Thanks from mid-stream on the Lomami


Thirsty work for the Maurice (nearest camera) team
They look like they are trumpeting thanks, but this is really a thirsty team drinking liana water.

Many thanks. Just got an update from our friends at Wildlife Direct telling us that we do indeed have a generous readership. Particular thanks to :

George L., Jeanette M., Denise S., Erin M., Sue S., and Brett F. as well as, of course, our very first donor, Faye.

That thanks is heartfelt from Ashley (mid-Lomami) and Terese (Kinshasa).

Here is a plan: All contributions will be used to equip an expedition to the most southern forested part of watershed-Lomami where we could not get on this first dug-out trip because rapids barred our way (see photo).

Here is why: In the south, at the village of Katopa, locals said abundant bonobo and okapi continue right down to the forest-savanna border. If so, this is an incredible extension on the known distributional range of both these special DR Congo forest mammals. Also, we must find out if there are still elephant in the southern-most forest. From the beginning our plan has been to go as far south (up-river) as possible and then start north stopping for exploratory circuits along the way. We are on the way back north now, but left a seemingly extraordinary area unexplored.

Here is how: We will go overland, starting in the administrative center of Maniema at Kindu and then crossing the Lualaba and working from the old colonial track towards the Lomami. John Hart will be joining the teams by November. He oversaw the early work in the Salonga National Park and has done extensive exploration and inventory in the Ituri Forest and the Itombwe Forest (among other places). If we get the money he will take on this southern frontier. Definitely, his experience will be critical!

What do you think? Do leave us a “comment” on this blog.

What a pair of showoffs!
The rapids were as far upstream as we could get — just south of Katopa


  1. Wanda
    Posted 2007-08-20 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    great info and blog — I will continue to read for sure —

  2. Posted 2007-08-20 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    As a “behind the scenes” volunteer participant of this blog (I advise the blogging aspect), I truly appreciate the donations.

    It proves that communicating via a blog is actually fun and useful!

    If anything should be said: Ashley’s work in the Lomami is very much new and exciting for us.

    There are many “firsts” in this mission:

    – first mission ever in an area that has maybe more wildlife than some parks
    – first time we use a BGAN (expensive but very useful)

    I also want to point out a reality that neither Ashley or Terese will tell you: they are extremely efficient with their money, despite the fact that these missions require lots of funds.

    Even with the smallest budget, their creativity will eventually get them to their goal. And this within a country that is known for complicated bureaucracy ($$$) and difficult access to many remote areas, the Lomami being way off the beaten path.

    What lies ahead: we are working on a map of the area with the teams findings. maybe a new design, we will see.

    Most important, we need to thank WildlifeDirect for making this platform available to us. They ask for no money and basically operate on volunteers that are in Congo. Very courageous staff, I say!

  3. Faye
    Posted 2007-08-21 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Hello Ash and Therese and everyone out there who is doing work on the Lomami. I will be making a donation within the next few days through Pay Pal. It’s been a while and I have been busy with work but I wanted to check in and let you all know that I am watching and reading and cheering you on. Thank you for all the updates.

  4. michael kramhoeller
    Posted 2007-08-23 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


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