Central Africa
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Congo: Into the Wild Heart of Africa
Congo is the pinnacle of adventure, wilderness, and true wildlife. The Congo rainforest is often called the lungs of the planet, and as this trip unfolds and you move deeper into the forest, this notion becomes clear. It is an infinite breath and everything seems at once prehistoric and constantly changing. There is infinity of another kind too: It seems simply impossible to quantify the myriad plant, bird, and insect species. Highlight: We saw wild gorillas and wild chimps (as opposed to habituated gorillas and chimps), a rare privilege as many have never interacted with humans before. A Congo trip is not your typical vacation; it’s not even your typical safari. We walked through the Congo Basin, sloshing through marshes, sinking into knee-high mud (the sound effects of mud suctioning around one’s leg is quite hilarious); we kayaked; we boated; we did 4x4 night drives. Our guide sang to a beautiful Narina Trogan bird, and he sang back. At the end of the day, our French chef prepared deliciously hearty meals; we sat around huge bonfires, sipping on Ngok’ (the local Congolese beer), absorbing the sounds of the forest coming alive, and listening raptly to the camp managers’ and guides’ tales of the herculean efforts poured into this trip, these camps, and the fledgling and critical conservation programs. Much like the infinite history of the forest, this experience felt timeless, primordial, like we’d been part of it since day one… By Starla Estrada of GeoEx
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