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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 8 Apr 2003
hed hed is offline
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DRC/Zaire/Congo River OK now !!

Hi All,

I am in Mbandaka now, about 600 kilometres north of Kinshasa, on the Congo River. I am travelling by old Tenere XT600, on my own.

I came in from Rwanda, drove up to Kisangani and then from there took various boats, all the way down here. It was not easy, but it is very possible. Awesome adventure and total trip time about 4 weeks since entering. I spent about a week in Bumba, which is no too far south of the CAR border. I spoke to officials of the MLC rebel group that controls the area, they are quite disciplined and they told me that it is no problem to enter from CAR, and then to travel south to Bumba, via Gbadolite, and from there on further south on the river, by barge. I did the barge bit. I am posting this here as the Sudanese border now seems to be closed, so if you can get thru CAR, this might be a viable option.

Under all circumstances, avoid enetring from Uganda, i.e. avoid the entire Ituri province. Please note that whatever, this trip is expensive, the officials are all hungry for Dollars !!

E-mail me directly if anyone wants more detailed info or advice, I expect to be in Kinshasa in about a weeks time and will respond then.

hed
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  #2  
Old 9 Apr 2003
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Sounds promising and I guess it depends where in Congo one goes. However the press is widely reporting the massacre of 1000 civilians in eastern Congo on Thursday 3rd April so trips may want to be selective on areas of the congo.
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  #3  
Old 9 Apr 2003
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Toby, you are right, that is in Ituri province, in Ugandan controlled territory. Further south, from Rwanda it is better, although must say that the stretch from Bukavu to Kisangani should be travelled with an escort, did it with some trading trucks with soldiers on top of them. From Kisangani onwards it is plain sailing, no problems at all, from teh security sside of things, just very very tropical and humid and no proper food etc, those kind of difficulties, also a lot of checkpoints and a lot of waiting for boats, sometimes days or even a week or two.

hed
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  #4  
Old 16 Apr 2003
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Hi Hed, Is it also possible to drive from
Bumba to Kisangani (Bumba-Aketi-Buta-Kisangani)by car?
Thank you,
Bram.
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  #5  
Old 21 Apr 2003
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Hi Bram,

It is possible, according to the locals, by 4x4 only, however not easy, mainly due to the bad state of repair of most of the small bridges in the area. Not even local transport companies are driving much anymore, the roads really are in a shocking state. Just load the car on a barge and travel by Barge from Kisnagani to Bumba. I met some diamond dealers who were travelling the road you mention, but they were on motorbikes. Other problem is that it is virtually impossible to find fuel in teh smaller places, and in Kisangani and Bumba it is very expensive (3 to 4 US$ per Litre).

I would take the boat, nothing else.

hed
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  #6  
Old 21 Apr 2003
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Hi there,

Do you think it is possible to do the route you mentioned with a 15 tonne truck. are the barges you mentioned up to it and are there local trucks on the whole route.Also did you use one visa for the entire jouney or were there places where you had to gain permission.cheers
Bo
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  #7  
Old 21 Apr 2003
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Thank you Hed. Fuel isn't the problem.
The problem is a drive a 9 ton (4x4) truck.
I don't think I can load it on a barge.
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  #8  
Old 23 Apr 2003
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Hi Hed,

Do you have any information about if it is possible (and reasonable safe) to go from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi by 4X4?

Thanks in advance

Remo
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  #9  
Old 15 Sep 2003
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Sorry Bram/Skywalker,

I was away for a few months, hence no replies. Not sure if this info is still of help.

Bram, you CAN load a 9 tonne truck onto a barge, but only in Kisangani, Lisala (at the SIFORCO logging company), Kinshasa, and possibly Mbandaka. It will require cash and waiting, possibly up to a week or two, for the next barge. I was on my own with a motorbike only, so it was easier. The barges are huge, so anything is possible, but patience is the name of the game.

Skywalker, I have not been on that road, but I am 100% sure it is possible, judging by what I have seen in the rest of the country. I think that the military control points/level of difficulty has been over rated in the past. With some experience it is possible to negotaite past these without having too much trouble. I think the north east and anywhere between Goma/Bukavu/Bunia and Kisnagani is still a problem and you should not go. The south of the country should be fine.

Hed
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  #10  
Old 1 Oct 2003
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Hi Hed,

Read your report about the Congo-boat. Travelled myself in a Landrover from Tunisia to Kenya this year (passing through Chad and Sudan). Now writing a story about trans-Africa routes for a dutch magazine. Was wondering if I can use your report. I also would like to mention your nationality, but can not find it. So if possible, could you send me this info?

I'm also interested in the rest of your trip. Where did you go after Mbandaka?

Thanks,
Gerbert
Quote:
Originally posted by hed:
Hi All,

I am in Mbandaka now, about 600 kilometres north of Kinshasa, on the Congo River. I am travelling by old Tenere XT600, on my own.

I came in from Rwanda, drove up to Kisangani and then from there took various boats, all the way down here. It was not easy, but it is very possible. Awesome adventure and total trip time about 4 weeks since entering. I spent about a week in Bumba, which is no too far south of the CAR border. I spoke to officials of the MLC rebel group that controls the area, they are quite disciplined and they told me that it is no problem to enter from CAR, and then to travel south to Bumba, via Gbadolite, and from there on further south on the river, by barge. I did the barge bit. I am posting this here as the Sudanese border now seems to be closed, so if you can get thru CAR, this might be a viable option.

Under all circumstances, avoid enetring from Uganda, i.e. avoid the entire Ituri province. Please note that whatever, this trip is expensive, the officials are all hungry for Dollars !!

E-mail me directly if anyone wants more detailed info or advice, I expect to be in Kinshasa in about a weeks time and will respond then.

hed


[This message has been edited by gerbert van der aa (edited 01 October 2003).]
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  #11  
Old 29 Oct 2003
hed hed is offline
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Hello Gerbert,

No problems, you are welcome to use my report. I have written up some other stuff for some SA magazines particularly about the Congo trip but alo about other countries. I also came via Chad Sudan, earlier this year. My nationality is Namibian. Pls mail me directly then we can discuss more and I can give you more info.

From Mbandaka I just kept going south to Kinshasa. Lots of river boat traffic now between Mbandaka and Kinshasa. I actually think that commercial traffic along the entire route between Kinshasa and Kisangani has been reopened, so no big deal anymore to travel here. I am keen to go back !!

Cheers hed

Cheers,

hed
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  #12  
Old 30 Oct 2003
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Hi Hed,

Thanks for your reply. I tried to e-mail you direct a couple of times, but got it back. Don't know why. Would like to read the things you wrote.

By,
Gerbert
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  #13  
Old 30 Oct 2003
hed hed is offline
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Hey Gerbert,

Try to e-mail me again, I have just updated my profile. Should be OK now. AS I said, can give you loads of info, as long as you acknowledge me somewhere small in a corner somewhere.

Hed
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  #14  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Hi Hed! I'm from the Kruger Park area and am planning to cross CAR-DRC-Uganda. May I have your email, since it seems you know a lot here. Thanks, Alastair
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