FROM MATADI TO BOMA
A TRIP IN THE BAS-CONGO PROVINCE
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riverbyair.jpg (38451 bytes) The view from the plane on the way to Boma from Matadi.  The Congo River winds through rocky valleys in this area of Congo. ("Matadi", the capital of Bas-Congo province, means "stones" in Kikongo)  This is the navigable part of the river from the mouth to the port of Matadi where goods are offloaded for transport by rail or by road primarily to Kinshasa. 
vilageriver.jpg (61255 bytes) A village on the banks of a small Congo River tributary.
LUKI1.jpg (128086 bytes) The Man and the Biosphere Reserve of Luki on the road between Boma and Matadi.  The predominant tree species in the reserve is the "Limba".
forest_rat.jpg (69115 bytes) One of the animals hunted in the reserve area is the giant rat.  Cane rats are also hunted for meat.  
duiker.jpg (53882 bytes) Some hunters still use flintlock rifles to hunt small duikers like this one.   
pangolin.jpg (66776 bytes)  This pangolin was caught using a wire snare.  The animal has a tough scaly outer layer to protect it from predators.  It rolls up into a ball so as to protect its soft stomach from attack.  It is a slow animal and can easily be caught by hunters.
game_roast.jpg (92947 bytes) A roadside meat smoking operation.   Seen here are prepared wild boar, porcupine, and pangolin.  The meat is sold to travelers going to  Boma, Matadi or Kinshasa.   
roasted_porcupine.jpg (68253 bytes) A smoked porcupine.  Sticks are used to spread out the animal to accelerate smoking.
roasted_pangolin.jpg (69653 bytes) Here, one can see the pangolin's claws and the pattern on the skin shows where its scales were attached.  
baobabriver.jpg (34736 bytes)  A lone baobab on the banks of the Congo River.  Angola can be seen in the background across the river.
boma_boats.jpg (73196 bytes)  Boma is used more and more often for offloading goods from boats.  The river has become hard to navigate as dredging has not been carried out for years.  Where once the river could be navigated by boats carrying up to 24,000 metric tons, now the limit is 7,000 to 8,000 metric tons of cargo due to the dangerous sand bars in the river.  
BOMA PANORAMA

bomapanorama.jpg (134204 bytes)

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