By Phil Harwood
At 2,922 miles, the Congo is the 8th longest river and the inner most on the earth, with a circulation fee moment simply to the Amazon. Ex-Marine Phil Harwood launched into an epic solo trip from the river's precise resource within the highlands of Zambia via war-torn important Africa. without outdoor support whatever he confronted swamps, waterfalls, man-eating crocodiles, hippos, competitive snakes and spiders' webs the dimensions of homes. He collapsed from malaria, and used to be arrested, intimidated and chased. On one stretch, referred to as 'The Abattoir' for its heritage of cannibalism and acceptance for illegal activity, the 4 brothers he employed as bodyguards have been requested by way of locals, 'Why have not you narrow his throat yet?'But he additionally obtained super hospitality from proud and courageous humans lengthy forgotten by way of the Western global, in particular pleasant riverside fishermen who helped at any place they can on Phil's exhilarating and terrifying five-month trip.
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Additional resources for Canoeing the Congo. The First Source-to-Sea Descent of the Congo River
CHAPTER ONE WHY THE CONGO? My friend Pat and I were sitting out on our newly-built patio behind our tent in the middle of the desert in northern Iraq in the spring of 1991. Earlier on that day, we'd stumbled across an abandoned marble factory while on patrol and taken quite a liking to a pile of rather expensive-looking paving slabs. Now, established on our makeshift extension, watching the sun go down and drinking tea, we were discussing what to do when we left the Marines. After much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that driving a Land Rover across Europe and Africa, from London to Cape Town, should be a cracking adventure.
I was trying to be as polite as possible. 'I'm not…' I tried, but he cut me short. 'Now go! ' I wanted to throw him out the window, but quickly realised he was too heavy. My growing dislike for him was probably written all over my face. It seemed clear he wanted to assert his authority regardless of any logic I might use on him. So I gave up and left. We didn't exchange email addresses. Obviously there would be plenty of hippos and crocodiles on the river who would be only too happy to issue me a visa extension, silly me.
M. I left for the upper Chambeshi with her driver, another Julius. Soon we were out of Kasama and heading north again on the badly potholed Old Great North Road, passing scores of local women carrying all manner of goods on their heads to sell at Kasama market. After half an hour we were off the tarmac at Nseluka and heading into the bush on dirt tracks. Land Cruisers were not uncommon here, but entire villages stopping and staring suggested to me that plastic Canadian canoes were more of a rarity.