Congo-journey-OHanlon.jpgThe great mentioned explorer met many challenges during his expedition in the Republic of Congo, and his story covers many things that will exceed your wildest fantasy:
- Corrupt police and military, poachers and smugglers
- Difficulties with obtaining Visa in the country
- Tse Tse flies that cause sleeping sickness
- Malaria sickness, epidemics as Cholera and Ebola virus
- Strange tribes as the Pygmies, the dwarfs of the forest who according to a rumour can make themselves invisible, and hidden, secret tribes unmarked on any maps, and sorceress.
- Forrest spirits.
- Man eating crocodiles and -snakes, and other danger and mysterious animals, also included pre-historical animals that rumoured to be alive
Cover of the book "Congo Journey" - Facts: 472 pages and 16 colour photos. First published in 1996.
Congo in Central Africa is one of the last frontiers in the world, and civilised life has far from reached this country. As O`Hanlon describes it himself, is this country the most difficult equatorial African country to get into, the least visited, the last least explored, and the most interesting.
Here are some extracts from the book which will sends shiver down your back
- "Something big was moving towards us, on the ground. The leopard! Shouted Jean, dropping to one knee, the gun to his shoulder. Gorilla! Gorilla" yelled Marcellin. Look! Look!"
- "What about your cannibal symbols? Tell me - do you or do you not eat the body and blood of the big white Chief of your tribe once every seven days just as if it's proper and reasonable thing to do? Oh no - you've no right to laugh at us, at Old Bobè, at African. Not right at all".
- "The men in Boha. Doubla, all of them - they fight all the time!
. With machetes? There'd be nothing left. Little bits, Redmond, little bits. Bits for my chickens
- "Only you're a white gorilla! So you can only stay with other gorillas in the forest at night - when they can't see you! Because if they knew you were a white gorilla, those black gorillas, they'd hate you - they'd think you were dead, white, a spirit, and they'd attach! Yes! They'd charge, they'd run after you, they'd catch you, they'd bite you. They'd bite you! They'd bite the meat off your legs!"
This is a new book from the bestselling author Redmond O` Hanlon of Into the Heart of Borneo and In Trouble again. On his tour he encountered challenges over all: swamps, impenetrable jungles, heat, hostile tribes, predators, ants and mosquitoes. He met the Pygmies, and he broke his way through the dense jungle to Lake Tèle, the supposed home of Mokèle-mbembe, the Congo dinosaur. Scotland has the mysterious Nessie in the Loch Ness, but here it is something different. According to legends about this Lake Tèle, people hear strange sounds that they never have heard before, and other strange things happen which make big affects on people.
"No areoplane can fly over Lake Tèlè. No pilot would ever survive. A satellite would fall out of the sky. Nothing can withstand such power".
O`Hanlon also took good care of a little gorilla and brought it back to safe environments. He experienced that the chief in a tribe prepared his execution even as he drank his Whisky. But it doesn't end with that. Fortunately survived O`Hanlon everything, and he returned with unique stories.
The book is a real life adventure from his extraordinary journey in Central Africa. It is dramatic almost from the beginning, but the author also expresses a sense of humour that I find totally insane funny. For example his description of how Pygmy chimps have sex. It must be the most be the world's most advanced sex rituals.
Even though his jokes and stories are pretty rude sometimes, you probably will find them quite fascinating. They have always a deeper meaning, and describe the real life in Congo. O`Hanlon gives in the book a unique insight in the Pygmies life, culture and rituals. Further more his background knowledge is really impressing. He tells about the first great explorations in the country and how the life has developed since then.
He has also excellent knowledge about pre-historical time, which set his entire journey in a really interesting perspective. In his book he also gives examples of "the white man's" bad behaviour, exploiting and unfortunate affection on locals. The irony in the book is that the natives try to live the same way as the white man do, but in a way they fool themselves. The white man does not always act the same as they tell others to do. Influence of modern life cause problems for the natives, and life can seems difficult sometimes.
This book is highly recommended reading for they who like exciting travel literature. If you don't find inspirations in the same challenges for travelling, I am sure you anyway will find the author's bizarrely stories quite entertaining.
Stein Morten Lund, 2 August 2000