Magazine article Geographical

Crossing the Congo

Magazine article Geographical

Crossing the Congo

Article excerpt

CROSSING THE CONGO

by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell; Hurst & Company; 20.00 [pounds sterling] (hardback)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa's most biodiverse country. Five of its national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites and there are climates to suit every preference. So far, so good. But the civil wars that began in 1996 resulted in more than five million deaths and left an enduring legacy of violence and criminality. The Foreign Office warns of street crime and armed robbery and visitors are warned to 'be prepared to move at short notice and lock down for a period of time'.

So why would three Britons with 'a PhD, two Oxbridge degrees and a batch of Masters degrees' between them, undertake a 2,500-mile journey in a 25-year-old Land-Rover across this menacing land? This was a return from an African tour, so in fact it is the story of getting home. …

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