Dja RiverAs part of the Aztorin brand’s travel project, four daredevils set off into the unknown. The daring travellers were accompanied by reliable Aztorin watches.
About Dja Expedition
As part of the Aztorin brand’s travel project, four daredevils set off into the unknown. Backed by National Geographic, they made their way to Cameroon to travel down the Dja river, crossing a virgin, impenetrable jungle. The daring travellers were accompanied by reliable Aztorin watches. Danger lurked at every step (the expedition ended in total success).
In Cameroon, most roads are not made up, so heading toward the Dja river, we had to have a four wheel drive vehicle. We had to travel about 400 km from the capital, Yaoundé, and on the return – over 600 km.
We pushed off from the bank and were immediately carried off by the current. All the equipment was protected by waterproof sacks. everything had to be secured tightly to the canoes, so as not to lose everything in the case of an eventual capsizing. We only put helmets on for larger rapids. In the equatorial sun, when heat dripped from the skies, hats giving more shade from the sun proved to be more useful.
What did the typical day on the expedition look like? We got up at 6 am, then: filtering water, lighting the fire, breakfast, packing everything into the waterproof sacks, then tying them to the boats. It took a lot of time. We set off about nine. Ahead lay either treacherous cataracts or arduous paddling. The day closed with exhausting hacking. Down branches, camp building, supper, and then sleep. Sleeping with one eye open – the jungle never sleeps.
On the fourth day of canoeing, we found a fishing camp up on the hill next to the shore. That night, fortunately, we didn’t have to hack out a place with our machetes to sleep in our hammocks beneath mosquito nets.
The Dja river is full of difficult, long sections of many kilometres demanding a great deal of effort to get through them at the right pace, so as to make progress. Gloves were essential to protect against blisters, but also against injuries, which was particularly important – it isn’t hard to get a serious infection in the jungle.
Motorbikes are an excellent means of transport for travelling on roads which are too narrow for cars. After two hundred kilometres of canoeing, we arrived at just such a road. We used motorbikes to reach the village and load up on supplies.
A commemorative photo of our fearless foursome during a typical camp in the jungle, where the fire is already burning and the water for the tea is on the boil. We had to get water from the river, which needed boiling and disinfecting with special chemicals. in the background you can see the tarps stretched out beneath the trees. Beneath them we hung our mosquito nets and hammocks. the peace is deceptive – dangerous animals and wilderness were all around.
The machete is a real friend in the jungle. without one, it’s hard to imagine getting through the dense undergrowth. It’s also essential to know how to sharpen one properly – effective chopping can only be done with a well-sharpened machete.
When you take photos in Africa, a lot of people, regardless of age, want to see the image in the viewer, to see how they came out. It always evokes a great deal of joy and laughter. The children near Lomié were fascinated by the modern digital cameras and their portraits taken by Dominik.