A Mighty Big River
Lulu.com, Aug 4, 2008 - 255 pages
The Zaire/Congo River, the second biggest and sixth longest river on earth; its course a vast 4,640kms of sluggish, meandering, island-studded mystery, broken in places by fearful rapids and falls, fringed by dense rain-forest, and inhabited by primitive tribes and wild animals. Few places can evoke the same images of dark brooding menace and danger, and few places can have justified such impressions, from the horrors of the Congo Free State, through the Stanleyville massacres, to the chaos and blood-letting of the post-Mobutu years.In 1984, Mobutu was at the height of his power and ruled Zaire with an iron fist. It was at this time that the author set off to follow the course of the river from its source to the mouth, alone, by dug-out canoe and on foot. His matter-of-fact narrative as he describes the perils and tribulations of the journey - which culminated in a spell in a Kinshasa prison - offers a fascinating insight into the life of the ordinary people under the regime of President Mobutu.
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African afternoon Arlit arrived asked bags bananas bank Basoko beer began bikes boat Bolobo Brazzaville Bukama Cameroon camp cell centre chief Congo couple crossed crowd Embassy felt fish fisherman forest gave getting head hippos hurried Immigration Office insisted islands Jean—Paul journey Kambove Kikuyu kilometre Kindu Kinshasa Kisangani Kolwezi Kongolo leaving Likasi looked Lubumbashi Lulonga managed manioc Matadi Mbandaka meal midday minutes Moloundou morning mosquitoes Mushima night Okay Ouesso Owadh packed paddled palm wine palts passed passp0|t passport path Patrick pirogue police possible prison problem quickly rain rapids reckoned returned rice river riverbank road route Sabiti seemed settlement side sleep soldier someone stopped Tamanrasset tent thing told took town track trees truck Ubundu village visa wait walked waves wind Zaire Zaire River Zairean Zairois Zambia