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  • Writer's pictureFootsteps of Livingstone


You all know it was Dr. David Livingstone... But was it ?

Have a look at this video below. It opens up a really interesting debate as to who really was the first person to discover the Victoria Falls.

We all know that it was the indigenous Makalolo and Tonga tribes that lived on the Zambezi River, who were the first people to see this amazing sight, and that Dr. David Livingstone was the first westerner, or European, to publicise its existence to the outside world, on the 16th November, 1855.

This video states Charles John Andersson, the Swedish explorer, well known for his travels in Namibia and Botswana in the 1850's, mapped the Victoria Falls in 1852.

Chris Worden : "I have Charles Andersson’s books, and there's no mention he visited the Victoria Falls while he was mapping the Okavango Delta in Botswana, in 1852.

The Victoria Falls are mapped as Sikota Falls, or "Mosi oa Tunya" in his 1865 Lake Ngami book, I am sure this was included after the Makalolo tribe up at Sesheke on the Upper Zambezi, told him of their existence.

William Cotton Oswell, who should have been the first European, was refused permission to visit by Chief Sekeletu, in 1852, he fell ill while waiting for approval, and had to return to Cape Town to convalesce.

"The Great Fire of Lisbon"

Another interesting point is Major Serpo Pinto, a Portuguese explorer, who travelled into the interior from Luanda, at the same time Livingstone was exploring the Upper Zambezi, could have been the first European to see the Victoria Falls, but his diaries were destroyed in the great fire of Lisbon.

It's also interesting to note that Livingstone avoided Pinto in his travels, they never met..

The debate continues...!"

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