Update On Congo


Published: August - 2004

A third big story this month is unfolding in Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Zaire), where long-time Tanzania safari operator, George Angelides, has continued his efforts to open this country to hunting by doing a full-scale recce of a new hunting area on the border of Angola. Here is how Angie Stephenson of Congo Safaris Expeditions described what happened on the recce:

"The roads into Swa-Kibula were horrendous, so our planned four-day journey of 500 miles took us nearly a week one way. We arrived after crossing scary mountain roads that took us up to 6,000 and 7,000 feet over narrow razorblades with drops on both sides of 1,000 feet or more straight down. At times, the car was leaning so heavily to the side that only the thin clay wall that had been built up during the rains kept our Volvo hunting car from tumbling over and down the mountain.

"None of us expected Democratic Republic of Congo to have so many high mountains. Finally, to all our tremendous surprise, towards the last 80 miles of our journey, the mountains stopped and the high and rough countryside gave way to green, rolling hills, partly empty of any vegetation, partly covered with Miombo bushes. It was not really savannah-flat country, but it was horizontal enough to allow us to drive around easily with the Volvo. The valleys we came to contained finger forests. Most had flowing rivers in them, flanked with reeds.

"There were very few villages in the northern part of the approximately 560-square-mile hunting block. The southern part, near Tembo, is heavily populated due to the presence of big diamond-mining fields. Two big rivers, the Wamba and Cuango (the latter forms the border with Angola in the West), form the eastern and western borders, respectively, of the block.

"In the center of the hunting area is a village called Manyala, where our government partner, ICCN (Institute Congolaise Conservation de la Nature), has a small headquarters. They have one conservationist there, who is hardly ever paid but who........(continued)

 
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