It’s hard to beat an all-time favourite and The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara is just that kind of place. With free roaming wildlife, proximity to the Victoria Falls and old-era feel, it’s a must visit destination in Zambia.
- A visit to the Victoria Falls is unforgettable and being drenched by the spray of this natural wonder is a truly soulful experience.
- Since its opening in 2001, some of the biggest international stars have stayed at The Royal Livingstone.
- The hotel offers established luxury in a resort style environment surrounded by natural beauty.
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Accessible by train on a luxurious Rovos Rail voyage or a 90-minute flight from Johannesburg, Livingstone in Zambia is seeing some significant growth and development. From lush resorts to boutique lodges, the area is seeing a resurgence of interest post-Covid, as adventure seekers and romantics at heart are heading to this world-famous location, partly to view the spectacular Victoria Falls but also to experience all the attractions this slice of Africa has to offer.
Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, attracts travelers from around the globe who seek to immerse themselves in the breathtaking majesty of the waterfalls and embark on thrilling water, land, and sky adventures. While the falls offer unforgettable experiences on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides, it is the Zambian side that provides some exclusive adventures and luxurious accommodations for guests, particularly at The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara and the neighboring AVANI Victoria Falls Resort.
The Sandton Times set out to see some of the latest attractions and developments, getting a first-hand feel of what guests can expect in Livingstone – some established favourites and new developments are sure to have guests coming back over and over again!
Arriving on the Zimbabwe side of the Victoria Falls, a hotel transfer arranged by The Royal Livingstone makes crossing over to Zambia a fairly seamless process, made simpler when traveling on a South African passport, thanks to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Royal Livingstone Hotel, situated in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, offers elegant rooms that combine modern convenience with explorer-era charm. Each room boasts private outdoor spaces where guests can soak up the wonders of nature while enjoying sweeping views of the Zambezi River.
The Zambian side of Victoria Falls presents a range of unforgettable adventures that are exclusive to this region. One daring highlight is swimming in the Devil’s Pool, a natural plunge pool located right on the edge of the Falls. With the thundering cascade plunging 106-meters, those brave enough to venture into the Zambezi River will experience a pulse-racing dip. This exhilarating experience is only available between mid-August and mid-January, before the summer rains swell the river, making it an even more sought-after and exclusive adventure.
The Royal Livingstone is ideally located on the banks of the Zambezi River, providing guests with direct access to Victoria Falls within a mere 5-minute walk through the property. All resort guests enjoy unlimited complimentary access to the falls, allowing them to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. As the falls cascade down a series of basalt gorges, the resulting iridescent mist can be seen from more than 20km away, creating an ethereal spectacle. Prepare to get soaked in a joyous natural spectacle alongside other onlookers in what can only be described as a spiritual experience. Bring along some Crocs and a raincoat to make the viewing experience easier to navigate.
Beyond the natural wonders, guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and flavors. The property invites visitors to explore rich culinary delights of Zambria and experience the signature boma dinner at the AVANI Victoria Falls Resort. Set in the resort’s Mukuni Boma restaurant, right on the banks of the majestic Zambezi River, guests are treated to a four-course buffet style spread of Pan African staples and game meat grilled over coals.
This alfresco dining experience allows guests to delve deeper into the local culture with each dish, including fiery snacks like Chikanda (boiled root tubers of terrestrial orchids) and popular Zambian dishes such as Ifisashi (Greens in Peanut Sauce). The evening is further enhanced by traditional storytelling, bush songs, and dance performed by talented local artists, creating an enchanting atmosphere of vibrant celebration.
Another recent addition is the Q-Medland Clinic at AVANI Victoria Falls Resort’s activity centre, a partnership between Minor Hotels Zambia and Medland Hospital. The partnership aims create a safe and healthy environment for travellers, local communities and team members by offering the best health care as part of the hospitality offering in Livingstone.
The clinic will cater for guests at The Royal Livingstone and AVANI Victoria Falls Resort to have them avoid travelling off the properties for first class health and medical care. The clinic will also provide medical care for the hotels’ team member and local communities from the surrounding villages who do not have access to immediate health care that is at times kilometres away.
The Q-Medland Clinic at AVANI Victoria Falls Resort will provide primary health care services only such as general GP consultations, health checks and screenings, minor surgical treatments, medication administration, nebulization and oxygen therapy and routine lab testing amongst other clinic services. The Q-Medland Clinic will operate weekdays from 8am – 5pm and Saturdays 8am – 1pm.
The Victoria Falls in Zambia offers an unparalleled experience for travelers seeking natural beauty, thrilling adventures, and cultural encounters. The combination of exclusive experiences, luxurious accommodations, and unlimited access to Victoria Falls sets The Royal Livingstone apart.
Whether you choose to swim in Devil’s Pool, embark on wildlife safaris, witness the grandeur of the falls, or indulge in authentic local cuisine, the Zambian side of Victoria Falls promises to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
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