They travelled eastward around Lake Ngumi and there they found a spacious river. It was the Zambezi river. David’s brood were poorly again. He made the conclusion to take his kin back to Cape Town and ship them back to England from there. David approximated that he would need two years to gain a place to dwell and set it up as a home. He didn’t identify that it would turn out to be five years!

David and his nomadic companions went North again, and crossed the Chobe river. There they were reunited with their friends, the Makololo people. David told of his wish to launch a road from the coast into the centre of the country.
Twenty seven young Makololo men went with David.
They determined to travel along the Zambezi River just before it turned to the east. Then they would abandon the Zambezi and advance westward on the Kassai River, then north west on the Kwango river to the Lucalla River. Then it would be due west on to Loanda on the coast. It was an unending and exhausting journey. It took beyond six months and then they at long last reached the sea. David sent his journals back to England by ship. In all his travels he had written about places, people, the land, the rivers, the mountains and the slave trade. His learning would later prove very important to the world in understanding much of the land then called the ‘Dark Continent’. His authored accounts would do much to cease the slavery in the human race. He saw the waterfall Mosi-Ao-Tunya and named them Victoria Falls after his queen on 17th of November 1855.
They started back to Linyanti. They came into Libonta, the first village of Chief Sekeletu, as heroes. The chief was enthusiastic to hear that they had found a way to the west coast. David related that it was a long hard way and that he wondered if it would be better if they travelled ahead the Zambezi river. Chief Sekeletu sent David out anew. This time he sent him with 120 men. Sekeletu himself joined them.

They travelled along the Chobe river to where it met the Zambezi River. It was March 1856. They came to Tette an inland Portuguese station on the Zambezi River. They were about 300 miles from the coast.
David was very faint. A commander of the Portuguese army stationed in Tette took him into his cabin to energize. When he was robust enough he arranged his Makololo friends on plantations to earn a living until his return, and he went to the port city of Quilimane where he boarded a ship for home.

David reached London on the 9th of December 1856. The family celebrated Christmas as a group for the first time in five years. In the sixteen years that he had been elsewhere England had made him a celebrity. By cause of of his journals and written accounts about him, his home country had not abandoned him. His written accounts on the slave trade had affected up an anger within the nation and the whole world, against the indecency of slavery.
David travelled over eleven thousand miles of African territory. In his wanderings he had made meticulous recordings of the continent. His career was now filled with speeches to Universities, lectures to scientific groups, meetings with authority officials, invitations to social gatherings and even an invitation from the Queen of England. He was made an honorary doctor of sciences by the university of Glascow. And he wrote a book. In February 1858, he had been given a directed commission as Her Majesty’s Consul at Quilimane for the Eastern Coast and the independent districts in the interior, and commander of an expedition for exploring eastern and central Africa. He wanted to find a healthy place, high in altitude, in central Africa where missionaries could educate natives to be teachers and preachers. He wanted to open routes for dealing.

For supplementary data on Victoria Falls or David Livingstone, visit This is part 3 in a four part series of articles about David Livingstone to be found on this website.

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