Congo - February/March 2019

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Totof in Congo

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D6 - On the way to paradise ...

03/02/2019 - Journey : Pointe Noire --> Bivéla

It must be admitted that it is a strange sensation to be received like royalty ! Let me explain...
This morning, the alarm rings early. Even if the night has not been very good, a big day awaits us. From 7am, I go to the beach to make a first test of the drone and film the beautiful waves of Pointe Noire. After more than one hour, here we are in the city center for a very... western breakfast. Damn, they say "Pain au chocolat" here! It hurt me to say these words... !
9:30, our driver for the next 5 days, the aptly named "Kuster", pick us up. The time to go shopping, then to see the grand chief, we leave at 13h towards the forest camp on the other side of Mayombe : Bivéla. On the road, the surprises are going well. First, we follow the Atlantic coast, rather pretty. We stop quickly to see the turtles (Cycloderma aubryi, protected species!) Intended for consumption, as well as large Protopterus caught a few meters behind, in the swamps of the village.
Then we attack the Mayombe foothills: a beautiful low altitude savannah. And here we come to take a first driving lesson by Kuster! The rain of the morning and previous days leaves large puddles on a sandy track.
An hour later, the slope increases, the soil changes (clay) and we take our second driving lesson. Kuster manages the 4x4 (Pickup Land Cruiser) by slipping on the track, sometimes avoiding huge cruvvasses, passing in puddles of mud several tens of meters long and up to 1m deep, gets out of holes disproportionate, the all without using the 4x4 mode. Of a disconcerting ease for him ... it promises for the continuation!
The landscapes in the Mayombe are sublime, often with steep slopes, but mostly many streams to do in the coming days. Unfortunately we do not have time to get out the landing nets today.

Once out of the massif, we arrive quickly at the camp, in the plain of savannah. The arrival is royal, almost triumphal. We stay at the boss's house, with almost all the house available, as well as the staff! The guardian brings us the suitcases in the rooms, the cook prepares us the evening meal (camaro shrimp that we brought). On our return from the night fishing done in the camp river, the table for breakfast will even be prepared!

By the way, speaking of fishing ... our only point of the day will be that done in the camp river. Not very good for a killifishes biotope, but we still find 6 unspecified Epiplatys for now. The absence of a big male prevents us from pronouncing for sure (ansorgi group?). It is 23h, and fire extinguishing. Departure scheduled at 6am tomorrow for a promising day!

Atlantic ocean

Pointe Noire

Pointe Noire

Salt stone for animals

Butcher shop

Kouilou rier

Around Madingo Kayes

Nice road...


Let's go !

Magnan ants

First slopes of Mayombe