Livingstone & Stanley
...and the relief expeditions
David Livingstone had left Zanzibar in march 1866. Lack of news in the outside world led to speculation on his whereabouts, and in January 1871 the American journalist Henry Morton Stanley arrived in Zanzibar, having been commissioned by the new york herald to search for the 'lost explorer'. In November the same year Stanley arrived at Ujiji, where he found Livingstone and greeted him with the now immortal phrase, 'Doctor Livingstone, I presume?' (for more details on the explorations of Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, see separate sections.)
After Stanley had found Livingstone, and returned alone to Zanzibar, Livingstone stayed at Kazeh until August 1872, then set off southwards on another expedition to find the source of the Nile, which he thought would take no more than a few months. (He had already been in the interior for six years at this stage.)
Meanwhile the RGS in London was unaware of Stanley's 'find' so in February 1872 the Livingstone Search and Relief Expedition, led by Lieutenant Llewellyn Dawson, was dispatched to Zanzibar in the steamship Abydos. Two months later, the expedition arrived in Zanzibar, where their ship was caught in the freak hurricane of 14 April. Every ship and dhow in the harbour was driven ashore except the Abydos. The town was wrecked, many people were killed, and over two-thirds of the coconut and clove trees on the island were uprooted.
A few weeks after the hurricane, in May 1872, Stanley arrived at Bagamoyo, where he met Dawson and told him that Livingstone was safe and would be arriving after a few more months. Dawson cancelled the Search and Relief Expedition and returned to London. But by the end of 1872 Livingstone had still not arrived back at Zanzibar as expected, so in February 1873 a second Relief Expedition, led by Lieutenant Verney Lovett Cameron, set out from Zanzibar to find him.
Unknown to Cameron, and the rest of the world, Livingstone had grown ill, with a recurrence of dysentery. On 2 May 1873 he died in the village of Chitambo, near Lake Bangweulu (in present-day Zambia), 800km (500 miles) south of Ujiji, and even further from the actual source of the Nile. Two of his companions carried his body back towards Zanzibar. In August 1873 they reached Kazeh, where they met Cameron.
Cameron decided to march on to Ujiji which he reached in February 1874 and where he found Livingstone's papers. From Ujiji, Cameron continued westwards, eventually reaching the Atlantic coast in November 1875, thereby becoming the first European to travel across this part of Africa from east to west.