Alternative route from Brazzaville to Matadi
This post is possibly most relevant to 4x4s, but might interest travelers on 2 wheels as well. With prices for private barge crossings (the public ferry is not operating currently) from Brazzaville to Kinshasa prohibitive, and having to lift the car onto such a barge with rickety equipment and amateurish staff, and with no Angolan visa yet, we set off to find an alternate route to Matadi, i.e. one that would not take us through Pointe Noire and Cabinda.
We crossed into DRC at Mindouli (on the road from Brazza to Dolisie - no Ninjas in sight), then made our way South to Luozi, where a 20$ ferry ride takes you across the Congo river. In Matadi we applied for a visa, that should be ready overnight (we'll find that out today when we go pick them up).
This route has some limitations: from Mindouli, it needs a real high-clearance 4x4, and is probably a nightmare in the rainy season when I guess it turns into a muddy mess. Locals speed along on their (light) motorbikes, often on alternative tracks and shortcuts. With a heavy overland bike, there are going to be a few tough stretches (sand, deep ruts).
I don't want to make this too long, just wanted to let people know that it's feasible - I didn't read about it here before setting off.