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Chitenges and Chinotimba – Cultural tours of Victoria Falls

By Ilala Lodge on April 4, 2014

Every place on earth is unique in its landscape and defined by the people who live in it.  Culture is at the basis of every story known to man and one of the strongest attractions of tourists to a particular region.

Cultural tours are must for visitors to Victoria Falls.  An opportunity to visit a rural village and glimpse into a day in the life of local residents is a rare chance to understand a foreign lifestyle and interact with those who live in the close-knit townships and communities. 

Tourists can choose from a variety of tours offered through Ilala Lodge Hotel.  These include visits to local markets where you can test your bargaining prowess while buying local brightly coloured cloth called chitenges, as well as tours to the area’s oldest landmarks from taverns for a taste of the local beer, and churches bursting every week with congregants.

Cultural tours Vic Falls

During the school term, a visit to the local school will give you an opportunity to see the learning environment of the children from the area, and meet the head of the school who will give you a tour and information on its greatest challenges and successes.

Travel to the crest of an ancient sand dune to visit Chief Mukini’s Village, which is the home of 6000 “Leya” residents who take particular care and pride in their environment.  Here, the emergence of western influences such as cell phone shops offers a stark contrast to the reed-enclosed Homesteads of the Chief.


Although the local culture is what gives the area its uniqueness, a trip to the David Livingstone Museum adds a fascinating insight into this intrepid British explorer’s positive influence on this region’s history, and stores the largest collection of his memorabilia.

When David Livingston first laid eyes on Victoria Falls, the Nambya and the Tonga people had already lived there for centuries.  They used the word Chinotimba to the describe the mighty roar of the water from the falls, which is an example of the beautiful use of language and of a culture once far removed from western models, rich in its very own centuries old heritage.


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