Volunteering in Livingstone

Make a difference to the communities & wildlife of Livingstone, Zambia

Why Volunteer in Livingstone, Zambia

“The Real Africa”

Livingstone holds some of Zambia’s most remote, untouched and pure wilderness with stunning wildlife. With unfenced parks and camps, all kinds of wild and exquisite game walk by the fireplace at night, right at your volunteer base.

Located in the centre of southern Africa and one of the exclusive 8 countries, with the mighty Zambezi River flowing through; Zambia is a unique destination. But Livingstone is the real gem. With the magnificent Victoria Falls as the main attraction, Livingstone is an amazing base to experience the fall, but not only that, Livingstone is also known as (and rightly so) the Adrenaline capital of Africa. This is your perfect opportunity to soak up the adventure thrill, with one of the seven natural wonders of the world, as your backdrop.

Full of culture and natural beauty; it is your turn to discover just a taste of what Livingstone has to offer. A stone’s throw away from one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. The adventure begins here.

David

I got a very warm welcoming from the project manager Sara from Sweden. We did an amazing job with the schools, lions, nature and had a lot of great things to do after the working days were over. Zambian staff that work there are very helpful and kind, always providing me with a lot of information and responding to all my questions. I never got bored a single day. There was a lot of new experiences and adventures every day. I am really happy that I did it, I’ll have good memories for the rest of my life =)

Livingstone Volunteer Projects

Lion Conservation & Community

Get ready to make your mark on conservation, while also taking our work out into the communities and teaching kids about wildlife.

Location: Livingstone

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Education & Community Development

Many schools in rural areas of Zambia are currently suffering from a serious shortage of classrooms, educational resources and formally trained teachers.

Location: Livingstone

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Gender Equality

This is your opportunity to go M.A.D. (make a difference) in rural communities who are really struggling on a daily basis and would highly benefit from your support and assistance! What are you waiting for?

Location: Livingstone

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Sports Coaching

Sports is one of the best tools to develop fundamental life skills in children, such as teamwork, commitment, determination, self-belief, understanding and communication!

Location: Livingstone

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Volunteer in Livingstone

The Founder of Victoria Falls

“No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” – David Livingstone

The famous David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and medical doctor, who explored a huge amount of Africa. He was the first European to cross the African continent and to lay eyes on the mighty Victoria Falls. He named the falls in the honour of his reigning monarch, Queen Victoria.

An Infinity Pool like no other!

It is on Livingstone’s Island (named after the legendary David Livingstone) that you can see the falls from an angle like no others, whilst swimming on the top of them! Devil’s Pool (not for the faint-hearted) offers the unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to take a dip on an incredible natural rock pool, right on the edge. With awesome guides leading you to keep you safe and also knowing how to take that incredible shot, to capture the moment, this is one for the bucket list!

Open during the drier months – Usually Mid-August to Mid- January, when the water levels and low enough and safe enough to take a dip in this ultimate infinity pool!

Livingstone Facts

  • Zambia was formerly known as Northern Rhodesia.
  • The capital city of the country is Lusaka. Livingstone was the capital until 1935.
  • Mining is huge in Zambia. Iron and copper have been mined in the country for over 2000 years.
  • Victoria Falls creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is locally known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which translates to “smoke that thunders.”
  • The Victoria Falls Bridge (connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe) was built under the vision of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of British Colony, Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe.) He envisioned a railway line from Cape Town to Cairo, which required a bridge to be built over the Zambezi gorge. Today, you can bungee jump off this bridge, right into this gorge!

Volunteering in Livingstone – special features

Described by many as “the Real Africa”, with stunning wide-open spaces, rich with wildlife, impressive forests and one of the most exquisite features; the powerful and iconic, Zambezi river.

Livingstone is the ultimate playground for those who love adventure. Whether you take a leap of faith into the gorge of the breath-taking falls as you bungee jump, taking a dip in the ultimate ‘Devil’s Pool’, white water raft down the mighty Zambezi or just enjoy a breath-taking sunset, Livingstone will amaze you beyond your wildest imagination.

There are many national parks, that offer the opportunity to observe lions, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and giraffes in their natural habitat. Even better, it is not usual to spot some of these animals along the road, en-route to the project! 

Whether you look North, South, East or West, there’s always an adventure waiting for you. That means that by living and working in close proximity to these incredible areas you may come across elephants, baboons, monkeys or other African wildlife right on your doorstep!

It’s a heart-pumping experience for those looking for an escape from common city life.

The strength of Zambian tourism lies in the diversity of its offer, which includes 19 National parks and 34 Game Management Areas covering over 22.4 million hectares.

