Peter Jones


Peter was born in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and grew up between here and neighbouring Southern Rhodesia where he went to preparatory school. After attending his father’s old school in Kent, England he entered The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers serving with them from 1981 until 1989. Having left the Army he returned to Africa and set up three rafting companies on the Zambezi chalking up over a thousand trips on the river as a guide. Having raised finance to build a camp of his conception and design, he oversaw the construction of The River Club, a luxurious lodge which took five months to complete. He has been running it ever since. Peter was instrumental in the funding raising and setting up of Zambia’s first Jewish Museum to commemorate the role of the Jewish people in the history of the country over the past 100 years. He was a co-founder of the Zambezi River Security Association which brought a large tourism area along the river under a security umbrella with the co-operation of the Zambia Police, an initiative now being rolled out into other areas in Zambia. In 2017-2019 he was appointed the Chairman of the Zambian Tourism Agency by the Minister of Tourism. Peter sits on the joint committee of Zambia and Zimbabwe tourism boards which is looking to increase the movement of tourists to the region and between the towns of Livingstone and Victoria Falls. He was a key stakeholder in the establishment of Destination Livingstone Initiative and has acted as its Chairman since 2020. He was awarded the MBE in the 2020 New Years’ Honors List as Warden for the British High Commission in Livingstone for his work in fostering UK/Zambia relations.

Alec Cole

Representing the Conservation and Tourism Society

Whilst English born, Africa has been Alec’s home for almost his entire life. He developed a love for wildlife at an early age and has since spent the last 30 years developing a career in the safari and tourism sector. His passion lies in the bush and he has a deep and intimate knowledge of Zambia’s people, habitats, wildlife and conservation practices and problems. Conservation based work has led to an intimate knowledge of community based life, empowerment programmes as well as comprehensive understanding of tradition and protocol. Having thousands of practical safari hours has provided him with a vast understanding of the safari industry as well as excellent communication and people skills. Founder and Managing Director of Bongwe Safaris allowed him to develop a mobile safari business whereby guests could have an affordable safari experience with knowledgeable guides. His company still provides walking safaris in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park on our doorstep. More recently Alec became the Founder and Operations Manager of CATS, the Conservation and Tourism Society based in Livingstone. He has developed their focus on environmental and conservation based education classes in rural schools and youth groups. They have an ever-expanding workload and growing team of local volunteers and occasional international volunteers. Their latest development CATS Emergency Response Team (CERT) tackles the issue of human- wildlife conflict by offering a 24hr service to protect both the Livingstone community and the elephants that utilise the same space in the town.

Chilala Mayanda Habasimbi

Proxy for the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Arts

Chilala holds a Bachelors’ degree in Education with a single major subject, Geography acquired from the University of Zambia and a Master of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management acquired from the University of Dortmund – Germany and the University of the Philippines. Chilala has been working with the Ministry of Tourism and Arts for the past 18 years in various position in Zambia and abroad. The main role in Chilala’s job is to bring about economic development to the country through tourism. Hence tourism development is her main mandate working with various stakeholders, cooperating partners, communities, Non-Governmental Organisations to mention a few. She believes in decentralization of services to local level so as to bring about real economic benefit to communities through tourisms and aspires to see a well-developed tourism that will ensure improvement of livelihood and household incomes to all. She is goal oriented and beliefs in doing her work effectively and efficiently as she deliver the tourism service to the public and stakeholders. Transparency, objectivity, team work and responsible behavior are some of Chilala’s core values and belief. She is married with two children

Kim Barnett

Board Member

Kim has been an key driver of the budget tourism sector in Zambia since 1999. She is the owner and Managing Director of Jollyboys Backpackers & Camp which was the first dedicated backpackers lodge in Zambia and continues to be a sector leader in Southern Africa. Responsible and sustainable business practices are integral to the company’s ethos as they strive to increase positive impacts within the community. Jollyboys was one of the first businesses to adapt solar power, composting, and vermiculture into their daily operations. The restaurant buys hyper-local produce and rotates a seasonal menu to maintain this core principle. Kim’s educational background is in behavioral psychology and responsible tourism management. In addition to being a founding board member with Destination Livingstone, she is also on the board of Acacia School.

Rosie Mercer

Business Development Manager

Rosie’s upbringing was on a small farm on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a war-torn area which she says gives you an idiosyncratic view of life and a black sense of humour – survival skills. Having 10 ‘Ó’ levels and 3 ‘Á’ levels under her belt she took off to Kenya to work for a year as a volunteer in a government school. Her comment is that she learned ten times more than she taught to the schoolchildren in her care. Africa got into her blood at that time and she did much travelling in Eastern and Southern Africa as a backpacking teenager. Rosie first stepped foot in Livingstone in 1974 having hitchhiked from Kenya with the sole purpose of seeing the Victoria Falls. She recalls arriving in the dark, hearing the noise of the water during the night, but only seeing in the light of day that the group was sleeping about 20 metres from the edge at Eastern Cataract. She refuses to say which side has the better view!! She has been coming back ever since and lived in Zimbabwe between 2004 and 2009, then driving north into Zambia where she now lives and works. Her experience in Zambia has included business development work in private companies in financial, transport, food processing, agriculture and security sectors. Destination Livingstone is her first employment within the tourism sector and as she was appointed the Business Development Manager in May 2020, it is a big challenge to implement the work of the organisation. The Covid 19 pandemic has decimated the tourism sector in Livingstone but she loves a challenge and is starting to make inroads into the formidable Destination Management Plan.

Lute Kazembe

Project Manager, Domestic Tourism

Lute Kazembe has 20 years’ experience in project management as a specialist in communications, partnership management, and business development. She has managed projects in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the US; working with the corporate sector, international development, and civil society organizations. Her roles have focused on increasing access to health services, improving the quality of education, and facilitating entrepreneurial development. Lute is a Policy Development Fellow from the University of Michigan, has a diploma in Public Administration and Business Economics from the University of Namibia, and certification in project management. The Domestic Tourism Assessment Project is Lute’s area of work within Destination Livingstone. It will involve market research to uncover what Zambians want from travel opportunities, a marketing campaign to encourage more domestic tourists to visit Livingstone, plus business advisory support to SMEs in Livingstone within the tourism value chain to meet the demands of local visitors.