By 1867 it seemed that David Livingstone had all but vanished. For several years since his departure ten years prior to that, the messages were sent to England, telling of his movement around central Africa. The world had learned of his particular tragedy years earlier, Mary Livingstone had died from the fever. After her death David had gone North along the Rovuna river. He wanted to arrive at Lake Nyassa. He believed that it would be a pleasant place to start an English colony. The land there was moistureless and healthy and the lake offered fresh water. On 16 September 1859 David and his crew came to the waters of fair Lake Nyassa. He sent communication by writing to England telling them to send people to form a colony. He then went to Tette, where he had a heartening reunion with his Makololo friends. They went back to Linyanti.

When David returned once again to Tette, England’s answer to his letters was waiting for him. The first assembly of workers had arrived on a light steamer called the Pioneer. They went back to Lake Nyassa. Then David left the missionaries and travelled north to the city of Zanzibar. Here the slave trade was the grievous of all. David rented a light ship and sailed south again. On foot, all the villages that he passed were empty and burned, the people had been taken by the slave traders. They went up North again, food was running low and David’s medicine trunk was stolen. Without medicine David suffered eternally with fever. David needed to reach Ujiji, an Arab outpost on the east shore of Lake Tanganyika, about three hundred miles west of Lake Nyassa.
Meanwhile England newspapers wondered if David Livingstone was missing, or dead? News reached America. An American man went to find out what had happened to David Livingstone. He arrived in Ujiji with two hundred native porters wearing packs. Oxen pulled wagons overflowing with bundles. The American recognized David Livingstone, he was unsubstantial, his clothes hung loosely on him.

An American, Gordon Bennet, publisher for the New York Herald, wanted to know what had happened to David Livingstone, the pioneer of the Victoria Falls. So he delivered Henry Morton Stanley to find him. Stanley brought provisions for David, and letters from his children. He stayed for over four months. The two became devoted friends. After Stanley left, David went on a last excursion.

He wanted to find a river called Laupula, which was said to be the beginning of the Nile River.
They didn’t make it, in Chitambo’s village near Molilamo David Livingstone died. It was 4th May 1873.
In Westminister Abbey, in London where he is buried you can find a headstone with the following words:
Brought by faithful hands over land and over sea. Here rests DAVID LIVINGSTONE, Missionary Traveller, Philanthropist. Born March 19, 1813, at Blantyre, Lanarkshire. Died May 4th, 1873, at Chitambo’s Village, Ilala. For thirty years his life was spent in an unwearied effort to evangelize the native races, to explore the undiscovered secrets. And abolish the desolating slave-trade of central Africa, where, with his last words, he wrote: “All I can say in my solitude is, May heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one – American, English, Turk – who will help to heal the open sore of the world.”

For supplementary facts on Victoria Falls or David Livingstone, visit This is the last installment of a four part series of articles about David Livingstone to be found on this website. I trust the facts provided was useful.

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