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Falling for The Royal Livingstone Hotel at Victoria Falls

The pool decorations at the Royal Livingstone Hotel kick if you walk too close to them.

They’re zebras – live zebras.

In fact, many wild animals roam about the grounds of this five-star resort in Zambia overlooking Victoria Falls, perhaps the world’s most spectacular waterfall.

Victoria Falls - one of the seven natural wonders of the world
Victoria Falls – one of the seven natural wonders of the world

Royal Livingstone Hotel

Rooms at the Royal Livingstone Hotel are clustered in several "residences" perched on the edge of the Zambezi River.
Rooms are clustered in several “residences” perched on the edge of the Zambezi River

We stayed at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – basically to relax and recharge.

We’d already experienced a heart-stopping South African “Big 5” safari – where we witnessed a lion kill!

And we wanted to see the famous Victoria Falls before flying on to Lower Zambezi National Park (for an even wilder safari at Chiawa Camp in the Zambian bush).

A deluxe corner room with a river view at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

There are cheeky vervet monkeys, which try to snatch cookies and sugar from your room if you don’t lock your sliding balcony doors.

Regal giraffes pose for tourist pics near the hotel’s entrance.

You see giraffes at the entrance to the hotel

Shy impala – those lovely African antelopes with lyre-shaped horns – wander by too.

But no lions, thank goodness…

We loved watching zebras roam around by the swimming pool at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

The Royal Livingstone Hotel was the perfect place for some luxury downtime, African-style.

Not many hotels offer the opportunity to lounge by the swimming pool, while watching zebras strut by…

And we could walk right to the spectacular Victoria Falls.

A bridge over a gorge at Victoria Falls
A bridge over a gorge at Victoria Falls

The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara: Check rates and availability

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

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Photo credits: 1, 5, 6 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase| Remaining images Royal Livingstone Hotel

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!


Sunday 13th of July 2014

We'd debated staying at the Royal Livingstone, but were looking for something a little more intimate. It looks like an amazing property! We might need to check it out when we go back. Great post.

Janice and George

Sunday 13th of July 2014

The property actually felt intimate, because rooms are in several separate buildings. So it felt quiet and private to us.


Thursday 12th of September 2013

Isn't Victoria Falls absolutely gorgeous... - right up there with Iguazu Falls as the most stunning water falls in the world, I think. The resort looks beautiful.

Janice and George

Friday 13th of September 2013

Yes, Victoria Falls is very impressive! We visited just after the falls are at their highest - so it was actually a little difficult to see the falls because there was so much spray! But the sound was deafening. Quite a natural wonder...