Down the tributaries of the Tshuapa, the Lomami and the Lualaba

I got a fuzzy Thuraya (satellite) call from Maurice this morning. His team is out of the forest and waiting for dugout pickup way up the Lomami. I hope I got the location right. I relayed the message to Ashley via email, that he picked up on his satellite connected Bgan.
Maurices team leave for the forest, they will be gone for about 15 days in the Tshuapa Lomami forest
Maurice’s team taking off to start their reconnaissance circuit three weeks ago. They are in the small dugout, the large one is in the foreground.

Exploration groups are spread over all three major Rivers and their tributaries during this second mission. Along with Ashley and John the field leaders are Bernard , Maurice, Dino and Kahindo.

I got an even fuzzier Thuraya call from John yesterday. He had been walking for the last three days through swamp and has another five days to go under thick swamp canopy (no satellite connection). Tomorrow I will post the news and photos John sent by Bgan. He is in the northeast sector of the landscape, an area turning out to be quite different from the rest of TL2 and not what we expected.
A dead water chevrotain, hopefully in the future less and less of these
More fresh killed bushmeat in Obenge. The new agricultural project will make bushmeat less essential. This is a water chevrotain, a beautiful doe-eyed, water loving ungulate.

Ashley spent more than a week in the village of Obenge before heading further up river. Obenge is getting organized to be our base camp . Here are his thoughts:

“The more I learn about this village the more I realize that this is the wildwest !

The village is full of bandits. Apparently for a lot of these people, if they left and
went to Ubundu or somewhere they would be arrested. Half of them seem to be
bloody murderers or some such. Very odd. A village in the middle of nowhere,
that no one takes any notice of, A perfect hide out.”
Crispan (left) looking decidely uncomfortable with the Major and his woman and a piece of the majors ivory
Major Ranger shows off his ivory. He is in the middle with the army belt around his neck and arm slung around his woman. Our Crispan is looking a bit uncomfortable at his side.

“I’m now getting info that there are 35 guns hidden in various houses here. These are army guns- AK 47s – elephant guns. People are quite nervous. These are the guns Colonel Thomps left behind and that his second in command, Major Ranger is still using. We got to get the military down here to take them. The sooner the better. However, not so quickly that we do it wrong: we don’t want the military getting all these guns and going on a hunting spree themselves!”

After he wrote this, Ashley took off further up river, It is from there that he will pick up Maurice before heading back downstream.
The ladies of Obenge return from the forest with the leaves for the roof of the new camp for TL2
Obenge women bringing in thatch from the forest for our base camp

Soon we will all meet up in Kisangani, all of us except the “permanent” team that has taken up long term residence at Obenge to establish our base camp.
Hope he gets out before we start using the long drop!
Our Obenge Long Drop : essential first bit of construction in any camp.


  1. Kim Gjerstad
    Posted 2007-11-30 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Looks like the foundations of the back house we made in your Up state New York backyard this summer!

  2. Posted 2007-11-30 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Is that outhouse gonna be a double or a triple seater? Heh.

    Very interesting report. I hope Major Ranger (that’s such a cartoon name for such a nefarious character) and his gunmen are put out of business soon.


  3. Terese Hart
    Posted 2007-11-30 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Hey Kim, guess long-drops are basically the same everywhere. Something to do with the one-ness of human kind.
    Sheryl, I guess we will start with a one-seater but if the program grows…and I hope it does, we will add a couple holes and a couple seats!!
    Hope to have good news about Major Ranger’s guns by the end of Dec. Fingers crossed.

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  1. […] ARE SOME BAD SIGNS Crispin wrote: the day after Ashley left Obenge, Major Ranger killed two bonobo “They killed them just as night fell and they were on their nests. They left […]

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