"Next day I left that station at last, with a caravan of sixty men, for a two-hundred-mile tramp"
'A Congo Jungle-Path' (c. 1879-80)
Public Domain'A Congo Jungle-Path' (c. 1879-80) - Credit: W. Holman Bentley
'A Bridge on the Caravan Route to Stanley Pool' (c. 1900)
Public Domain'A Bridge on the Caravan Route to Stanley Pool' (c. 1900) - Credit: W. Holman Bentley

After spending two weeks in Matadi, Conrad and a caravan of thirty-two men began their 230-mile journey by land to Kinshasa.  They followed an established trail, which became the route of the railway, through the Pataballa Mountains to Congo de Lamba. On July 8 they arrived in Manyanga, where they stopped to rest for two weeks. By July 27 they had taken a detour to visit the Mission of Sutili, before continuing to Luasi and then on to Kinfumu. Conrad reached Nselemba on August 1, and presumably Kinshasa, fifteen miles away, on August 2.

In Conrad's Western World (1971), Norman Sherry suggests Conrad took much longer than he should have done on the journey from Matadi to Kinshasa: the journey could be done in seventeen days; Conrad completed it in thirty-five days.

The journey is recounted in Conrad's Congo Diary.

 

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