It had been a rare event to walk through more than 1,200 miles of pristine central African forest that is perhaps the most dangerous forest, known in today’s history. Conservationist J. Michael Fay of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) set off from the Republic of the Congo on Sept. 20, 1999. Fifteen grueling months later, Fay and his team of 12 African men reached an isolated stretch of Gabon’s coast, a place where elephants wander the beach and look for some thing to destroy. Then on October 16 - 18, 2000 -- For more than a year, Dr. Michael Fay was found walking what he calls the Mega transect - a major project to study and call attention to a huge, multi-national area north of the Congo River - a part of Africa that remains wild and forested.
The Mega transect is an area that runs for hundreds of miles through the republic of Congo, Cameroon and Gabon and contains thick forests, swamps, rivers, lowlands, an incredible wildlife, without the shades of human being’s living. The objective to go to such a barren area was to stay as far from human populations as possible with the dangers ranging from microscopic parasites to armed poachers at a place where Pygmies live at the edges of the region, and hunt through it, but the land is too foreboding even for them and hot, infested with insects and snakes, and home to large animals that can be dangerous -- elephants, leopards, and gorillas. The place on other hand is like a paradise, a virgin land that requires somebody to come there and conquer it.
Michael Fay's epic 2,000-mile trek across the northeast Republic of the Congo to the southwest coast of Gabon called "mega transect" was undertaken to build a comprehensive record of the plants, animals and ecology of the area before it was built-up. The out come was required to be used as a benchmark with which the brunt of future changes to the environment could be calculated. The team consisted of many photographers who blew up to life size on the walls and brought back a few artifacts from the trip such as Fay's sandals and cell phone. The best element, however, was the multimedia kiosks that permitted the visitor to see short movies, images and sounds from various parts of the journey, and was aimed to invites others to explore some of the problems and issues that the expedition came across.
Mike Fay began to walk from Central Africa all the way to the Atlantic coast of Gabon and made an attempt to make a record of what’s there and carried out a rapid study of the great wilderness, so that conservationists and African governments could review which areas are most significant to look after. As Fay was about to complete the journey, NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions featured three stories about the Mega transect, with excerpts from Mike Fay’s audio journals, recordings he had made along the track and a very long-distance interview by satellite telephone which highlighted his great adventure and went on air on October 16, 17, and 18, 2000(Morning Edition, 2000) Fay related the complexity his team faced as it trekked through this part of the world. In next part, Alex talks with Fay by satellite phone as Fay camped out in the mountains of southwestern Gabon. In part four, Alex checked in on Fay, after having just completed the treacherous conservation walk through Central Africa to the coast of Gabon. He in the process visited Great Falls Park and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. The first park that is the site of the Great Falls of the Potomac River, and of the remains of the Patowmack Canal whose construction, started in 1785 and was inspected by George Washington. Similarly Fay introduced the outside world with number of mysterious places that had not been explored earlier. She walked from the eastern edge of Congo to the western edge of Gabon during 1999 and 2000 -- a 456-day trip past a stunning range of animals and animal habitats. In Congo, she saw examples of the damage done throughout Africa by logging companies. In Gabon, he saw the Promised Land. On his way back he and a photographer named Michael Nichols met with the leader of Gabon after concluding the trip. The story is simply a thriller, an adventure and an event full of exciting experiences.