The 43-year-old explorer returned to Africa in 1858 and led a disastrous expedition up the Zambezi River.
The river was blocked by foaming rapids, Livingstone’s miserable European companions quarreled, and three of them were killed in local tribal wars. In 1866, Livingstone led another exploring party into eastern Africa hoping to find the source of the Nile River.
By 1868, Livingstone had entered Lake Bangweulu (in present-day Zambia), an area of leech-infested swamps. Weakened by fever, Livingstone joined an Arab slave caravan and continued seeking his elusive quarry through 1870.
By this time, people began to wonder what had happened to him, as news from Livingstone had not reached the outside world for years. The New York Herald newspaper sent a journalist, a British-American named Henry Morton Stanley, to find the explorer.
In November 1871, Livingstone was lying exhausted in Ujiji, a village on the bank of Lake Tanganyika, a lake that today forms the border between Congo and Tanzania. On November 10, he heard a commotion and saw a crowd with an American flag marching down the street.
Livingstone rose and to his shock saw a white man dressed in flannel clothing and freshly waxed boots. Stanley saw Livingstone and uttered his now famous line, “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” Livingstone had been found. Livingstone died in May 1873.
His black porters, who had journeyed with him faithfully for so many years, carried his body 1,000 miles, a trek that lasted almost a year, to the coast, where it was transported back to England for burial.