|Introduction / Einleitung||5|
|The 20 deepest and longest caves of Africa (30.06.2005)||10|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||17|
In 2002 the “Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa” was released in this series (Laumanns 2002a, b, c). The atlas has been an unexpected success and I was surprised by the appreciation and support of the many readers. The atlas indeed became a speleological standard reference work that reached a reasonable distribution to serve for the further underground exploration of the “dark continent” You all have made this possible and it was a pleasure for me to experience that four years of in–depth literature research, writing, drawing, and extensive communication on a world–wide scale was not all in vain!
Of course, speleological exploration continues steadily, which consequently rise the question whether the 2002 “Atlas of the Great Caves of Africa” shall be considered to be a one–time effort or shall lead to a continuous source for providing information on caves and karst of Africa. And, if the latter alternative is chosen, what would be the best way to continue?
Intensive discussions with contributors resulted in this first update of the “Africa Atlas". Following the views expressed the initial idea to release a complete 2nd edition of the atlas was waived because it would have had the disadvantage that customers would be forced to buy once again a nuüber of books with many country chapters remaining unchanged or just marginally amended compared with the original atlas version.
Consequently, it was decided to release updates of the atlas in the form of booklets that just cover African countries where substantial new information is available — e.g. new expedition reports, new surveys, or substantially more references. This will be the principal guideline for the future of the “Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa” and I hope this will meet the interests of the caving public.
In case experts on a specific country will detect inconsistencies or faults in a specific country chapter they are hearty invited to contact the author to provide for another update.
The “Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa", as well as its updates, is based on the “Atlas of the Great Caves of the World” (Courbon et al. 1989), and on the “Atlas des cavités non calcaires du monde” (Chübert & Courbon 1997).
A lot of geological and tectonic information has been gathered from the excellent publication “Limestone and Dolomite Resources of Africa” (Bosse et al. 1996), which is a unique source of knowledge on African carbonate rocks (ISSN 0341–6429, available from the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, POB 510153, D — 30631 Hannover).
The Speleological Abstracts, published annually by the UIS, served as source for publications after 1980. Furthermore, valuable information on the latest French speleological campaigns in African countries was taken from the annual reports of the “Commission des relations et expéditions internationales” (CREI) published by the Fédération Française de Spéléologie.
In the reference lists the articles that have been seen by the author are printed in italic letters.
All north direction arrows on the cave maps refer to magnetic north.