Livingstone is a tourist hotspot with lots of people and culture but the main attraction here is obviously and undoubtedly Victoria Falls. Known as the Adventure Capital of Africa and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the beauty is unparalleled and the variety of activities to enjoy in this area is truly unlimited.

For the adventurous ones, there’s bungee jumping and white-water rafting among so many other activities.  For those looking for a more relaxing experience, there are river cruises and the most incredible sunsets. Now, those looking to experience the falls from a completely different perspective, take a stroll through the rainforest along the edge of the gorge and experience the Falls in all its thunderous glory. Or take the “flight of angels” and view it from above.

Next door is the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and just 45 mins away is the Dambwa Forest – home to our Lion Conservation project.

Livingstone Highlights & Excursions

Zambia offers endless opportunities from adrenaline-filled activities to world-class safari experiences; right on the doorstep of the mighty Victoria Falls. With easy access between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana; this your chance to easy more, do more and experience more on offer.

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE

At our Victoria Falls project just across the river, here you will have the opportunity to walk with lions on a day trip. It’s also a chance to see the magnificent Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side.

CHOBE, BOTSWANA

Hop over to Botswana for either one full-day safari including boat cruise and game drive or 2-day trip for experiencing camping out in the real bush. If you are under 18, bring a copy of your birth certificate and confirmation letter from your parents.

WHITEWATER RAFTING

The most popular activity is also one filled with adrenaline and emotion! Let the Zambezi river take you on the most thrilling ride of your life and connect with nature in ways you never thought possible. Are you ready?

BUNGEE JUMP

Terrifying. Breathtaking. Absolutely crazy. The best thing in life! There are so many ways to describe this. For some people, it’s the best bungee in the world.  

ZIP LINE

This zip line is not like all others. Here, the zip line is not horizontal; it is at an extreme angle so once you let go you will be accelerating downhill at speeds of over 100km/h. Who’s ready?

MICROLIGHT FLIGHT

If you’re looking for a real adventure and a story to tell, look no further and enjoy one of the most popular activities here or anywhere in the world. The question is, are you brave enough?

FLIGHT OF ANGELS

Take advantage of this huge opportunity to see the mighty Victoria Falls from the best angle there is, above and beyond!

DEVIL'S POOL

This is the ultimate infinity pool and one of the most exciting experiences you can embark on. Swim and lean over on the edge to see the 100-meter waterfall drop. Put that swimwear on and do it!

SUNSET CRUISE

If you are looking for a peaceful experience, an abundance of wildlife and the most magnificent sunset from a luxury cruise boat, then this activity is right for you!  

Lion Volunteer Accommodation

You will stay in a peaceful private section of a two-hectare property in the middle of the bush. Each basic but comfortable chalet can house up to three people. You can spend time with the other volunteers in the common lounge room, in the recreational area or use the large area outside of the buildings to play fun games or do other outdoor activities.

You will have access to clean toilet and shower facilities attached to your accommodation. 

You will enjoy 3 tasty meals a day, prepared at your volunteer base.

On the weekends, you can either take the time to relax at this peaceful place in the bush or you take a trip to Livingstone town, which is only 3km away from your accommodation. Here, you can either discover this beautiful city or visit the Adventure Capital of Africa – the enormous Victoria Falls.

Facilities

  • Common lounge Area
  • Recreational Area
  • Space for Outdoor Activities

Community Volunteer Accommodation

You will be living right in the vibrant hub of Livingstone, the Victoria Falls Backpackers Zambia. Voted the #1 hostel in the whole of Zambia, you will be a stone’s throw away from the actions of this lively town and close to one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

The hostel is equipped with a vibrant dining area and bar, a swimming pool to enjoy during your free time and even a rock-climbing wall! All this is just a short 5-minute walk from Livingstone’s town centre, lined with awesome cafes, bars and restaurants.

At your volunteer base, you will have 24-hour security and safe, lockable spaces for your valuables. You will be in rooms of 4-8 people with bunk beds in the rooms.

You won’t need to bring any bed linen with you, as this is all provided for you. Your rooms will be cleaned on a daily basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Livingstone Safe?

Livingstone is a very safe area, especially when you are on an organized trip, volunteer placement, or taking part in organized tourist activities or safari- based activities.

There are plenty of tourists visiting every year, to experience the hype of Victoria Falls from the Zambian side. 

However, we ask you to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions. Check out our safety tips for more information about keeping safe, as you explore and enjoy all the exciting opportunities on offer in Livingstone.

What is the weather like in Livingstone?

The weather and climate in Southern Africa are reversed to the Northern Hemisphere. So, if you are looking for a winter escape, to sunnier climates, you have come to the right place. The weather is generally warm reaching hot most days, during the year with cool to warm evenings.

