The DRC Part 1 - Cycling to Sandoa.

DR Congo

by Archie Leeming

The first leg of the trip takes us from Lusaka in Zambia to Sandoa in the Southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I first met Charlie on the road out of Cairo in Egypt, towards the Red Sea. He was on a bicycle and I was on a motorbike. We continued bumping into each other on our way South and despite him being on a bicycle, we arrived in Cape Town in South Africa at roughly the same time! From here, we forged out the plan to cross the little-understood, seldom-visited and much self-abused "Democratic" Republic of Congo. So when Charlie reached Lusaka in Zambia on his way back North, I met him there and exchanged my motorbike for a bicycle.

After 1.000 miles of cycling, we made it to Sandoa, the town we had randomly picked out back in Cape Town as a good place to start our next challenge. From here, we spent the next week searching for a pirogue (a traditional dug out canoe), with the plan of descending the River Lulua, only to be told by every local that the rapids are too dangerous and no one has ever heard of someone doing it...

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