GL L30.13, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

GL L30.13, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

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GL L30.13, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

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Letter to Sir George Grey from David Livingstone

Author: David Livingstone
Ref No: GL L30.13
Date Added: 1861
Date Created: 15 November 1861

In 1849 David Livingstone became disenchanted with missionary work and began to devote the majority of his time and energy to unraveling the geography of south and Central Africa. He crossed the Kalahari Desert three times (once in the company of his wife and children), traversed the southern part of the continent westward to the Atlantic at Luanda (in present day Uganda) through the Kalahari and 1,500 miles of uncharted territory, and discovered the Victoria Falls - "the most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa" - and the mighty Zambezi.

He writes to Grey in 1861 from the HMS Pioneer and gives a great physical description of Lake Nyassa. He also describes the fish and wildlife of the area including ‘Elephants and Hippopotami’ which he describes as ‘very tame’ a lot like the Alligators which "seldom kill a man’ and allowed his team to ‘bathe in the delicious cool waters when [they] liked".

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