I’ve been on the raid again for these shots for Cee’s watery challenge. They’re from the Team Leader’s photo archive of his Africa overland trip, and were taken from the deck of one of the huge Congo ferries that ply the treacherously shifting waterway between DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa and the port town of Kisangani, a thousand kilometres inland.
This vast waterway is one of Africa’s super highways. In a land with few roads or other amenities, the Congo River not only provides the main means of travelling across the country, but is also a continuous marketing opportunity for local farmers, fishermen and traders who deal in just about every imaginable commodity.
The traders tie up their pirogues alongside the ferry. They come to trade with passengers and to hitch a ride. At times the ferry looks more like a floating city than a river craft.
The river of course means far more than transport and trade to the Congolese who live beside it. It provides fish to eat for one thing. More crucially, it is the main source of drinking, cooking and washing water: in every sense a river of life.
Copyright 2014 Tish Farrell