As far as boardwalks go, this one looks unremarkable. Its narrow, slippery planks cut a path through the dense rainforest of central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), mere inches above boot-swallowing mud and coffee-colored pools of unknown depth. But given the journey these planks have taken, the fact that this boardwalk exists at all is a triumph.
We leave the park headquarters by jeep, following a pickup loaded with armed rangers, their booted feet dangling over the sides of the truck bed. For an hour, our vehicles climb the narrow, winding dirt road through tea plantations and eucalyptus groves until we arrive at a wall of forest.