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Perched at the edge of the sparkling Zambezi River with a landscaped garden frequented by ambling zebra, nodding giraffe and roaming antelope, the Royal Livingstone oozes grandeur in the most grand of settings. Just minutes from Victoria Falls – Mosi-o-Tunya, The Smoke that Thunders, hurdles 360 feet into the deep gorge below, sending out billowing spray and dancing rainbows visible from your balcony, patio and, most decadently – should you choose to lift your head – from your Zambezi-side massage tent. The Livingstone is a true colonial-inspired beauty named, of course, for the Scottish missionary cum legendary explorer who bestowed the iconic waterfall its sovereign-honouring moniker. All the Victorian elegance of his day – as well as the attendant conveniences of the modern era such as wifi, a large swimming pool, and the reassuring tinkle of an ice-filled cocktail shaker at any turn – abound.
The air here is tinged with decidedly old-world safari luxury. Gracious, traditionally decorated suites and rooms exude a charm matched only by the proximity from your private deck or veranda to the great Zambezi River, or to the artfully curated gardens and, of course, to those Falls. Settle in and soak up the pinking sunset over the Zambezi River in The Travellers Bar, The Royal Sun Deck, or perhaps over a private picnic on the sprawling lawns. Afternoon tea in the lobby lounge is a particularly fine way to pass the afternoon, recounting the day’s impressions of the very shimmeriest curtain of water on earth. With a cool mist rising from the river, a dip in the heated swimming pool couldn’t feel lovelier. The full spa offers both African and Western therapies – insider’s note: the private treatment cabanas at river’s edge, complete with hippos grunting in the far distance, are tough to beat. All the mod-cons are assured, too – Wifi, air conditioning and, between the Livingstone’s butler service and the attentive, no-wish-too-small-or-great attentions of your 24-hour Micato guide and concierge, Vic Falls is, quite simply, all it’s cracked up to be.
Royal Livingstone Hotel is happy to host children of all ages—in fact, children two and under stay free. Baby-sitting services are also available.
From a lazy float along the wide Zambezi River in a spacious river boat, to bungee-jumping at you-can-guess-where, your wishes are ours to fulfil. Visit nearby Simonga village to learn from the local people of their legends of the Falls and the great Zambezi. Do a spot of birdwatching by boat or on foot – local feathery beauties range from the trumpeter hornbill to the majestic peregrine falcon, and beyond. Perhaps a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls – a thrilling event that also provides unique aerial understanding of how this magnificent cleave into the face of the Zambian earth came to be. And – first, last, and everything-in-between: a visit to mighty Victoria Falls herself, some 364 feet high and as wide as 15 football fields. Prepare for mist and wonder with a tour along its edge and maybe make a visit to Livingstone Island, where the famous Doctor got his first glimpse. Though he travelled by canoe, we plump for a twin-engine boat to the island on the brink. For the ultimate auto-da-fé, slip into warm water of the Devil’s Pool – scarcely one deep breath from the fall’s edge and guaranteed to focus the mind on nature’s beauty and its power.