Honouring a great explorer

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iol travel may 21 cw VicFalls_sunset

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THUNDERING DOWN: David Livingstone first saw the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi river on November 16, 1855. The Zambians refer to the falls as Musi-oa-tunya, which means the smoke that thunders.

The Zambian town of Livingstone is going all out to celebrate the anniversary of David Livingstone, the explorer and missionary who was born 200 years ago next year.

From motor-cross to fishing competitions, from canoe challenges to cultural dancing competitions, concerts on the banks of the Zambezi, ultra marathons and gala events, there is likely to be something for everyone.

The Livingstone 2013 celebrations kick off in March with a motor-cross enduro rally, a visual arts and crafts exhibition and an international cultural festival as well as a gala evening on March 19, Livingstone’s actual birthday.

April will see a three-day international conference titled “Imperial Obsessions: David Livingstone, Africa and world history: a life and legacy reconsidered”, from April 19 to 21. It will be hosted by the London School of Economics, the Livingstone Museum in Zambia and the David Livingstone Bicentenary.

Later that month, on April 27, runners will enter the 60km Zambezi Gorge Ultra Marathon Trail Run, which will end with a spectacular finish near the Victoria Falls.

Livingstone Memorial Day is celebrated on May 1, followed by a mountain bike cross-country race on May 4 and 5, and a performance by Zambian-Scottish songstress Namvula Rennie, who produces lyrical sounds of jazz, folk and African music.

The concert takes place on the banks of the Zambezi, under a full moon.

June and July next year bring traditional cultural and contemporary dancing and music performances as well as a fishing competition from June 29 to July 2.

The first weekend of August next year will see a feast of music featuring artists such as Maureen Lilanda and the Barefoot Theatre, and a host of others.

A 4x4 rally is also scheduled for August.

Things cool down a bit until November 15 and 16, when there will be a two-day K1 canoe challenge on the upper Zambezi.

On November 16, the anniversary of the day Livingstone first viewed the Victoria Falls, the Livingstone 2013 grand finale takes place; a day of river events on the Zambezi as well as a memorial on Livingstone Island.

l See www.livingstone2013.com. For accommodation, see www.victoriafalls-zambia.travel - Weekend Argus

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