Aug 10 2010
Wikipedia image entitled “The Congo River near Mossaka”
I happen to be writing a collection of stories based on a trip I made across Africa some eighteen years ago. One of the stories, ‘The River’, is about a pirogue trip up the then Zaire River (before and since, the River Congo). This is one of the world’s great rivers, flowing from the mountain ranges in the east all the way through equatorial Congo and down to the sea. And from its mouth, the river is navigable past the capital, Kinshasa, back up to Kisangani, where traffic is stopped by the Stanley Falls.
I was part of a group of young people travelling by truck across Africa and a number of us hired a pirogue, a canoe, to take us four days up-river from the town of Bumba to Kisangani. This was no ordinary canoe: two hollowed-out tree trunks roped together made a stable sleek boat, powered by one small outboard petrol engine, our home on the water and under the stars for three nights. Continue Reading »