Your Adventurous Guide to Southern & Central Africa

Reading Time 1 minute and 30 seconds
Date 9 May 2022

Hi there!

I’m David Livingstone.

Originally from Blantyre, Scotland, I’m now making my way round Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s just one adventure after another!

David Livingstone Adventurer
David Livingstone Adventurer

Travelling is part of the adventure… I guess?

I sailed to Southern Africa from London on The George – a great wooden ship. The voyage was long and rough. The boat lacked comfort and even the most basic standards of customer service.

The only positive? The navigational lessons held with Captain Donaldson?

"He was very obliging to me … frequently sitting up till twelve o’clock … taking lunar observations with me."

I would recommend flying...

It’s a wild life!

Scotland has little in terms of vicious wildlife. You might meet the odd Haggis or Midge, but they just enjoy a wee nibble of your skin. Southern Africa, however, has many animals that can cause you serious harm. Listen to your guides and stay safe.

I encountered a ferocious beast – a lion, no less! Luckily, I managed to get a quick selfie (for the ‘gram, of course) before it sunk it’s teeth into my arm, shattering my bone. The men who were accompanying me saved my life.

It was nearly enough to send me home to my Mammy!

David Livingstone Adventurer
David Livingstone Adventurer

Falling in Love...


These waterfalls are huge and cannot be missed. The name, Mosi oa Tunya, means ‘smoke does sound there’. The Zambezi river plunges 885m over the edge, disappearing into the mist and spray, creating a stunning display of rainbows.

"The whole scene was extremely beautiful… scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight."

David Livingstone Adventurer
David Livingstone Adventurer

Final Thoughts

"One might imagine himself in Scotland were there not a hot sun overhead."

I’ve spent lots of time away from home, moving from place to place, and rarely seeing my friends or family back home.

"People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege.”

David Livingstone Adventurer
David Livingstone Adventurer

This blog is a part of our Contradictions Campaign where we are examining the conflicting traits and behaviours of David Livingstone.

In the month of May, we’re investigating how David Livingstone was influenced by many, before becoming an influencer himself.

Discover more about David Livingstone through our exhibition.

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Also see more postings at in the David Livingstone Birthplace Project Blog.

We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project.

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Note: Please note that David Livingstone Birthplace (and the David Livingstone Trust) is no longer part of National Trust Scotland (NTS). NTS members will therefore no longer receive discounted/free entry to the Birthplace Museum.

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