Difference between revisions of "Livingstone"
Revision as of 19:43, 30 December 2004
Livingstone has its own small airport, and flights arrive daily.
Relatively comfortable luxury buses (called the "Euro-Bus) travel between Lusaka and Livingstone, for around $5; tickets may be purchased in advance at the bus depot in Lusaka. These buses deposit you in downtown Livingstone, near a taxi rank. It is also possible to catch a minibus from Lusaka, for about the same price.
If you are aching to rent a car and drive yourself around Zambia, this might be the trip for you. The roads between Livingstone and Lusaka are among the country's best, and the trip involves only one right turn.
For the international driver, roads lead into Livingstone from Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Applicable import taxes apply.
The city of Livingstone -- where the bulk of the accommodation, restaurants, niteclubs, etc. are located -- is relatively small. Most likely, you will be comfortable walking around town. However, if you prefer not to, taxis prowl constantly.
The city sits about 5 miles from The Falls, making it just long enough to not want to walk. However, taxis and minibuses are happy to take you there (or back) for about $1 per person.
Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most amazing sights in the world. Twice as tall as Niagra Falls, and several times longer, Victoria Falls affords visitors a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing experience.
Thanks to a well-designed park, visitors can touch the waters of the Zambezi just meters before it plunges over the falls; cross the falls on narrow bridge that provides spectacular views; and shoot rolls and rolls of film, without feeling their photos are redundant.
Victoria Falls is becoming an adventurer's paradise. In recent years, many "extreme sports" have appeared, including:
Livingstone provides an inexhaustible supply of curio vendors, women selling fabrics, boys selling cool drinks, girls selling jewelry, and so on. You could easily spend all your money here. Be aware, though, that since this is a popular stop for tourists unfamiliar with bargaining, prices might be somewhat higher here than in other places. A savvy bargainer, however, can still strike gold.
If you Bungee Jump, Raft the Zambezi, or do any of the other "extreme activities," you've got to buy the t-shirt. It is a badge of honor in Africa, and a great way to tell others how tough you are.
Considering Livingstone is such a tourist destination, you can be certain that Western-style meals are easy to find -- everything from pizza, to burgers, even burritos! However, many of these restaurants seem to open and close rapidly. One "old horse" that has been around for a while is located about one-quarter of the way between Livingstone and the Falls, on the right-hand side; they double as a plant nursery. They are not open for dinner. Others include:
If you're interested in a more authentic African meal, there are local restaurants willing to serve you; look around.
Every hostel, hotel, and resort in Livingstone features its own bar. If you want to get a cold one, you won't have to look far. There are also a number of niteclubs downtown, where tourists and locals alike dance to local and Western music.
There are a number of places to sleep in Livingstone.
High End -- over $200/night.
Mid-Range -- between $20 and $200/night.
Budget -- under $20/night.
You can catch a bus in Livingstone that will take you through Southwestern Province to the Zambia-Namibia border, depositing you just on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River, near the Caprivi Strip. This is desolate land. If the bus breaks down, be prepared to wait a while; bringing water and a snack is a good idea. On the other hand, for the independent traveler, this is the fastest, cheapest, most memorable way to get to Namibia.
Generally, Livingstone is a fairly safe town. They want to continue to attract foreign currency, so they are careful to make travelers feel safe. However, be careful about walking downtown at night, especially if you've been drinking. There are very few streetlights, and many of the locals are very poor.
The people at http://www.afrizim.com/Home.asp provide a lot of information and photos about Livingstone.
http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/places/victoria.htm is another good site.