Livingstone - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Livingstone


Livingstone, also known as Maramba, is a historic colonial city on the southern border of Zambia. Incorporated as part of Northern Rhodesia under Cecil John Rhodes, the town gained prominence in the 19th century as a trading hub for passage across the Zambezi River.

As trade and industry in the region has declined, the town has embraced the tourist trade that comes naturally to it. Just 6.2 miles (10km) from the Zambezi River, Livingstone is a popular gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls and has benefitted from the hordes of tourists that flock there each year. Its colonial past means the city has a number of historical buildings; and several good museums devoted to archaeology, history, ethnography, geology, railways, and of course the town's namesake: David Livingstone.

Livingstone is a great base from which to explore the abundant nature and wildlife of southern Zambia. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park offers birdwatching and game safaris, and a number of cruises and water activities are available along the Zambezi River.

Information & Facts

There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English. All business is in English and most Zambians speak it fairly well.

The Zambian currency is the Kwacha (ZMK), divided into 100 ngwee, but the coins are now worthless and seldom used. It is best to bring travellers cheques, US Dollars or Pounds Sterling which can be exchanged at the many bureaux de change found in the main towns. While most of the tourist hotels, restaurants, travel agents and larger shops, especially in Lusaka and Livingstone, accept credit cards many outlets in the rural areas do not and deal only in local currency. ATMs are available in Lusaka and some of the major towns. Banking hours vary but are usually 8.30am to 2.30pm on weekdays and mornings of the first and last Saturday of the month.

Local time in Zambia is GMT +2.

The largest artificial lake in the world, Lake Kariba is a popular excursion for tourists in Zambia staying in Victoria Falls and Livingstone. A number of game and safari parks ring the lake on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides, and tour operators offer a number of water activities such as boat and pontoon cruises. Lake Kariba is an excellent place to see wildlife like crocodiles, hippos, zebra and buffalo. The facilities around the lake are good, offering entertainment centred around the casino and hotel complexes.

The majestic Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), are located on the Zambezi River, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Explorer David Livingstone named the falls for Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the falls have been attracting travellers and adventure seekers for decades, its pounding waters creating a mist that can be seen for miles and the sound of the falls, especially in the rainy season (November to April), making it difficult to hear anything else. There is a trail that runs along the cliff adjacent to the waterfall which visitors can use to reach the scenic viewpoints, and the Flight of Angels helicopter tour is a phenomenal way to see the falls from above. Guided tours are also available from Livingstone.

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