Blood River: The Terrifying Journey Through the World's Most Dangerous Country
by Tim Butcher
Ever since Henry Morton Stanley charted its mighty river in the 1870s, the Congo has epitomized the dark and turbulent history of a failed continent. Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa in 2000. Before long he became obsessed with the idea of recreating Stanley's original expedition -- alone. Despite warnings that his plan was suicidal, he spent years studying colonial-era maps and wooing rebel leaders before traveling to the Congo's eastern border. He passed through once thriving cities near ruin from years of abuse and bad government. Making his way by motorbike, dugout canoe, and foot, aided by UN workers and a pigmy leader, Butcher traced the course of Africa's mightiest river.