Looking back: The first Gentlemen´s Expedition to Congo-Kinshasa

2010. One of the most influential people, one of the nicest human beings I have ever met, Jeff Willner, former missionary kid, I met him first time in Rwanda and together we did a tour of Rwanda and eastern Congo Kinshasa. Jeff was brought up in Congo-Kinshasa and I remember well my journey on a bicycle passing by parts of it back in 1989. At that time I didn´t have time to visit the mountain gorillas. Such as a highlight. Eva had just been born, I was having difficulties getting life together and Jeff, as usual, made a difference. He also thought I was gay. Which was ok. I was really fat and out of shape, which was not ok. Read more at https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2010/05/07/chimanuka-and-his-family/ 

2010. Climbing Nyiragongo in Congo-Kinshasa. It was years since the Kolyma Expedition. The crossing from Oman to Mauretania didn´t happen. So, the climbing of this extraordinary, still active volcano would show if I still had it in me. And Jeff WIllner and me had this idea we would start doing documentaries together. Somehow. It all began here. Now Jeff is a major player. And he was actually, the CEO, the one who was in best shape and shot up the volcano and same speed down. I just managed to hang on. It was a beautiful climb! Jeff had done some amazing world travel with his Landrover jeep and I had 6-7 kg extra kg:s, honestly I don´t remember the climb today, that tired! Do read this funny article about the climb here Climbing Mount Nyiragongo in Congo! https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2010/05/17/climbing-mount-nyiragongo-in-congo/

The MButi. The Forest PEople. The pygmees. 2010. Imagine I passed by the Epulu Forest back in 1987, when I return 23 years later, not much have changed. Rose Marie Ruf is still there. The Okapi. The Mbuti. But the biggest shocker is that I have learned that a very good friend of mine, Olly Steeds, is also there and like a Livingstone and Stanley moment we meet. The Mbuti are an impressive people. So is Rosmarie Ruf, who have looked after the Okapi for decades. Read more here at https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2010/05/28/the-pygmies-and-olly/ 

One of the most impressive human beings I have ever come across, a person who have dedicated her life to live in the middle of the Congolese Jungle working to preserve a unique species, the okapi, is Rosmarie Ruf. Do read about my metting with her here https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2010/05/24/okapi/

I think meeting the bonobo was one of the rarest of meetings I have ever had. I have come across both gorillas and chimpanzees, but the way the bonobo looked ame and the other humans was just…intriguing. There was definitely a sense of kinship! And I wish we humans could copy the bonobo and its behaviour, the love monkey called, because it defuses any aggressiveness with love making. This was also interesting to see! What a great experience! Read more at https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2010/06/04/bonobo-the-love-monkey/ 

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