The other day George linked to an excellent trip report from Flyertalk on the Faroe Islands. I’ve always been curious about that particular part of the world, so I enjoyed this report quite a bit, and I encourage you to check it out as well.
But that’s not the best trip report I’ve read on the web. That honor goes to an account of an overland expedition in a Toyota Land Cruiser through the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa. If you know anything about that part of the world, you’re probably already impressed. (If you don’t know anything about that part of the world, I’d encourage you to read King Leopold’s Ghost for the historical background or Blood River for a harrowing travelogue.)
What makes this a great trip report? Lubumbashi to Kinshasa is over 900 miles as the crow flies–it’s about the same as Richmond to Miami–and there isn’t much in the way of roads between the two cities. For that matter, there also isn’t much in the way of civilization, as the area has been wracked by a civil war since 1996 that has killed somewhere from one to five million people.
And the folks who pulled this trip off were not a caravan of well-funded, well-equipped adventurers but rather a couple of unassuming Belgians named Josephine Limpens and Frederic Willems. I’d like to tell you more about them but their website hasn’t been updated in about six years. They spent a couple of years driving all over Europe, Asia, and Africa, and this trip was part of that.
Here’s what their route looked like. It took them almost a month and a half:
This is one of the better roads they had:
And this is not (that’s their vehicle):
Along the way they encountered some wonderful people and some scary people. I don’t know what else to tell you than to go over to this forum and read their story. Enjoy!