NPR logo

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, multitasking -- and trying to keep her balance.

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129608214/129609330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Congo Odyssey, Day Four: For Short Distances, Dugout Canoes Can't Be Beat

International

Congo Odyssey, Day Four: For Short Distances, Dugout Canoes Can't Be Beat

Expert dugout canoeists -- villagers on the Congo River use the dugout as their main means of transport on the water. Jonathan Blakley/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Jonathan Blakley/NPR

The easiest way to move up and down the Congo River for short distances is on long, hand-crafted wooden dugout canoes. They are ubiquitous on the water — with women, men and children expertly poling and paddling.

From faraway, the dugouts look languid and slow moving, but those poling often move at quite a speed to catch up with the barge.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, multitasking -- and trying to keep her balance.

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129608214/129609330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

My dugout experiences on the Congo were all a little precarious; trying to hold a microphone and speak into it, while squatting so I didn't get tipped over into the river...  She concludes that it's all part of the discovery and adventure on the Congo River!