At Mungo Park, we talk about experiences. First and foremost, we are travellers.
TRAVEL IS WEALTH A TRAVEL PARTNER IS MORE VALUABLE THAN A SIMPLE TRIP ORGANIZER SHARING EXPERIENCES IS WORTH MORE THAN PRECONSTRUCTED CATALOGUES LA PASSION ET LES FIELD KNOWLEDGE IS ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IS A NECESSITY, NOT A LUXURY QUALITY SERVICE IS DELIVERED WITH RESPECT AND FINESSE
THE ARCHITECTURE OF YOUR JOURNEY
We build the structure of your future trip together with you, enlightening you on the destinations we hold in great esteem. The exchange takes place in our agency, by email or by telephone. At the end of the discussion, your program will be unique. To help orient you at first, we propose a series of iconic routes as well as specific guides for each country. In these countries, we have an exceptional local network and passionate collaborators. Moreover, we regularly update our ideas, evolving with current events, new activities or upgraded lodges in the various countries. Finally, we accompany you in the three stages of the trip: before, during, after. At each of these stages, we are at your disposal. In our values, we also pay special attention to the manner in which we encounter other cultures. The Mungo Park team is here to make you aware of these various aspects, offering you specific reading lists, documentary films or initiation novels. At the end of our collaboration, we also appreciate your feedback and we gladly share your photographs and your stories.
THE TEAM AT MUNGO PARK
Founder of Mungo Park
Architecte de voyage
MUNGO PARK, THE EXPLORER
Mungo Park (1771-1806) was a different type of explorer traveling without a large team who was dedicated to solving the riddle of the Niger River. This one baffled the cartographers of Europe of the 18th century. They knew the source of it, it sprang from the high plateau of Guinea, but did not know of its maritime mouth. Rivers normally rejoin the seas and oceans, yet the meanders of the Niger head East, seemingly to pour into the interior of the continent. Was it a tributary to the Nile, as the contemporaries of Mungo Park imagined? Passionate about this mystery, the adventurer left Europe to make an intense and perilous journey. His discoveries were decisive…
An explorer’s journey – Who was this Mungo Park?
In the second half of the eighteenth century, the African continent still held many mysteries which the geographers and cartographers of commercial companies endeavoured to bring to light. While the coastline was familiar thanks to coastal shipping, the interior is largely unknown to Europeans. Two enigmas particularly intrigue the explorers: the source of the Nile and the mouth of the Niger. Dr. Livingston sought to find the origin of the Nile. Mungo Park, a young Scottish doctor, devoted himself body and soul to finding the delta of the Niger. He joined the African Society in London in 1795, at the age of twenty-four, and wished to resume the explorations of Daniel Houghton. There was no question of advancing inland with a heavy expedition (some expeditions carried several hundred carriers, furniture, provisions, weapons, etc.). He wanted to advance discreetly, with little equipment. In the same way, he learnt as much as possible the local dialects. In a way, Mungo Park adopts a rather anthropological method, ahead of its time. The autobiographical account of his first trip, “The Life and Travels Of Mungo Park“, tells a tumultuous odyssey. Taken as a hostage by a Moorish chief, escaped into the desert, found feverish between life and death, Mungo Park owed his survival to his courage,his resourcefulness and certainly a lot of luck. On many occasions, local rulers came to his aid. He was nevertheless the first European to reach the city of Ségou (currently in Mali). Here, alone and at the end of his strength, he decided to turn back with a return journey equally as painful. Arriving safely in the United Kingdom, he published his travel diary and the book is an immediate success. Filled with freshly acquired popularity, Mungo Park could not resist the call of the South. With more substantial means, he returned to West Africa and joined Bamako (currently in Mali). He organised the construction of a boat. From this merchant city, he started his descent of Niger. Navigation is laborious and hazardous. However, despite the attacks of some local tribes and the diseases, part of the crew reached Bussa (currently in Nigeria), more than 1,600 kilometres from his starting point. At this location, according to the report of the few survivors, Mungo Park was attacked by Houassas warriors. Did he survived the sinking? Was he taken prisoner? The accounts are missing and the disappearance of the adventurer remains partly a mystery. He was on the point of reaching the Niger Delta which flows into the Atlantic … Mungo Park leaves behind many rich reports harvested from his observations. This testimony is unequivocally useful and insightful. His writings about cultures in this part of the continent has enabled historians to better grasp the multiple facets of the continent: pre-colonial slavery, internal wars and the influence of Islam in the Western Sahel region. Finally, Mungo Park used a valued and original travel style. This method inspired his contemporaries and future travellers.