After Livingstone saw that his family was safe on a ship back to England, it relieved much of the stress he was suffering from. He went back to Cape Town to get necessities and then started on a 1500 mile trip inland to the Makololo country. He describes this in his diary as a pleasant trip, being no longer worried about his family and their well being. Also all the people on his route were friendly.
It seems that his reputation had already preceded him and he was able to help hundreds of people to receive medical and surgical attention. At every village great crowds came begging to receive his medical services.
Along the route there were also many wild animal adventures and Livingstone was able to do much research into diseases of the animals by examining the dead ones. He found many diseases that plagued them in this way. During this traveling time, he became very familiar with the habits and eating patterns of the lions, learning what the circumstances were that made them attack humans. He learned that they were old and couldn’t get food any other way so they had to just take whatever food they could get in any way.
The Zouga River attracted large numbers of game to its waters and among them were many different kinds of deadly serpents. These snakes were so venomous that they could kill almost any animal even if it was much bigger than they were. One of the snakes that he studied was very interesting in the fact that the natives called it “Noga-putsane,” or serpent of a kid, so named because at night it uttered a cry exactly like the bleating of that little animal. It was so good at counterfeiting the sound that the animal would be ensnared in the trap and killed before it knew what was happening. The natives greatly loved eating the flesh of the python and loved to hunt them, preferring their meat above most other animals.
Even though his journey had been a pleasant one, Livingstone was glad when he arrived at Makololo. He experienced a very hearty welcome among the people and found that they were very open to establishing a missionary school. He invited the chiefs to come first, but they had a good deal of superstition thinking that there must be some lurking danger in a thing that could relate incidents that had happened somewhere else in the world that the natives had never heard of before. They held the books in a very mysterious awe.
At last the father-in-law of the principal chief of the village offered himself as a student. He made himself to be like a doctor who must first take his own medicine to make sure it is safe for others to take. After he realized the school was safe, the number of people attending became more and more until it was a very successful school. As soon as one had mastered the rudiments, he was sent out to become a teacher of others.
On each Sunday Livingstone held a religious service, which was very largely attended, but not always with seriousness or having beneficial effects. Many things happened that would cause total chaos to disrupt the service. A few examples are as follows:
When all the people knelt down for prayer, the mothers would lean over their children to keep them still. The children, in terror of being crushed, would start to yell and started everybody to snickering until the prayer was over, which resulted in a hearty laugh.
Livingstone would be preaching on a very solemn subject, and all of a sudden a woman would notice a neighbor seated on a part of her dress. She would give her a hunch with her elbow to make her move off and they would keep elbowing each other until others would join in and the men would start swearing at all the women to enforce silence again.
After laying the foundation for a mission at Makololo and after having several in the tribe to read, Livingstone departed for the northwest to Loanda, which is at the mouth of the Coauza River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Sekeletu, the principal chief of the village loved Livingstone so much that he went with him for a considerable portion of the journey to protect him from any harm that might come upon him in any way.
The natives were generally curious about him instead of being hostile. He was the first white man they had ever seen before. As they were approaching the Loeti river they came upon some hippopotamus hunters who fled with terror upon seeing Livingstone, because they regarded him as such a mysterious being. They camped out in the open with the animals, who were remarkably tame in front of humans and never tried to hurt them.
The natives especially loved iguanas and there were many of them here just laying in the sun. The boatmen speared as many as he could for food, as they thought of this as a delicacy. In the many stretches of deep still water on the river, they saw huge herds of hippopotamuses. Livingstone was continually amazed at the huge masses of animals around them all the time. He did much serious study on their habits and living conditions. As he was a medical doctor of humans, so also was he fascinated by the sheer number and size of all the animals in this fascinating place called Africa. He had already grown to love the land and her people immensely and they returned their love back to him.