We all know that there is a ton of fun activities to do in Livingstone that the whole family will enjoy. However, anyone footing the bill will also tell you that entertaining the masses on holiday can get expensive. While it’s still completely worth splurging on a select few bucket list items in Livingstone, there are also plenty of cheaper ways to keep you and the family entertained in between safaris and cruises.
We are here to show you that there are lots of free activities and places to go to in Livingstone, Zambia, that are well worth a visit this weekend. However, first, let us put in a disclaimer. While all of these activities are free to do, please note that businesses have the right to accept or deny admission. If you purchase a drink or offer a donation, then this will keep the facility open for others to enjoy in Livingstone for years to come. Read on, and then get exploring!
Forest of Faces
Erected in 2021 the Forest of Faces is a large sculpture garden located on the lawns of the Civic Centre in the central business district of Livingstone. Each handmade 3-4 metre high tree sculpture was designed and crafted by master carvers from the surrounding villages, thanks to a grant from Prospero Zambia. Combining a walk to the Forest of Faces with the Livingstone Museum is an ideal half-day excursion.
Mukuni Craft Market
A few blocks away from the Forest of Faces exhibition is the Mukuni Craft Market. Located on the main street of Livingstone, beside the Fairmount Hotel, you will find a menagerie of locally produced wooden and stone carvings, chitenge fabric, paintings, basket ware and Zambian souvenirs. Bartering is expected but let’s keep the conversations light and engaging. Behind is an exhibition about the making of the Forest of Faces.
WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery
Approximately halfway along the Airport Road between Livingstone’s Harry Mwaanga Nkambula Airport and Livingstone town, you will find a sign for WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery. Lawrence and Agnes Yombe and their artistic troupe welcome visitors to look through their eclectic gallery. You can also arrange to pay for arts and crafts lessons for children of all ages. There is a small jungle gym on-site to keep the kids entertained while the parents’ shop.
Feed the fish at Protea Hotel
If you are looking for somewhere a bit different to have lunch with the family, we recommend a visit to Protea Hotel Livingstone. Bring some bread crumbs for the kids to feed to the bream in the ponds. The hotel has an extensive a la carte menu, including sharing platters and some of the best coffee found in Livingstone. There is a jungle gym area between Protea Hotel and Victoria Apartments for the kids to run off some steam.
The WAYAWAYA studio is located a short stroll from Protea Hotel on the right-hand side of Mosi-oa-tunya Road going towards Victoria Falls. This social enterprise produces some of the most exquisitely crafted handbags and luxury leather goods in Zambia by the women that have gone through their training programmes. Please stop by and listen to their amazing story for yourself.
Livingstone Art Gallery
The Livingstone Art Gallery is located along Sichengo Road, going towards The David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa or Batoka Sky. This free gallery has ever-changing exhibitions on various topics, so it is well worth a quick stop on every visit to Livingstone. Zambian sculptures, paintings, drawings and crafts are on display and for sale. When you have finished your visit getto the main road and turn left to The Old Farmhouse across the road and find Pure Skills.
Pure Skills is another Livingstone-based social enterprise that has its roots firmly planted in uplifting the local community. Through skills training, welding workshops and a variety of upcycling initiatives with their women’s group, this team is never short of a story or two. They also have an online shop called Abanya with other Livingstone crafters. They welcome visitors to check out their workshop and peruse their selection of beautiful products for sale. You will find them on the road to the Victoria Falls Waterfront opposite the construction site for the new hotel.
Cool off with a drink or lunch at Bongwe Bar and Restaurant in the same grounds and your kids can have their own “gorge swing” experience on their zipline and adventure playground.
Watch the crocodiles from Maramba River Lodge
The recently renovated Maramba River Lodge is ideal for families. They have lush green grass for the kids to run, a jungle gym area, and a swimming pool open to outsiders for a small fee. Crocodiles and hippos can often be spotted from their deck, where you can enjoy a fabulous lunch and a few cocktails. Elephants are often seen crossing the river just down from the Lodge.
Visit the Victoria Falls Bridge
You’ll need your passport, but going onto the historic Victoria Falls Bridge is totally free. From the centre of the bridge, you can have one foot firmly planted in Zambia and the other in Zimbabwe. You’ll get stunning views of Victoria Falls, and you might even catch a glimpse of thrill-seekers bungee jumping. There is a small café on the Zambian side offering drinks, burgers and salads. Be careful not to carry food and drinks with you as you walk around as there are baboons in the area that tend to pester the cross-border shoppers.
Watch the sunset
No day is complete in Livingstone, Zambia, before you find the perfect spot to watch the sun go down with a drink in your hand. The aptly named sundowner deck at the Royal Livingstone Hotel is a popular spot, as is the Victoria Falls Waterfront restaurant and The River Shack Bar. If you have your own 4×4 vehicle, then head out to Taita Falcon Lodge, which is perched atop the Batoka Gorge overlooking Rapid 17.