David Livingstone Reaches the Victoria Falls

David Livingstone reached the Victoria Falls on November 17th, 1855.

David Livingstone

In 1853, the missionary-explorer had set out from Linyanti, in what is now Namibia, and headed north up the Zambezi and then north-west to find a route to the Atlantic coast which he hoped would open the way for Western trade and Christianity to penetrate to the heart of the continent.

At the end of May 1854 he and his small escort of Makololo, war-like tribesmen  of the Linyanti area, reached the coast at Luanda in Angola, a port heavily involved in the slave trade which Livingstone detested.

The journey had severely taxed the fever-stricken explorer’s health, but he could not abandon his men so far from home and they set out on the return to Linyanti in September. The kindly local Portuguese Catholic bishop had provided the Makololo with new clothes in blue and red as well as cotton caps and blankets, and the crew of a British cruiser in the harbour gave Livingstone a sturdy canvas tent.

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