Plot 567
Mosi-o-tunya Road


OPEN Everyday
09:00 - 16:30
CLOSED: 25 December and 1 January

Residents: Adults K10 Children K5
Non-residents: Adults US$5 Children US$3


Who We Are

The Livingstone Museum is one of five national museums in Zambia operating under the National Museums Board within the government Ministry of Tourism and Arts. The National Museums Board has the principal role of researching, collecting, documenting, preserving and presenting Zambia’s movable heritage for public benefit, education and enjoyment.

History of the Museum

The Livingstone Museum is Zambia’s oldest and largest museum. The collections date back to 1930, when the Secretary of Native Affairs convinced the Government of the importance of collecting the material culture of the various ethnic groups, which was fast dying out. Consequently, the Government set aside funds for the purchase of cultural artefacts by district officers. These collections formed the foundation of the museum.


The Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1934 in the old Magistrate’s Court building.

In the same year it was extended into a memorial of David Livingstone, the famous Missionary and Explorer and first white man to see the Victoria Falls and, as such, became known as the ‘David Livingstone Memorial Museum’.

First Location of the Museum – former Magistrate’s Court


The Museum found its second home in 1937, in the former United Services Club building. 

Second Location of the Museum – former United Services Club Building



The Rhodes-Livingstone Institute was started and incorporated with the David Livingstone Memorial Museum. In 1939 the collection was expanded to include relics of Cecil Rhodes and the British South African Company. In 1946, the Museum and the Institute were separated and the Museum’s name changed to the ‘Rhodes-Livingstone Museum’.

In 1945, fund-raising for a Museum building started. Work on the building started in 1949 and was completed in 1950. It was designed by Major W J Roberts in Spanish style. The museum was officially opened in 1951. 

The current museum building completed in 1950 and opened in 1951. 


In 1963 a research wing was added to the museum building to provide workspace and storage rooms for Archaeology, Ethnography and History. 

The research wing added in 1963



In 1966 a Natural History Wing was added. The name of the Museum changed from the Rhodes-Livingstone Museum to its present name of the Livingstone Museum in 1966. 

Second Location of the Museum – former United Services Club Building


Past and present directors

1938 – 1961

Desmond Clark

1961 – 1964

Gervis Clay

1964 – 1966

Barry Reynolds

1966 – 1968

Clifford Cross

1968 – 1972

Ladislav Holy

1972 – 1978

Kafungulwa Mubitana

1978 – 1993

Mwimanji Chellah

1994 – 2012

Vincent Katanekwa

2013 – 2014

Chipo Simunchembu

2015 –

George Mudenda

Other museums and galleries in Zambia

community museums:

Nayuma Museum - Limulunga

Nsingo Museum – Chipata

Chikanta Palace Museum – Kalomo

Mwansabombwe Community Museum

other museums & art galleries:

Railway Museum – Livingstone

Gateway Jewish Museum - Livingstone

Field Museum - Livingstone

National Art Gallery – Livingstone

Wayi Wayi Studio and Art Gallery – Livingstone

Henry Tayali Gallery – Lusaka


Phone: +260-(0)213-324429

Open every day: 09:00 - 16:30
Closed on 25 December and 1 January

Wheelchair friendly

Residents: Adults K10, Children K5
Non-residents: Adults US$5, Children US$3

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is the Museum open on public holidays?

A. Yes, except for Christmas and New Year

Q. Does the Museum take payment by visa card?

A. Yes, it accepts cash or Visa or Mastercard

Q. Is the Museum open at weekends?

A. Yes.

Q. Is the Museum suitable for children?

A. Yes.

Q. Does the Museum have a restaurant?

A. Yes.

Q. Is the museum wheelchair friendly?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there a craft shop?

A. Yes.