When it comes to visiting Africa, Zambia is often overlooked for the well-trodden tourist trail of places such as South Africa and Kenya. Yet, for those who want to get off the beaten track, this landlocked country has much to offer.
But, if you want to explore one of Africa’s best kept secrets, you need to be fast. The country has big plans to increase tourism. Last year Zambia received 1.116 million tourists - by 2020, the government are targeting 12 million.
Act now, before the rest of the world cottons on to this overlooked gem.
1. Peace Out
Did you know Zambia made it into the top ten safest countries to visit in 2018? The US Department of State ranks countries according to its Global Peace Index evaluation and thanks to Zambia’s stability it scored highly. Come check out the laidback and friendly vibe for yourself.
2. Do go chasing waterfalls
Livingstone is home to one of the seven wonders of the world – the mighty Victoria Falls.
Get up-and-close and personal with a jaw-dropping walk around the falls and discover why it is called “Mosy-oa -Tunya” (the smoke that thunders).
Immerse yourself fully with a dip in Devil’s Pool – nature’s ultimate infinity pool on the edge of the falls itself.
Alternatively, rise above the rest with unravelled views of the falls with an exhilarating helicopter ride or micro light. If you are lucky you may even get to see elephants crossing the river below.
When the moon is full and the water is high, a late night trip to the falls is a must to witness the magic of a lunar rainbow.
3. Take a walk on the wild side
The Zambezi river is not just a hub for humans, it is a huge attraction to wildlife, too. Take a safari through the national park which boards the river and you could see animals such as rhino, elephant and giraffe. Not close enough to nature? Ditch the vehicle for a walking safari and who knows you could end up face-to-face with a rhino!
If the animals are not enough to get your blood pumping, then for the adrenaline junkies there are plenty of activities to raise your blood pressure. The bridge which connects Zambia with Zimbabwe also provides the perfect platform to bungee jump. Plunge headfirst into the gorge’s rainbows for a truly unique perspective.
You can also do a gorge swing, zipline or take part in white water rafting along the Zambezi – voted by Nat Geo as one of the top 10 places to raft in the world.
5. Culture Trip
Step away from the town center and see the true heart of Livingstone – its villages. Here you can experience traditional markets, see a huge variety of home dwellings and meet the people who give Zambia its friendly reputation.
6. Border Hop
Use Livingstone as base and tick-off other African countries from your to-do list.
It is just a quick hop across to the border to the town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where you can see the falls from a different perspective. People are divided about which country has the best view – why not check both out and make-up your own mind.
A day or overnight trip to Botswana is also popular – here you can experience the majestic Chobe National Park by car and boat.
Blow-up your Instagram feed as you enjoy some of the most stunning sunsets Africa has to offer. Be inspired by nature’s beauty as you enjoy spectacular oranges, reds and purples.
For a different perspective, try the sunset river cruises. Relax with a cold drink and watch the hippos and crocodiles as the sun melts into the Zambezi.
8. Spectacular Scenery
Take a drive outside of Livingstone and get into the local countryside where dirt-tracked roads are lined by ancient trees against a backdrop of impossibly blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
Prepare to be amazed as the rainy seasons lush pallet of green grass and fruit-laden trees makes way to the dry season’s dusty fields, opening the landscape for views that for last miles and miles.
9. Wine, dine and dance the night away
The influx of faceless corporate eateries has yet to filter through Livingstone nor has the inflated prices which usually come hand-in-hand. Nights out will not break the bank and there is a wide variety of affordable eats ranging from traditional cuisine (including the local favorite of nshima), or popular meals such as Indian, Italian and Chinese.
For those who want to dance the night away, there are several bars and night clubs where you can hear both mainstream and local beats.
10. Make an impact
Make an impact in the community by helping at the local schools to teach academic lessons, sports, health or gender empowerment. African Impact offer both short and long-term volunteering opportunities.