HIDDEN BEAUTY

Zambia 2014 | TOURISM | PHOTO ESSAY: LIVINGSTONE

Located on the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia, Livingstone hosts one of the greatest natural wonders of the world with Victoria Falls.

Named after the famous Victorian explorer, Dr. David Livingston, the town of Livingstone has been an important settlement since it was established in 1905. The town become a major European settlement due to its strategic importance, and in 1911 was established as the capital of Northern Rhodesia. Due to its status as capital, the city enjoyed significant development over the years, as can still be seen in its many British colonial buildings that still stand today. Livingstone also holds the distinction of creating the country's first national newspaper.

However, while the city was popular with colonialists, it was still an area of importance in pre-colonial times. Roughly 10 kilometers south of present day Livingstone stood Baleya village of Mukuni, the largest in the area. The inhabitants were originally from the Rozwi culture of Zimbabwe, and were conquered by Chief Mukuni, who came from the Congo in the 18th Century. Many tribes in the region often fought and negotiated who would have control over the region and the nearby Victoria Falls. Naturally, the waterfall is one of the main draws for tourists for the city, as it is the closest on the Zambian side. The Falls were observed by David Livingstone on November 16, 1855, making him the first recorded European to do so. He stood on the shore of the Zambezi River and named it Victoria Falls, after Queen Victoria. The indigenous name in Tongan is Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smoke that thunders." While Victoria Falls is not the highest or the widest waterfall in the world, it is the largest based on its width of 1,708 meters and height of 108 meters. This means that it creates the largest falling sheet of water in the world, only rivaled by Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. A highlight of any trip to Livingstone is most certainly a sunset cruise on the Zambezi looking out to Victoria Falls. In addition to the city's proximity to one of the world's greatest natural wonders, the city also houses the country's oldest and largest museum, which is split into five sections, dating back to the 1930s. The Archaeology Gallery hosts numerous works and exhibits on human evolution and cultural development in Zambia from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. The other galleries showcase objects relating to different cultures in the region and country, the history of the Bantu people, the country's nature and wildlife, the development of British colonial rule, and the country's subsequent independence.