Some of the most iconic moments in the legend and real history of David Livingstone's explorations emanate from Tanzania. The reporter and explorer HM Stanley famously met Livingstone at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika with the reputed words of "Dr Livingstone I presume." The starting and end point of many of his journeys was Zanzibar where you can visit Livingstone House in Stone Town. Some wood from the mpundu tree over which Livingstone’s heart was buried in Zambia was made into a cross, and this now hangs in the Anglican Cathedral in Stone Town. Livingstone made his departure for his last expedition, the discovery of the source of the Nile, from Mikindani on the Indian Ocean coast, where you can also visit another Livingstone House.
As we end these articles about the various celebrations concerning the great man’s birth, it is possible to look at his record in this twentieth first century with a more critical eye. Whereas he abhorred slavery, he still took shelter, victuals and hospitality from the very Arab slave traders he so detested. His three C’s of "Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation" was a very British world view which was instrumental in unleashing some of the scramble for Africa and domination of the African peoples by the European nations.
That having been said, no one can doubt his substantial achievements nor his sincerity in achieving them. He was pivotal in abolishing slavery in this region of Africa. He was responsible for the conversion of huge numbers of Africans to Christianity. He explored and mapped vast regions of terra incognito in Africa. He experimented extensively with quinine as an antidote to malaria. Perhaps most telling is that he is still widely respected, loved and revered by many millions of Africans to this day and that should be enough of a legacy for any man.
Apart from various church and religious services in Tanzania, there are no particular events planned to celebrate the bicentenary. If any of our readers know of anything in particular or would like more information on travelling in Tanzania, please would you communicate with our consultants.
Celebrating David Livingstone In Tanzania