Written by Innocent Düf
I used to contest the trueness of the slogan ‘Zambia, the real Africa’. Each and every time I saw it in a magazine or a newspaper, immediately I could tell myself:’ Zambia doesn’t deserve to be called the real Africa. It has nothing special to offer. Maybe some countries like Seychelles, Mauritius, Egypt, and probably South Africa can claim to be the real Africa’.
My doubts were dissipated last April this year, when I visited Livingstone Town, situated in the Zambian deep south.
Named after the famous Victorian explorer and evangelist, Dr. David Livingstone, the town was established I 1905. As a major European settlement, the town was made the capital of the then Northern Rhodesia.
I got there around 12 hours. I had driven for 5 hours from Lusaka, the capital and I was really starving. I parked in front of Flying Pizza restaurants, situated at the main road, near adventure centre. Apart of different types of pizzas, shwarmas, burritos and different African dishes are served there. The restaurant was full of tourists from different corners of the planet: Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Chinese, South Africans, Indians, Arabs, …
I was really surprised because I used to think that Livingstone was just a provincial, quite and small town. Yet, it is small and had no traffic jams, but it is quite cosmopolitan. This is largely due to its geographic position. Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia borders are in a few kilometers from Livingstone and it takes only 1 hour of flight from Johannesburg (South Africa).
After eating, I started lounging about with a group of Scandinavian tourists. I was impressed by the examples of old colonial architecture, such as the North Western Hotel, The Saint Andrew Church, the Coillard Memorial Church, for naming a few. All of them have been built in the first decade of the last century.
Then I visited the Livingstone Museum, the Zambia’s biggest museum. The curator, an old man with a heavy Zimbabwean accent explained us that the museum has got five sections. The archeology gallery that describes human and cultural evolution in Zambia from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. The Ethnography gallery shows objects relating to the cultures of 72 zambian tribes, including the handcrafts, traditional weapons, music instruments, etc. The History gallery includes the origin of Bantu people, the british colonial era and the attainment of Independence. The museum has also got a Natural History section which shows various indigenous animals in their natural habitat.
There is apparently no criminality in Livingstone, that’s why every night is a big party, especially for tourists.
The following day, I went to see the nearby spectacular Victoria Falls. It took me just a few minutes to get there. My amazement was beyond measure and I wasn’t the only one to be absolutely bewildered. This seventh world wonder leaves no one indifferent, especially those who contemplate it for the first time. I even saw a Russian lady who was shedding tears of joy, saying how she wished she could stay in Livingstone for the rest of her life.
Several adrenaline sports are done by tourists yearning for big thrills. I can mention the Jumping off of the 111 meters high Victoria Falls Bridge, white water rafting through Butoka Gorge, canoeing on the upper Zambezi, river boarding on the Zambezi rapids, abseiling off the cliffs of Victoria Falls Gorge, etc.
Adventure companies organize for very low prices game safaris through the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park, helicopter flips over the falls, river safaris, elephant back safaris, etc.
Livingstone is truly irresistible!