the falls and small antelopes and warthogs inhabit the rain forests that hug the edge of the falls. In the wildlife reserve, the pastures and tall riverine forests contain plenty of birds and a scattering of animals including some white rhino, elephants, giraffe, zebra, sable, eland, buffalo and impala.
|Visa requirements||Only citizens of countries that are exempted from having to apply for a visa, then one must obtain a visa either at the port of entry or at a Zambian Mission abroad. For further information please visit the Zambia Tourist Board page on http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel-info/visa-information|
|Languages spoken||Tokaleya, Tonga, Lozi, Nyanja, Bemba, English|
|Currency used||Zambian Kwacha|