Immersing travellers in Africa’s wild beauty, The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara boasts a unique location overlooking Victoria Falls. Taking its name from the famous explorer Sir David Livingstone who named the Falls after his queen, poignant reminders of this era embrace guests in nostalgic luxury.
A one-hour 40-minute flight from Johannesburg to Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport, followed by a 25-minute drive through historic Livingstone, The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara is set along the banks of the great Zambezi River, in full view of the spray of the Victoria Falls. One of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders, this iconic waterfall is a mere 10-minute walk away, with guests enjoying unlimited complimentary access via the hotel’s private entrance.
Exuding the charm of Victorian times, luxury guest rooms and four spacious suites all feature a balcony or veranda with an outdoor seating area facing gardens frequented by free-roaming zebras, impalas, giraffes and monkeys, and the Zambezi River beyond. Elegant furnishings blend with the warmth of African tribal culture. Marble bathrooms offer invigorating rain showers and long soaks in the tub. Deluxe Rooms offer a king size bed or twin singles dressed in fine white linen, air conditioning, a desk and WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar and satellite television, with personal service offered by a dedicated butler, along with laundry and valet services. Deluxe Corner Rooms also feature an enclosed glass-walled patio with refined mosquito netting, a wicker sofa and ceiling fan, providing clear Zambezi views protected from the elements. Expansive Livingstone Suites offer lounge comforts, a dressing area, wet bar and veranda loungers. The one-of-a-kind Presidential Suite, boasting regal lounge and dining spaces that open onto a generous veranda, has been graced by royalty, heads of state and celebrities.
Known to locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke that Thunders” - the gushing waters throw a cloud-like spray across the bush and sends rainbows soaring hundreds of feet into the air. As the magnificent cascade rushes over a wide basalt cliff, the placid Zambezi River transforms into a ferocious torrent and cuts through a series of dramatic gorges. Across from The Falls, a path along the edge of a sheer basalt wall rewards walkers who are brave enough to encounter the tremendous spray with spectacular views. Those that dare can swim in the Devil’s Pool, at the edge of Victoria Falls, where the water plummets 350-feet down, providing a pulse-racing dip. The pool is also special in that it can only be visited from late August to late December before the summer rains swell the Zambezi River, after which it remains hidden under the river’s pounding flow.
4x4 safari drives through vast and unspoiled national parks explore broad plains and rugged wilderness, with seasoned guides skilled at tracking a rich eco-system of free-roaming animals, including the mighty elephant, rhino and buffalo. Quad bikes zoom along eco trails and through untamed African bush. Wildlife river safaris on the mighty Zambezi reveal excellent game and bird viewing aboard specially designed boats, which have the unique ability to traverse the rapids safely and comfortably, even in water as shallow as 200mm.
Some of the world’s most challenging gorge rapids bring the excitement of white water rafting and jet-boating. Anglers flock to test their skills against the legendary tiger fish. For more relaxing adventures, travellers can opt for a leisurely canoe trip or a mesmerising sunset boat cruise. Offering sweeping bird’s eye views, an adventure flight in a helicopter skims over the African bush, deep down into the dramatic Batoka Gorge and over Victoria Falls, while a microlight flight soars above Victoria Falls and continues upstream over Long Island, Palm Island, Kakunka and Kandahar Islands and onto Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Adrenalin junkies conquer spectacular heights with abseil, gorge swing and high wire thrills in the Bakota Gorge.
Three riverside spa gazebos for individuals and couples afford the rare opportunity to enjoy treatments at Anantara Spa immersed in the idyllic beauty of the Zambezi River, with rushing water, chirping birdsong and the calls of wildlife providing an uplifting soundtrack. Anantara Spa’s treatment menu reads like an Out of Africa odyssey, drawing on revered local wellness traditions and age-old beauty secrets.
Culinary experiences celebrate local flavours and ingredients, complemented by international culinary traditions. Stories are shared in splendour at The Royal Livingstone Lounge over high tea in the afternoon, and later fine wines or whisky are the perfect accompaniment to live piano music. Drinks are spectacular on Kubu facing the Zambezi River, ending with sunset cocktails.
An exclusive Gin Bar menu offers a true Out of Africa experience. The menu includes Mundambi Gin, produced by the New Harbour Distillery in Cape Town especially for The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara. This unique crafted gin is infused with the spectacular Mundambi flower - a plant that is indigenous to Southern Zambia and part of the delicate Hibiscus family. The resident mixologist serves this with cucumber rind over lots of ice, with a splash of cold Fever Tree tonic. The smoky spice and citrus notes of this distinctive gin drink offer the perfect refreshment after a day of exploring.
The nearby town of Livingstone is a monument to historic intrigue. Reliving a pioneering era, Livingstone’s famous museum has galleries dedicated to archaeology, ethnography and art, history and natural history, and includes an interesting collection of the explorer’s belongings and descriptions of his routes.
Celebrating a heritage of travel, the Railway Museum houses some of the finest examples of Zambia’s vintage steam locomotives. While there are some beautiful 19th century locomotives to clamber aboard in the Railway Museum, the Jewish Museum is also of interest, offering an insight to Livingstone's Jewish community that settled here in the 1890s via South Africa after fleeing persecution in Lithuania. The town also saw an influx of European immigrants during the next 50 years, including those fleeing WWII.
Preserving Zambia’s crafts and culture, the Mukuni Park and Victoria Falls Curio Markets feature hand-carved crafts and curios.