However, during the winter months, May-September the climate can drop significantly, with the evening dropping to very low temperatures, although will remain warm during the days. We aren’t talking thick snow boots, but we do suggest an extra few layers for the early mornings and evenings.

The summer months, October- April can get very hot; with October reaching peak temperatures. October is our hottest month and the best time for game viewing, as wildlife congregates around the water holes. This is also the time of year where ‘Devils Pool’ reopens, as the water levels are low enough by this time, ahead of the rainy season. Many other water-based activities are also available, including white-water rafting. On the Zambian side, the Falls almost dry up completely. This could be a great opportunity to observe the formation of the falls themselves or to venture over to Zimbabwe, where you can see the falls flowing.

The rainy season begins around December time, until February time. You can some rain showers during this time, so we advise you to bring waterproof clothing. This is also the time of year when the falls start to fill up again, following the dry season. You can expect an incredible volume of water flowing down from the falls. If you choose to take the rainforest walk (which we strongly recommend you do,) get ready for more water than a high-pressured shower! Trust us about that.

Livingstone’s weather follows the same pattern as the weather in Victoria Falls. Find out more about the different seasons in Victoria Falls (link to blog) and what is the prime time for different activities in Victoria Falls.

Is there Malaria in Livingstone?

Victoria Falls & Livingstone are considered malaria zones. But, don’t let this stop you from experience all the Livingstone has to offer. We advise you to bring anti-malarial tablets for your entire time in the following locations:

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Livingstone, Zambia.

We advise that you ask your doctor to prescribe the best one’s medication.  We do not recommend Larium (sometimes known to cause hallucinations) nor Doxycycline (many people have bad reactions to the sun when using it).

How to get to Livingstone?

Livingstone has its own international airport, so getting here could not be easier. There are daily flights from Johannesburg (O.R Tambo Intl) with the following airlines:

  • South African Airways: Johannesburg to Livingstone
  • British Airways: Johannesburg to Livingstone
Which electric plugs are used in Livingstone?

Generally, power sockets in Zambia & Livingstone are ‘Type G’ the square three-pin style, found in the UK.

You may also find some three round pin style sockets (Type D) found in South Africa.

What is the currency in Livingstone/ Zambia?

The Zambian currency is the Kwacha (KR.) This is the only currency that can be used for domestic and internal transactions.

The Kwacha cannot be obtained outside of Zambia. USD, GBP, Euros and most other major currencies can be exchanged at airports or local banks. You can withdraw cash at ATMs and most large retailers and hotels accept major international credit cards, including MasterCard & Visa cards.

Is there the Big 5 game in Livingstone?

Between Victoria Falls & Livingstone, there are plenty of opportunities to see the Big 5 game. With the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe), Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia,) Chobe National Park (Botswana) and many more, Livingstone is a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts. 

What is there to do in Livingstone?

Located close to the magnificent Falls themselves, there is a whole array of different activities on offer. From wildlife spotting opportunities, to experience the hype of the Adrenaline capital of Africa; here are just a few you can get involved with:

Bungee Jumping, Devils & Angels Pool, White-Water Rafting, Sunset Cruises, Dinner Cruises, Helicopter Flight over the Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Game Viewing in Chobe, Botswana, Horse Riding, Quad biking, Abseiling, Gorge Swing, High Tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, Walk with Lions (Zimbabwe,) Boma Dinner (Zimbabwe.)

Know Before You Go

Visa Requirements

Packing List

Code of Conduct

Volunteering Safety Tips

  • Avoid travelling alone, especially at night.
  • Ensure that excessive amounts of cash are left in safe boxes, not lying around in plain sight.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you
  • If you are taking a taxi anywhere, make sure you book it in advance through a trusted and reliable driver.
  • Avoid wandering down dark streets, even in large groups.
  • Be aware and alert at bars and ATMs. Do not leave your drink unattended at any time. If you drink has been left out of your sight, discard it. Be watchful at ATM’s and try not to withdraw large amounts of cash at one time.
  • Do not enter township areas without being accompanied by one of our local staff members.
  • Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
  • Avoid leaving your personal items like bags or mobile phones unattended.
  • Do not share personal information with anyone under any circumstances.
  • Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home.

Livingstone Vaccinations

Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed. 

Our recommendations:

  • Tetanus: Recommended
  • Hepatitis A&B: Recommended
  • Typhoid: Recommended
  • Malaria:  We advise you to bring an ample supply of anti-malarial tablets to last the duration of your stay in Livingstone. Ask your doctor to prescribe the best ones available. We do not recommend Larium (sometimes known to cause hallucinations) nor Doxycycline (many people have bad reactions to the sun when using it).
  • Yellow Fever: Zambia is NOT at risk to yellow fever.
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