Livingstone (Family Vacation Part 1)


Reading this week:

  • Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Since I’m really a bit over a year into this whole Zambia thing, and it is summer vacation back in America, my family came to visit me and see what I do here. It was quite a little adventure.

The first major thing we did on the vacation was to go visit Livingstone. I suppose you can’t really come all the way to Zambia without visiting Livingstone. Plus, I figured Livingstone was probably a pretty good way to ease the family into the whole concept of Zambia. My family is actually a relatively experienced bunch of travelers, with my dad’s family having lived in several developing nations in his youth. Still, Zambia is an experience.

The vacation was with quite a group. The total list of people was both my parents, my brother, my grandma, my aunt and uncle, and my cousin Judy, and when you include me that is eight people rolling around Zambia. Later on, my girlfriend Lily joined us bringing the total to nine. To get all those people around we first rented a giant van, and then later two smaller 4x4s. The part I was most excited about when it came to this vacation was seeing people who hadn’t been to the country before interact with Zambia. Lemme tell ya, that involved a lot of complaining about roads.


But besides the roads the family really enjoyed Livingstone. One of the first things we did was see the falls of course. I had been before, but during low water, and while it wasn’t quite high water when we were there, there was a lot of water. They rented ponchos at the falls which mom took advantage of, but I depended on my safari jacket alone.


The most impressive traveler on the trip was my grandma, who I didn’t mention is 92. I was worried about her getting around but she had her walking shoes on and wound up doing everything we did on the vacation (well except for a Zambezi River “float,” but that was only because the seats on the raft didn’t have any backs; she enjoyed herself anyways).


One of the themes of this vacation was me dragging my family off to see things I normally wouldn’t be able to see, because they’re slightly off the beaten path and I don’t have a car here. The thing in Livingstone in this category was the Big Baobab Tree. This tree is apparently somewhere between 1000-2000 years old and the big attraction here is that it has stairs leading to a platform at the top. From the platform you can see the “smoke” from the falls and have a pretty good panorama of the surrounding areas. Worth a visit!