Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

CROSSING THE CONGO by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell

  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
CROSSING THE CONGO by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
10 Oct
2016
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s most biodiverse country. Five of its national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites and there are climates to suit every preference. So far, so good

But the civil wars that began in 1996 resulted in more than five million deaths and left an enduring legacy of violence and criminality. The Foreign Office warns of street crime and armed robbery and visitors are warned to ‘be prepared to move at short notice and lock down for a period of time’.

So why would three Britons with ‘a PhD, two Oxbridge degrees and a batch of Masters degrees’ between them, undertake a 2,500-mile journey in a 25-year-old Land-Rover across this menacing land? This was a return from an African tour, so in fact it is the story of getting home. The idea of ‘discovery’ is central to the narrative, partly in understanding a little-known land, but also as ‘an exploration of our personal limits and the depths of our convictions’. Robin Hanbury-Tenison stresses this in his preface: ‘Often the main landscape being mapped by explorers is the internal one.’

Abandoning the security and comforts of home can bring about a sense of freedom, particularly when moving through an environment unencumbered by the rule of law.
Such was the case of the adventurers who made it safely back from a harrowing north-south crossing of the DRC river basin, from Kinshasa to Juba in South Sudan. Their success, as it unfolds in this lively narrative, reflects a unique combination of skills – an Army veteran of Afghanistan to deal with logistics, a doctor to look after medical issues and a photojournalist to set it down for the record in a splendid set of illustrations.

This review was published in the October 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.

Click here to purchase Crossing the Congo by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

A brutal, hard-hitting coming-of-age tale that doesn’t hold its punches

Books

by Dan Richards • Canongate • £19.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jeremy Purseglove • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Peter Hessler • Profile Books • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard • Little, Brown • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Robert Macfarlane • Hamish Hamilton • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Exhibitions

An exhibition at the V&A brings together innovations from across…

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jerry Brotton • Reaktion Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Colin Everard • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Pete Brown • Particular Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Paul Dobraszczyk • Reaktion Books • £18 (hardback)

Books

by Parag Khanna • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20 (hardback)

Films

It makes you angry - extremely. It makes you sad…

Books

by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)