03 53' S 19 20' E
I am truly one of the most daring intrepid explorers to have ever set out on an adventure.
COUNTRY AND REGION
You have landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was formerly known as Zaire. More specifically, you are in the Bandundu region on the left bank of the Kasai River.
NATURE OF THE TERRAIN
You are surrounded, for hundreds of miles in all directions, by the virgin tropical rainforests Kasai River basin.
LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS
The dry season has just passed and the rains are now starting to increase. But humidity and temperatures are almost at their highest so you'll find the rains a welcome relief.
As a former colony of Belgium, French is the official language. Lingala is also spoken in this area, however, and as it is the official language of the armed forces a few niceties could come in handy.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
President Laurent Kabila - just - since 1997, following the expulsion of Joseph Mobutu, whose regime had survived for 32 years.
The nearest town is Panu but you'll need to travel about 50 miles south along the river to the river port of Ilebo for the nearest hospital and airport.
Being stranded for weeks in one of the most inaccessible areas of Africa could serve as an adventure but could just as easily lead to a severe onset of panic. Do not plan to get anywhere fast. And do not get snap- happy. Permits for photography are required from the area where you are planning to take pictures. Photographs of anything of military importance, such as government buildings, bridges and airports are still strictly forbidden.
REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND
Get down the Kasai river to Ilebo, for a ride on the unforgettable Congo riverboat. This floating village of connected barges parties its way between the capital Kinshasa to Kisangani (it takes 12 days each way) with endless drinking, smoking and dancing en route. Join in the feast of freshly slaughtered pigs and goats, dining in the midst of an assortment of monkeys, tortoise and crocodiles all making their last voyage before hitting the dinner plate.
GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE
Hitch a lift on a cargo barge again, this time westwards to Kinshasa. Then either take a plane to various destinations in West Africa or, if you still have your sea legs, take a ferry between the capital and Brazzaville in the Congo. The journey takes about 20 minutes and leaves every hour from 0800 to 1200 then at 1400 and 1500. By the way if you thought Kinshasa was a hell-hole, wait till you see Brazzaville.Reuse content