Despite the extreme heat and sporadic downpours, our time in the Lac-Tele region of Congo was a great success. This area was critical to both the forest plot distribution and the water sampling because of the dominant ‘swamp forest’ land cover type. In fact, the town of Epena, where we stayed, is in the heart of one of the largest swamp forests in the world. Day trips from Epena included a trip north to Dongou to sample the Motaba and Oubangui by pirogue, another to the south to visit the Tanga and Eholola rivers, and a forest plot that required a bit slogging through partially submerged forest. We’ve started each day of this trip with a brief meeting around the maps and GIS. The idea is to make the best of our time in the field and target those areas that are both accessible and support the mission (see map).
Tomorrow, we will fly from Impfondo back to Brazzaville on one of the bi-weekly Air Trans Congo trips between the two cities.