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Introduction

Remote from any roads or highways, Lokolama is primarily serviced by the Lokoro River, a tributary of the Congo River by way of Lake Mai Ndombe.

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Neighbourhoods

The main town is sensibly located on the east side of a curve in the river that serves as port. Travelers will walk up a hill to a plateau where the main city is located and arranged in a grid pattern devised by Belgians during colonial times. There is a main street of seemingly make shift shanty town with vibrant commerce, and the village has scattered decaying colonial era homes now occupied by Congolese.

The secular central part of town has a young energetic chief with a pleasant colonial era home.

The Catholic Mission and grounds are located slightly to the south at end of a road where there is also a farm, a concession provided by another chief.

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Sights and Activities

Floating down the wild and curvy Lokoro River is one of the best experiences in Mai Ndombe Province, indeed, in the Central Congo River Basin.

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Events and Festivals

Commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence

This annual celebration is held every January 4th. Also known as Martyr’s Day, the Commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence is held as a double event to remember the victims of violence against human rights and also the martyrs of justice.

National Heroes’ Day

Referred to as “Heroes’ Day,” this public holiday is celebrated annually on January 17. It commemorates the death of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s popular leader. It is one of the two festivals that commemorate Lumumba’s fight for human dignity in the region.

National Liberation Day

The Congo observes National Liberation Day every year on May 17. This is a public holiday, so all offices and most businesses are closed. It pays tribute to the efforts of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo rebel group who fought the government during the second war. MLC was led by Jean-Pierre Bemba, the son of Bemba Saolona, a Congolese billionaire. Street parades and cultural shows are held.

Independence Day

Independence Day is celebrated every June 30.

Parents’ Day

The world observes Parents’ Day every August 1, but in the Congo, it is considered a public holiday. Locals are enthusiastic about giving greeting cards and gifts to their family.

Youth Day

The Congo celebrates Youth Day on October 14. During this national day, different organizations host sporting events and other festivities for young people.

Army Day

An observed as a national holiday, the country honors its military forces every November 17.

Christmas

Unlike most Western countries, the Congo treats Christmas as a religious festival. It is less commercialized, so presents are uncommon. On Christmas Eve, churches stage musicals with at least five to six choir performances and nativity plays. Some communities enjoy festivities until dawn when Christmas Day services start at 9:00am Families typically prepare a feast at home, and for those who can afford it, pork and chicken are staples.

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Weather

Lokolama is located within the Central Congo Rainforest Basin, where weather is frequently rainy at any time of the year. Visiting in February through April affords less frequent rain. However, because the Congo Rainforest Basin is on a plateau with an altitude of about 350-400 metres, the temperatures are cooler than expected, especially at night.

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Getting There

By Plane

There is a small landing strip used by missionaries and NGOs for charter flights. There is no regular service.

By Boat

It takes 4 days up the winding Lokoro River from Inongo and Lake Mai Ndombe by Dakadaka.

By Bicycle or Motorcycle

It takes 2 days from Oshwe by relatively flat machete maintained foot trail. Motorcycle may be able to make it in one day; however there are no certainty about fuel stops for the 85 kilometre trip over machete maintained foot trail. The trail is mostly flat and sandy, but there are also technically challenging deep sand, hill climbs and descents with eroded ravines, and fallen trees in places. There are few tributaries to cross after leaving the Lukenie River, as the gap between the Lukenie and Lokoro Rivers is mostly a low ridge.

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Getting Around

There are no cars, only a few motorcycles, and more bicycles. Streets are broad so not even foot traffic congests the avenues.

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Eat

Catholic Mission provides ample service for which one pays. Food provisions are available in town, including rice, crude sugar, and powdered milk. There is fresh fruit, vegetables, peanut butter (bring your own container, and of course fresh water fish, dried and fresh caught. This is the best place to stock up before going down river toward Inongo.

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Drink

You can get some bottled spirits, local beer, and unrefrigerated soft drinks, little more.

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Sleep

An option would be to stay at the Catholic Mission Grounds with a tent, or if you prefer stay in a dingy room with a bucket of water for showering.

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Work

There are no paying positions. There is very little volunteer activity here.

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Learn

There are no universities, except as provided by the Catholic Missionaries and other religious institutions.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Catholic Mission has some slow internet sometimes, and solar charger for the gadgets.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

There is a cell tower but don't expect it to work. Check with the Catholic Mission to see what you can do to get a message to the outside world. Best bet is come prepared with an iridium satellite phone.

Post

There is no postal service.

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Contributors

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This is version 46. Last edited at 10:16 on Aug 11, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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