Once upon a time, this was 'darkest Africa', an endless tangle of jungle littered with venomous snakes, marauding spiders, deadly insects and cannibalistic natives. To the Victorians, this was hell on earth, the original 'white man's grave.' This forbidding reputation has stayed with the Congo for a century, and still persists. Perhaps this is why the entire region has been neglected for so long by film-makers and naturalists. There is no doubt that parts of the Congo are inhospitable and virtually inaccessible, where it can truthfully be said that no human has stepped before. And it is precisely because we have interfered so little that there are new creatures waiting to be discovered, unfamiliar natural events to be witnessed and fresh insights into animal behavior to be observed.

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