Agreed by many as one of the most influential explorers of the Victorian era, Dr David Livingstone holds a special place in the history of Africa and in particular his memorable words when he first laid eyes on what he named Victoria Falls (Mosi Oa Tunya in the local Bemba language) “A sight so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” March 19th 2013 is the Bicentenary of Dr David Livingstone’s birth in Blantyre and what an opportunity to explore one of the rivers at the forefront of his travels as the Mighty Zambezi.
Livingstone was the first European Explorer to travel across trans continental Africa from Luanda to Mozambique. He was a light traveller and this gave him extra kudos with local Chiefs, as well as his reassurances that he was not a threat. The British backed his second expedition to the Zambezi, however he was unable to safely navigate the Cabora Bassa rapids in Mozambique, which he had not seen on his first trip to the region. Despite being viewed as a “failure” by many back in the UK, the trip was a very worthwhile project for the scientists working with Livingstone to collect plant and geological information from the area.
Sadly Livingstone died in 1873 at Lake Bangweulu in Zambia, however he gave his life to Africa and Africans and is cherished by a continent for which he gave so much, but in return, it also gave so much to Livingstone. What better year to come and explore the Zambezi River for yourself, than the bicentenary of the great explorer. Ideal times to visit for a rafting trip on the Zambezi River are from August – November when the weather is at its best and water levels are low.
by Hamish McMaster
Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.
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