Livingstone is a very small town in Zambia but it is probably one of the more famous towns as it is home to part of the world Famous and one of the natural wonders of the world The Victoria Falls.
Livingstone may not be on the top of your list to travel with your toddler, but I can assure you that there are some pretty awesome things to do around this tiny town.
Gia is almost two and a half and she had an absolute ball during our week long stay in Livingstone. We accompanied my husband on his work trip, so while he worked us girls soaked up some R ’n R plus we found loads to do as a family.
Visit Victoria Falls
This is probably the most obvious things to do in Livingstone and probably one of the main reasons for travelling here. So visiting the Victoria Falls is an absolute must! But you will want to be prepared before you arrive. We all wore closed shoes as the pathways are uneven and natural stone. It can get tiring for little ones so we took our stroller which turned out to be the best thing we decided to take along. It was either a stroller or dads shoulders 🙂 We visited Victoria Falls a few weeks ago which means it is currently in the dry season and the water falls are pretty empty. We hardly got wet which we all preferred. Depending on the time of year that you visit will depend on how wet you get from water fall spray. We also went early morning so that we were done by the heat of the day as temperatures are soaring to upper 30’s and early 40 degree Celsius. There are kiosks inside for you to buy refreshments and light snacks which are well deserved after completing the full walk along the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.
If it is your first time visiting you may want to arrange to visit the Zimbabwe side too!
Feed The Giraffe
There are five gorgeous giraffe that call the grounds of the Avani Hotel their home. The Avani and The Royal Livingstone Hotel share a huge space. You can’t see each hotel from the other and they are pretty far apart. The Avani side is more child friendly with a beautiful pool. As long as you eat and drink from the poolside restaurant you are able to use the pool facilities. Here you will no doubt see the resident zebras that often drink out the pool and an abundance of vervet monkeys which love to play and tease guests. It is here where the giraffe are. The ground keepers are in charge of them and the giraffe are wild, meaning they are not tame! They just love food!
We fed them wild acacia tree seed pods which are high in protein and they love them. The entire experience of this was wonderful.
The Royal Livingstone Sundeck
While this may not be the most toddler friendly experience, while you are at the Avani (if you are staying at another hotel) you might as well enjoy the sunset on The Royal Livingstone Sundeck which is famous for their spectacular sunset spot. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and some music to set the scene and watch the sunset on the Zambezi river. The river and all the goings on did keep Gia entertained long enough for us (mom and dad) to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down.
Livingstone Crocodile Park
There is a crocodile park where you can view daily feedings and see some giant crocodiles. We didn’t watch the feeding but we did get to see the crocodiles and enjoyed a guided tour. We learnt that a lot of the crocodiles in the facility have been removed from the Zambezi river because they were attacking and eating humans! Yes you can gasp! Despite this it was still an enjoyable family outing.
Livingstone has The Mosi-o-Tuna Reserve which is home to plenty of wildlife. It doesn’t have the big five unfortunately but what it does have will not disappoint you. There are no wild cats (lion, leopard or cheetah) but it does have plenty of elephants, buffalo and a few rhino which are heavily protected. You can arrange to view them! You can either self drive in the park or you can arrange a guided game drive. We always opt for a self drive as we are extremely comfortable with wildlife and we enjoy doing things at our own pace. A self drive also allows a little more flexibility with Gia.
Maramba River Lodge
Maramba River Lodge has a great little kiddies play area. Gia loved everything here! The trampoline, the jungle gym and the other bits and pieces it offers. You are also able to use the pool facilities if you eat and drink at the restaurant. We visited here twice during our stay because it gave Gia some free playtime while we enjoyed a sundowner watching her.
It must be said that the elephants are completely wild in Livingstone and can roam the streets of town if they want to. Walking is not recommended and be sure to check with your hotel what wildlife can enter the grounds as most allow all wildlife to come and go as they please! We saw elephants on the road side and crossing the road every single day. We saw huge herds with babies and single male elephants too. They were all extremely relaxed and not bothered by the constant rush of cars passing them however you will notice the locals who are walking or riding bicycles are very cautious. Elephants have right of way always and you must keep a safe distance! Its a wonderful experience to be driving along the main road in town and you come across a beautiful herd of elephants just going about their daily business of eating.
There are plenty hotels in Livingstone to fit any budget, you just have to find the right one that fits you and your families needs. Most are really beautiful and will provide you with the African safari experience you are after. Regarding Covid regulations, you will have to double check with your travel agency what is needed as every country has different rules however all public places in Livingstone require you to wear a mask.
Of course there is loads more to do however this is what we got up to during our week long stay! So if you are thinking of travelling to Livingstone but are unsure if it is toddler friendly, I say absolutely it is! Your toddler will love every minute. I have saved a story highlighting on my Insta page where you can see all our fun moments @legs_of_a_flamingo