For many years Sierra Leone and Liberia have been too dangerous to travel through. They were places of terrible violence – associated with child soldiers, prisoner mutilation and blood diamonds.
With their wars officially over, Tim Butcher set out on a journey across both countries. In this episode, he remembers this journey. It is his second appearance on Unfolding Maps. In episode 13, he talked about his book “Blood River” and his explorations through Congo, following the historic tracks of Henry Morton Stanley. This time, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Tim followed the trail blazed by Graham Greene in 1935 and immortalized in the travel classic Journey Without Maps. Greene took 26 bearers, a case of scotch, and hammocks in which he and his cousin Barbara were carried. Tim walked every blistering inch to gain an extraordinary ground-level view of a troubled and overlooked region, and he wrote a great book about it: “Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa’s Fighting Spirit”.
In this conversation, he talks about what kind of devil he chased and whether he has found the Fighting Spirit of Africa in these two war torn countries.