Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa

Owyhee H

However; it's also very impressive that you are willing to put yourself out there and make yourself prey to the slobbering internet masses. I greatly hope that the negative comments and questions to not dissuade you from posting further reports in the exact same style.

As you can see, most of us are perfectly content to read the story for the story itself, and are able to do so without judgment.
That is exactly what I wanted to write but could not find the words. Well Said.:26_7_2:


Expedition Leader
Allow me to add the perspective of the author a trip report.

Writing a trip report like this is a lot of work. I dare not count the hours I spent on it.
Thank you for taking the time to post a detailed reply. I am very well aware of the time and effort to write a trip report. Here is mine, which I have at least 200hrs of effort put into the write up, pictures and videos.

I didn't need to go through the big effort to put it out there for the world to see and read. I did however because I feel it is good useful info for other travelers. While I enjoy telling the story and sharing the story that is not the main motivation for me in doing a trip report. For me the main motivation is to share info/experiences with other travelers who will do a similar trip. Thus they may be able to go more prepared then I did, have less issues and as a result have more fun. They may also gain insight into important parts of overland travel through other countries, such as; how to repair your truck, how to deal with cops wanting bribes, how to get your pet through the borders easily, how to find a good place to sleep for the night and so on and so forth.

I am totally aginst any negative comments posted in a trip report. Look to my own report to see that mentioned. Yet, to me a trip report posted on a forum is open for discussion. If it was not then it would be a "closed" topic where only the author could post. A forum is an interactive form of media. If all you or anybody else wants is to share the story, then why not just have it in a magazine where people can't do anything but read it? If you post anything on a forum you need to have at least mildly thick skin, otherwise you shouldn't post the story in the first place. I may be the only person to ask you direct question about the trip instead of just give praise. That is just it though, you posted your story on a forum and not a locked topic. You are free to ignore or not respond to any questions but we/me are free to ask those questions as long as they are respectful and not rude.

It is fine if you do not want to reply to direct questions with direct answers. While your trip report is excellent and the adventure you went on is super cool, my mind is not totally blow away by it. In fact I can imagine and picture myself doing the same kind of trip in Africa. I am a thrill seeker and the Congo looks full of thrills! Hence the asking of direct questions. Perhaps it is better to take those questions to pms, yet how would other people who want to drive through the Congo or some other place like it then get the info?

In your summary you put a lot of effort and info into traveling through the Congo, how it can be done and what to expect. Yet, not much about the vehicle and how to keep it going. In my mind that is important info missing to somebody seriously considering doing the drive.

The only part of the entire thing that doesn't make a lot of sense to me is going to such great lengths to drive through the Congo. The perperations, the money spent, the time planning...litterally hundreds of hours aand thousands of dollars without a doubt. Yet, not having basic skills or tools. It is like driving through Latin America without speaking Spanish. Sure it can be done and has been done many times over. Yet, would the trip not be more enjoyable if a person spoke Spanish? So you see my questions were very basic, why do you not have the tools/skills? Would the trip not be more relaxed if you had the tools, gear and skills? There is absolutly nothing wrong with those questions. I fail to see how they are snobby, disrespectful or whatever.

In your trip report a lot of time spent in the Congo was either spent digging to get your truck unstuck or trying to get it repaired. So if you didn't have to do that nearly as much you would have had more time for other things. I was curious if that would have not made the trip more enjoyable. And to be completely honest, your report does not read like it was much fun. Always on your defense, not comfortable with hundreds of people staring at you day and night, one of you can't get any sleep, sick and tired of people asking you to give them money, so on and so forth.

Any ways, thanks for putting in the effort and giving us a chance to read about your adventures in the Congo. Just because everybody doesn't get the same thing out of the trip report or wants to know more does not make that person bad or the questions they ask wrong.

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Scott Brady

Many on this forum were traditional 4wd enthusiasts first, then became interested in international adventure travel. This is where the comments about winches, etc. come from.

However, there are many travelers in the world who use Land Cruisers to access remote places that are not 4wd enthusiasts. The vehicle is simply another tool. They may not have interest in the specifics and equipment needed to be fully prepared and outfitted. They are in it for purely the adventure. Not having a winch significantly increased the adventure on their trip, engaged them more with the locals and intensified their driving experience.

Sometimes throwing a little caution to the wind and balking at loads of gear and modifications is the point - and is often the greatest reward. Sometimes venturing into the unknown a little underprepared, a little ignorant, a little exposed increases the sense of wonder and sharpens our experience. It is not appropriate all the time, or for everyone, but it is certainly a valid and credible means of exploration.

I am reminded of another African adventurer who threw caution to the wind and experienced a life well lived.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt
1910, Paris France


A screenshot of the GPS data we collected in OziExplorer. I have some cleaning up to do regarding the waypoints but will make them available as soon as possible.

You can see from our track that we covered 3067km in total. While the road should actually be something like 2300km.

A note on the road, if you are planning to drive yourself: the situation has changed quite a bit since 2008. You might have noticed we had most problems north of Kananga. We had little choice at the time because of the "coupeurs de route" and because the ferry in Tshikapa was not functional.

Last I heard is that the ferry is back in bussines. The Chinese are also doing some major work on the RN1 between kikwit and Tshikapa. Quite a bit is tarred now. The road between Tshikapa and Kananga is notoriously muddy.
Mbuji-Mayi to Lubumbashi wil be pretty much the unchanged since we were there. It's hard but doable (preferably outside the rainy season). Most of the terrain is sandy. If you do decide to go via Ilebo, do not forget to have 2 batteries handy to start the ferry.

Ofcourse, always check the security situation, the best information can be had locally. Do not trust sources who are not actually in the country, they usually have no idea.

More information coming up as soon as I have sorted the waypoints out. (And yes, a bit of info on the car is still coming.. as promised ;-) )


Keep it simple stupid
Great trip report, great wrap up!

I want to see pics of the chess set too :sombrero:
I agree, I just went through all 61 pages this afternoon! Great read, thanks for all the time and effort for posting this for us to experience. :coffee:


New member
I just joined just to say thanks for the amasing report. It was truly the most entertaining thing I read in a while.


Frederick and Josephine, as captivating as your trip has become I was inspired to start sketching some of your photographs- just ink for now but I want to eventually add some watercolor. This guys trip also made me want to draw again.
Anyway, here is the first of hopefully several more- need something to do during the long MI winters :).

I am reminded of another African adventurer who threw caution to the wind and experienced a life well lived.
Great quote Scott- BTW this evening I received third of Edmund Morris' trilogy in his autobiographical exploration of that great explorer's life. Should be a good read for the holidays. :coffee:


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New member
Frederick and Josephine you are both amazing adventurers, thank you for sharing a small part of your amazing journey with us. I really enjoyed reading your story - you are an enthralling author and if you wanted to I think you could write a very interesting book!

I gather from your timeline that you are now back in Belgium. How are you settling in to normal life? Are you planning any more trips? Where would you like to go that you haven't been?


New member
Frederick et Josephine, par dessus tout, vous avez fait en sorte d'être respectés, même dans les pires difficultés et dans ce milieu hostile.
Pour ça, je vous dis MERCI.
Et pour tout le reste, CHAPEAU BAS.