Kayaking Africa: From Ice to the Mountain of Fire

Kigali_City on a Hill
The following dispatch is from extreme kayaker, Ben Stookesberry, a member of the First Ascent kayak team. They are currently on an expedition in Africa to make a first descent of the Lukuga River.

Trip leader Hendri Coetzee has three rules leading up to our entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rule #1. Everything is going to take twice as long as it should.
Rule # 2. Everything is going to cost twice as much as it should.
Rule #3. No matter what happens, don't panic!

En route to the headwaters of the Congo after leaving the epic Mountains of the Moon, we encounter a problem at the border of Uganda and Rwanda. Spending six months in the Congo last year, Hendri polished off his passport booklet with an exorbitant number of visas, which he was forced to purchase because of murky regulations and corrupt officials. He is on this trip with a brand new South African booklet, but has no entry stamp for Uganda. After an hour negotiating, stubborn border agents refuse Hendri exit until he demonstrates proof of entry. Not in the least frustrated, Hendri encourages Chris and I to go ahead to Kigali, Rwanda without him. He promises to resolve the problem ASAP.

I resolve to follow Rule #3.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web