The Last Explorers

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Series 1 - Episode 1 Livingstone



Neil Oliver swaps British shores for African ones in the first of a series (shown in Scotland in 2011) about the Scottish explorers who had more than simply discovering new territory in mind. His first subject is missionary-explorer David Livingstone.

Livingstone saw the Zambezi river as a conduit for the three Cs of Christianity, commerce and civilisation, which he hoped would put an end to the horror of slavery.

As Oliver says, Livingstone was “a man blinded by sheer determination”, and this beautifully shot film succeeds in capturing both the potential that Livingstone saw in east Africa and the darkness of the “Scramble for Africa”.


Neil Oliver examines the feats of four Scottish adventurers who helped to shape the modern world with their discoveries and ideas, beginning with David Livingstone. The presenter travels down the Zambezi river to reveal how the explorer exploited his celebrity in a bid to end the slave trade and bring commerce, Christianity and civilisation to the African continent.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Neil Oliver
Director Phil Cairney
Producer Phil Cairney
Series Producer Richard Downes