Livingstone: Where the smoke thunders

(Image: Tee La Rosa, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

(Image: Tee La Rosa, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

What is easily mistaken for clouds in Livingstone, Zambia, is usually spray from the Victoria Falls.  Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke which thunders in the local Kololo language – is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it is big. Jaw-droppingly breath-takingly unstoppably powerful.

The wild and slippery Knife Edge Bridge crossing over Victoria Falls. (Image: Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

The wild and slippery Knife Edge Bridge crossing over Victoria Falls. (Image: Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

No wonder visitors to Zambia flock to this bustling town with its English colonial history rubbing up against African entrepreneurship. If you really really wanted to you could bungee off the Victoria Falls Bridge. Or take a lazy sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

Sunset on the Zambezi is more than just the setting sun. (Image: Alexander Brugger, CC BY-NC 2.0, via Flickr)

Sunset on the Zambezi is more than just the setting sun. (Image: Alexander Brugger, CC BY-NC 2.0, via Flickr)

Or ride the Livingstone Express over the border into Zimbabwe. The trip that stops on the bridge over the Falls. And, if your timetable permits, watch the crimson sunset from the dining car as you steam over the bridge.

Clouds of mist rising over the railway bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. (Image: Ninara, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Clouds of mist rising over the railway bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. (Image: Ninara, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Everyone dreams of trains in Livingstone. A young train driver in Mukuni. (Image: Ninara, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Everyone dreams of trains in Livingstone. A young train driver in Mukuni. (Image: Ninara, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Fly from Joburg or Cape Town to Livingstone airport and you can enjoy gin and tonics among the luxuriant surroundings of the Livingstone Hotel.

The colonial comforts of the bar at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. (Image: Gary Bembridge, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

The colonial comforts of the bar at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. (Image: Gary Bembridge, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Chundukwa Lodge, bush luxury to escape the fusty Royal Livingstone. (Image: Mike Freedman, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

Chundukwa Lodge, bush luxury to escape the fusty Royal Livingstone. (Image: Mike Freedman, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

Or spend the day strolling through the lively city itself. Stopping off where the locals shop. The market close to the taxi rank where you are less likely to pushed into buying touristy curios. Instead you’re left alone to browse. And soak up the friendliness of the city.

Mushrooms on sale at Maramba Market, where the people of Livingstone shop. (Image: Cordelia Persen, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

Mushrooms on sale at Maramba Market, where the people of Livingstone shop. (Image: Cordelia Persen, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

Surprisingly, there are place of tranquillity around the thunderous Falls. (Image: Jeremy T. Hetzel, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

Surprisingly, there are place of tranquillity around the thunderous Falls. (Image: Jeremy T. Hetzel, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

The very top of the thunderous Victoria Falls. (Image: roaming-the-planet, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

The very top of the thunderous Victoria Falls. (Image: roaming-the-planet, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

(Image: Tee La Rosa, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)

(Image: Tee La Rosa, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr)