04.03.2019

LONELY TRAVERSE OF THE JUNGLE (D. R. CONGO)

“The further I move away from civilization, the more the locals have open hearts” - says Dominik Szmajda from Poland, a lover of extreme – walking, cycling and packrafting- expeditions through Africa, Asia and the Urals. He is also a publisher of travel books. His recent expedition “lonely traverse of the jungle” to the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the fulfillment of a long-standing dream, but took a different course than he planned.

Back on the boat and just about to leave a fishing camp located at the Momboyo river

Interview with Dominik written in quotation marks (moderate English).

What made you decide to go on this trip?

“My first adventure with jungle was rafting on the Dja river in Cameroon (2013). Since then, I have been obsessed with the idea of a lonely walk across the rainforest. In 2016 I was able to walk through the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville). But my appetite grows as I eat, and this time I was attempt for the biggest rainforest in Africa - Salonga National Park (Congo DRC).”

Boat = Bed  -  Camp on a lonely island at the Ruki river
Plants, animals and one guy with his little camp in the middle of the Salonga National Parc

His idea was to cross the jungle alone by foot and then paddle down the small, but charming river “Lokoro” and the well-known “Congo River” on a packraft (Anfibio Delta MX).

Did you follow that plan exactly?

“To be honest my plan was not legally feasible. Without going into the details, I spent some time in the headquarters of the National Park explaining my presence in this place. Finally, I had to change my plans. I was in another place and there was less time left. But I had a packraft and I don't hesitate to use it!”

Dominik and his home (Anfibio Delta MX) for a couple of weeks
"The early bird catches the worm." - Just before sunrise at the Momboyo river

In the democratic republic of Congo there are more rivers than roads and almost all of them lead into the Congo River sooner or later.

“… I started a trip down the rivers Luilaka, Lokoro 2, Momboyo and Ruki. Because I was paddling through the interior of the Congo, I mean completely outside the travel routes, I stirred up a sensation everywhere - both with the colour of my skin and with my packraft. So I avoided larger villages, slept in small fishing camps, or completely wild.

At this stage I predicted 450 km, paddling on average 50-60 km a day, being from dawn to dusk on the water. The current on these rivers is weak, there was no wind, there were no waves, completely flat.”

Good prospects for tasty fruits

Mbandaka, is the capital of the Equatorial Province and lies right on the Congo river. Dominik finally managed to get there and met his friends. From here on the second part of the trip began: Paddling down the queen of african rivers, the Congo River.

Part 2 - the Congo River

“Generally, the trip proved to be quite safe. Throughout most of its course the river flows in many currents creating a real labyrinth of islands. The last 200 km of the river narrows down pygmiesby the so-called "canal", the current is much faster - its speed reaches 7-10 km/h. Here, in the strong wind, waves reaching almost one meter in height were formed.”

Enjoying the sunset directly from the river after a whole day of paddling

What should one bear in mind when travelling in this area?

“When we paddled near bigger towns motorboats from various uniformed services came to us. Contrary to common opinion, these were not such unpleasant meetings - in the worst case, we served them with a cigarette or a small cash "for petrol". On the other hand, when it comes to the ordinary inhabitants of Congo river, we can say only the best things about their hospitality. Especially in small villages and camps. Sometimes we received fruits or fresh fishes as a gift.”

Surprised inhabitants of a fishing village after setting up the boat bed

For a trip like that the gear need to be ultralight. So he chose the "Anfibio Delta MX" Packraft, which is light, small and easy to carry. Instead of a tent, sleeping mattress or hammock he decided to use the Packraft for sleeping as well. For navigation he used his smartphone instead of offline maps. And last but not least the camera equipment came on top.

In two weeks they paddled 650 km on their packrafts before they finally, sunburnt and happy, arrived near the capital of the democratic republic of Congo in “Moloukou”.

15.02.2019

PRESSESPIEGEL 2019 (DOWNLOADS)

Vorstellung bzw. Veröffentlichung aktuell gesammelte Presseartikel von uns, mit uns oder über uns, d.h. Beiträge zum Thema Packrafting oder mit unseren Produkten als Neuheiten, Tourentipps, Reviews und Workshops. Alle Artikel zum vollständigen Download!

1. KANU-Sport 09/18 Workshop Wildwasser im Packraft

Die Mitgliederzeitschrift des Deutschen Kanu Verbandes veröffentlichte eine How-to Anleitung von uns zum Wildwasserfahren im Packraft.

Download des vollständigen Artikels.

2. KANU Magazin 05/18 Testbericht: MRS Nomad S1

Das KANU Magzin knüpft sich unser Nomad S1 in einem ausführlichen Test vor.

Download des Beitrages.

3. PULSTREIBER 01/18 Tourentipps für das Wasserwandern 

Eine Revierbeschreibung von uns zu Touren im Dreiländereck Deutschland, Tschechien und Polen, sowie Inspiration für Reisen nach Italien, Albanien und der Schweiz erschien im Pulstreiber.

Download des ganzen Artikels.

4. ORTLIEB Katalog/Magazin 2019 Per Bike und Boot durch Jakutien (Russland)

Tourenreport mit dem Adventure X2 auf der Strasse der Knochen (Road of Bones) im aktuellen ORTLIEB Katalog.


Download des Berichtes.

5. KANU-Sport 09/18 Vjosa (Albanien) - der letzte ursprüngliche Wildfluss Europas

Reisebericht von Jens Steingässer.


Download des Beitrages

6. TREKKING Magazin 04/18 Trekking mit Pferden und Packrafts in Südalbanien

Vom Sattel ans Paddel - per Pferd und Boot (Delta MX, Adventure X2) durch die Schluchten des Balkans.

Download des vollständigen Artikels.

7. UEBER Magazin 01/19 Packrafting auf Island: Vains of the North

Außergewöhnlich gute Fotos im Bericht von Nils Junker.

Download des vollständigen Artikels.

8. KAJAK Magazin 04/17 Kaufberatung für Packrafts: Kanus für den Rucksack

Download des vollständigen Artikels.

9. PULSTREIBER 01/18 Das Rucksackboot Anfibio Alpha XC (Produktvorstellung)

Download des vollständigen Artikels.

10. KAJAK Magazin 03/18 Packrafting: Ein Gefühl von Unabhängigkeit (Impressionen)

Aufmacher im KAJAK Magazin mit dem Alligatore 2S (Pro)

Download des Beitrages.

11. KANU Magazin 04/18 Bild des Monats: Mit dem Packraft durch die Schluchten des Balkan

Aufmacher im KANU Magazin mit dem Alligatore 2S (Pro)

Download des Beitrages.

12. KANU-Sport 09/18 Titelbild zum Packrafting Special: Reviere, Zubehör, Technik

Unser Titelbild KANU-Sport, der Mitgliederzeitschrift des Deutschen Kanuverbandes

Download des Titelbildes.

13. heldenderfreizeit.com

Das Onlinemagazin heldenderfreizeit.com widmet sich einem Packrafting-Test in der Steiermark (Alligator 2S) sowie einer Ausfahrt mit Packraft in die Wiener Innenstadt (Adventure X2).


14. inflatablekayaksandpackrafts.com (ehemals APaddleinMypack) 

Chris Scott's bekannter Blog liefert Packraft Tests (Nomad S1Anfibio Alpha XC) sowie einen Bericht zum Packrafting in Neuseeland mit dem Nomad S1!


15. MDR Fernsehen - BIWAK rockt den Balkan

Unsere Tour mit dem MDR Fernsehen (Sendung BIWAK) gibt es zum Nachschauen im Blog.


16. KANU Magazin - Trockenanzüge im Test 

Unsere Trockenanzüge werden mit KANU Magazin vorgestellt:


17. WIENER - Vorstellung des DELTA MX

Das Delta MX Packraft wird im Wiener vorgestellt:


18. KAJAK Magazin - Touren in Nordrhein Westfalen

Das Kajakmagazin unterwegs mit dem MRS Adventure X2.