Livingstone, Zambia was home for two weeks to my brother and I when we went in March of 2018. I say “home” meaningfully, because the people in Zambia were the most friendly, gracious, joyful, and kind people I have had the pleasure of interacting with in my travels thus far.
Livingstone, Zambia is an amazing little city in southern Zambia near the boarder of Zimbabwe. It is a great location for people wanting to experience a lot of different cultures and experiences that Africa has to offer. From nearby national parks for Safaris and animal interactions to the famous Victoria Falls. The opportunities to see the beautiful landscape, animal population, and nature here is unbelievable, though what made Livingstone even more incredible for me was the multiple nearby villages and communities where you can learn the Zambian peoples culture, way of life, and have opportunities to give back to the community. This made Livingstone, Zambia a perfect location for my brother and I because we wanted that African Safari experience, but also wanted to work in a rural local neighborhood volunteering and getting to know the culture better. Livingstone gave us, I felt, a great mix of different experiences in Africa.
The first week we stayed at a hostel in downtown Livingstone, “Jollyboys Backpackers”, 10/10! Must stay, super fun, great staff, great location, and best of all GREAT deals on activities through them. This first week we were being your typical American tourist, we took a helicopter over Victoria Falls, went on a two day safari, had dinner with elephants and signed our lives away to walk with lions. This week was a week of mind blowing experiences after mind blowing expereinces. Bucket list after bucket list item checked away. I can not really describe how surreal these activities were so instead I will show you:
After a week of experiencing the incredible nature and wildlife that Africa had to offer, we spent our second week in Livingstone in a more rural village, we stayed at “Dream Livingstone Foundation” and volunteered at the local elementary school. We stayed at the volunteer house with our other fellow volunteers and our host mom, whom were incredible! We made many great friends that we still talk to today. My project was working in a class room teaching basic math and english skills to 4-6 year olds, as well as working with local women in the community on womens health issues. My brothers project was right outside my classroom helping build flushable toilets for the school. This week was so incredible in its own way as well. I wish we had had more time to be honest, the children, women and other volunteers were incredible and they taught me so much and really changed how I viewed the world. Great experience. (if you want to read more about my experience at Dream Livingstone, go to my “blog” page and find my blog “Volunteering in Livingstone, Zambia”)
Livingstone, I’ll be back, no doubt in my mind! See you again soon!