Named after the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who passed through in 1855, this small city is the most important tourist hub in Zambia due to its location a few miles from Victoria Falls. Although it is equipped with a good selection of hotels and other amenities, Livingstone is of limited interest in itself – far better to base yourself at one of the more characterful lodges situated above Victoria Falls or along the sumptuously tropical stretch of the Zambezi further upriver.
The main attraction is, of course, Victoria Falls. The world’s largest single sheet of falling water, this mile-wide, 350ft-high phenomenon is listed among National Geographic’s seven natural wonders of the world, and rightly so. Kicking up a tall plume of spray alluded to in its local name Mosi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that Thunders), the waterfall can be viewed from any number of viewpoints, all offering a different perspective on its primal power. These include the Zambezi Gorge at the waterfall’s base, the spray-doused Knife Edge Bridge, and the sensational Devil’s Pool, which stands in the middle of the river right above the raging white water.
The road bridge between the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of Victoria Falls is the launch site for one of the world’s highest and most scenic bungee jumps, a 364ft plummet into the Zambezi Gorge facing the falls. Other activities suited to those with strong hearts and a head for heights include abseiling, high-wiring and a gorge swing.
Immediately downriver of Victoria Falls, commercial whitewater rafting excursions through the Zambezi Gorge run an explosive series of Grade IV-V rapids with names like Boiling Pot, Oblivion and Gnashing Jaws of Death. And if that doesn’t get your adrenaline flowing, river-boarding and white-water kayaking are also available.