We all know that Livingstone, Zambia has fantastic things to do, from sunset cruises to rafting to jumping in the Devil’s Pool on the edge of Victoria Falls. However, Livingstone residents aren’t going to splurge on tourist activities and fancy dinners every night of the week. Nevertheless, they do have insider knowledge about affordable restaurants, shops and things to do. Check out our 10 go-to places for locals in Livingstone, Zambia.
Victoria Falls National Park has a tiered entrance rate, so you’ll find many Zambian families spending their free time on the weekends within the park. Unlike tourists typically looking for a quick photo opportunity of Victoria Falls, locals draw out their time experiencing the park. Don’t rush it; enjoy the rainforest and check out this incredible ecosystem.
Victoria Falls National Park is also a go-to place for Livingstone residents to work up a sweat. The Boiling Pot trail meanders all the way down to the Zambezi River within the Batoka Gorge. The well-marked path is made with a series of uneven steps, so you need to be relatively able-bodied to make it down and back up again. From the bottom, you’ll be graced with a completely different view of Victoria Falls from below the cascades.
If you are looking to keep fit in Livingstone, numerous gyms offer a reasonably priced drop-in rate. Alternatively, head out for a jog up the Airport Road. This is a standard running route for locals, including the Zambian Air Force. We don’t recommend running on the road to Victoria Falls due to the frequency of elephant encounters.
If you are searching for authentic Zambia food, then head to Panshila. You can try Zambia’s staple dish of nshima, which is a stiff cornmeal porridge. Sides might include Zambezi Bream, Village Chicken and seasonal vegetables like impwa, okra or rape. If your travel buddies would prefer a more rounded menu, then head over to Zest, which offers a mixture of western and Zambian dishes.
Livingstone has a large Indian community that have been residents for generations. Luckily, this means that the town boasts numerous Indian restaurants. Golden Leaf is famous amongst locals for outstanding food and very popular for groups due to their assortment of vegetarian dishes. The Drums of Heaven are a dish which is reason enough to travel to Livingstone!
If you are craving authentic Italian food while in Livingstone, most locals will tell you to head to Olga’s – The Italian Corner. Located opposite Mosi-oa-Tunya Square Shopping Centre, this restaurant offers pizzas from a wood-burning oven and fresh pasta. If Italian gelato is more up your street, you need to walk over to Da Canton to find a vast assortment of flavours. Trust us when we say that you will be coming back for more after trying the Amarula ice cream!
Any Livingstone local will tell you that you can’t expect to do all of your grocery shopping at the larger shops. For the freshest seasonal vegetables, head to the Green Market on Kuta Way, opposite the High Court. There is no need to haggle down the prices as they are generally set and the same for locals or tourists.
Second-hand clothes, or salaula, is big business in Livingstone, Zambia. If you want to find an incredible bargain, then head to Maramba Market or a DAPP shop on the main street. Ask any Livingstone resident, and they will vouch for having the best tailor. Find your favourite chitenge material and have a shirt, dress, jacket or complete outfit made up in time for you to take with you when you leave.
Crafts and Souvenirs
Mukuni Park Craft Market right in town offers a massive range of locally produced goods. Makers from the surrounding communities send in their best products to be sold but feel free to chat with the vendors if you would like something unique. If you have a few days in Livingstone, you might be able to get a custom-made piece.
Sundowners are a big thing in Livingstone. Everyone will have their favourite spot to watch the sun go down on another day in Zambia and ensure that they have a cold drink to go along with it. Friday nights are popular at Bongwe Big Bush, Pub and Grub and at the Victoria Falls Waterfront for happy hour. Alternatively, you might luck out with live music options at Taonga Safaris. On the weekend, you’ll often find Livingstone residents treating themselves to a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River for the ultimate sunset view.
When you travel to a new destination, one of the best ways to find out the hidden secrets is to ask the locals for advice. They will know the out of the way locations that serve the best food or where to find the best viewpoints. Livingstonians are incredibly open and welcoming and proud to showcase the best aspects of the city they call home. Check out local events at Destination Livingstone.
Author – Kim Barnett
Client – Destination Livingstone
Photo Credit Waterfront Bar – Sean Edington
Photo Credit DL M2 Image – Tony Barnett
VF24 – Editor 5