home | diary | contact | donation Nederlands    


Livingstone expedition 1863-2007
from Nsanje to Mzuzu

dedicated tot the children of Malawi

David LivingstoneIn 1859 the Scottish doctor, missionary, geologist and biologist Dr. David Livingstone  reached (as part of the Zambezi expedition) for the first time Nsanje the most southern town of Malawi,  situated at the banks of the Shire river. Livingstone was deeply touched during his  exploration expeditions by the cruelties of the slave trade. He became one of the strongest abolitionists. Livingstone wanted to bring christianity, open trade lines, education and agriculture to Africa for the benefit of the Africans. Livingstone was a very good observer and great in recording his observations. Besides his outstanding diaries more than 2000 letters are preserved. In 1863 Livingstone walked into the hart of Malawi (then Nyasaland) to find new traderoutes and to map that part of Africa.

Ben de PontiBen de Ponti llives in Eys-Wittem, The Netherlands and worked as a dental surgeon with his wife Cobi in Mzuzu, Malawi from 1976 till 1979. Since 1987, together with volunteers in the Netherlands and Malawi, they supported many projects for better living- and health conditions for people in and around Mzuzu. 

Ben de Ponti will start in June 2007 in the footsteps of Livingstone with the 1863 expedition to the interior of Malawi. The voyage will take 3 months. The last month his wife Cobi will join him.

With Livingstone’s diaries and letters as a guideline De Ponti wants to follow Livingstone’s expedition as accurate as possible. Back in the Netherlands he wants to write a book about the changes that took place since 1863. He wants to approach in a positive way how Malawians face and solve their daily problems. The expedition will be 450 km by boat through the marshes of the Lower Shire and along the west coast of Lake Malawi. The other 1000 km will be on foot.

Click to enlargeStood Livingstone up against the slave trade, Ben de Ponti wants to ask for attention for the orphans and vulnerable children (more than 1.000.000) of Malawi.  Also attention is asked for the Sonda Youth and Community Development Centre near Mzuzu. In this unique Centre vulnerable children are looked after from the age of zero till they are capable to look after themselves. The strong point is that the people of Sonda are the base of this centre. The Sonda project is a cooperation between the people of Sonda, the Friends of St. John’s and Cordaid a Dutch NGO. www.cordaid.nl 

A fundraising is part of the Livingstone project. People who feel warmharted towards this project can buy kilometers.  Euro 10 for each kilometer. See the donation section for further details. The De Ponti’s pay for their own costs during the expedition. All the donations will benefit the Vulnerable Children of Malawi. The route will mainly go through rural Malawi, through bush and savana, from sealevel up till 2100 meter and partly through area’s where wild animals freely roam.

For more information about the projects in Mzuzu go to our website: www.vriendenvanstjohns.nl


July 12, 2007
Photos of Ben de Ponti from Malawi.
June 26, 2007
Photos of Ben de Ponti from Malawi.
June 10, 2007
The first story from Ben de Ponti from Malawi.
June 9, 2007
Ben de Ponti arrived at the Kamuzu Airport in Lilongwe, Malawi.
June 8, 2007
Ben de Ponti starts his Livingstone Expedition.
June 5, 2007
Ben de Ponti is interviewed by the national radiostation.
June 4, 2007
Ben de Ponti is a guest at the TV show Limburg Laat on L1.
June 3, 2007
Ben de Ponti is a guest at the radioprogram De Stemming on L1.
May 25, 2007
David LivingstoneLivingstone Expedition in the news. Read the interview with Ben de Ponti.