From Kinshasa to Kisangani

The African Adventure No 1 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) - River Boat Trip from Kinshasa to Kisangani during 21 days and 1734 km

Green islets, white sand banks and traditional African huts are passing by, women are washing their clothes on the river shore, small overloaded canoes float down river, overcrowded river boats are crossing us. Colourful dugouts are trying to catch our pontoons in breathtaking manoeuvres to sell fish, crocodiles and monkeys and buy from the floating traders salt, soap, single cigarettes, clothes and other products of daily life. Often, their canoe turns over with all their belongings, and they have to swim after their properties.
«Courrier» (Passenger Ship)

Piroges with traders
  One day, our river boat, consisting of a tug and several barges, gets stuck on a sandy bottom and with admirable stoical calmness and endless back and forward manoeuvres of the crew, we finally get freed. Time is no problem in Africa.
Our Toyota awnings against the scorching heat are a most welcome opportunity for the many traders. Every morning, when we jump out of our car at dawn, we are confronted with the same spectacle: the whole place around our car is already taken by all the sellers and their goods, and we have to fight for a small, shady place. More and more people are boarding every day with their livestock - chicken, goats and pigs.
Boat Trip Kinshasa - Kisangani

«Zaire» resp. «Kongo»
  One day, as they wanted to store seven pigs underneath our Toyota, we had to protest with all our means. Very soon, our surroundings resemble a floating market. It is a fascinating village life which goes on around us: people are cooking, trading, slaughtering, singing, drinking a lot of their Primus beer and dancing in the rhythms of African melodies from different radios. On Sundays, they even celebrate impressive masses.
It is a magic moment, when the evening approaches and the skies start to change their colours into deep red, when the innumerable canoes are floating gracefully on the river, and when at sunset myriads of insects are dancing around the huge headlights like a firework and glow-worms are flashing. Many nights, we just stop along the jungle and fit a rope around a suitable trunk. Then, we feel a deep happiness being able to experience so intensively this beauty and mystery of Africa. 12 days were scheduled for this trip, 21 days lasted the unforgettable journey.  
Piroges waiting for Steamerships

Kisangani - after a journey of 21 days and 1734 km
  Sometimes, the nearly unbearable noise around the clock drove us to the edge of despair. But nothing can make up for this unique adventure. We made friends with many people during this three week trip. On arrival in Kisangani, it was with sadness that we saw them disappear with all their belongings in the deep jungle. We will never forget the values of simplicity and plainness of this African people and - over all - their warm, open and bright smile!
To the 2nd Congo-Report: