While not the longest in Africa, the Congo River, however, is notable for its other features. It slowly rolls its mighty waters across the hottest continent of our planet and gives life to the millions of people living on its shores.
True, the facts about the Congo River are still not known as much as we would like, because in the old day’s scientists did not pay enough attention to it, and today the surrounding lands are not too safe for researchers.
Interesting facts about Congo River
1. The African Congo River is very interesting and remarkable for many parameters. So, it is the deepest in the world, reaching places 230 meters deep, which is almost a quarter of a kilometer! It ranks second globally in terms of high water flow, yielding the palm only to the Amazon. True, the difference between them is still huge; the Amazon is 5 times more full-flowing at once.
2. The length of the Congo river reaches 4374 km (the tenth longest among all the rivers in the world), although, in the upper reaches, it is called differently – Lualaba. This mighty river flows through the territory of many countries – Angola, Congo DR, and Zambia. It is also the world’s largest river, crossing the equator twice.
3. The waters of this river do not differ in transparency, as it carries with it a large amount of sand and soil particles. For the most part, they are brown, but this is only a consequence of a large amount of clay in the water. However, Congo is polluted, as all the people living on its shores dump waste into it.
4. Among all the rivers in the world, the Congo has the most potent reserve of energy that could be accumulated with the help of hydroelectric power plants. According to this parameter, it surpasses even the Amazon, and all because it drops much more from the source to the mouth.
5. In total, about 20 million people live on the banks of this river. It separates the capitals of two countries, which stand on opposite banks opposite each other. One of these cities is Kinshasa, the second-most populous city in Africa after Nigerian, Lagos.
6. Different local peoples living on the banks of the Congo River have surprisingly similar legends about the spirits of death allegedly residing in its waters. Perhaps this is because dangerous predators such as crocodiles and large tiger fish grow in the river, which grows up to one and a half meters in length and threatens humans.
7. There are about 700 species of fish in the waters of the Congo, and more than 1,000 species of birds live in the forests of the river basin. This diversity is because this river forms the second largest zone of humid equatorial forests globally, covering more than 2 million km².
8. Since the Congo is full-flowing throughout its entire length, it is actively used as a transport artery, and along with its tributaries, more than 20,000 km of ship routes run. The construction of a hydroelectric power station on the river somewhat complicated navigation, but active transport links between them continues.
9. Until the 19th century, the Congo River was not mapped. The first European explorers saw it several centuries earlier, at the end of the 15th century, but studies of it were difficult due to its geographical location.
10. It is here that the most powerful waterfall on Earth, Boyoma, is located, where the water flow during the rainy season can exceed 52,000 m³/sec. It is not a single waterfall but a series of seven rapids stretching 150 km and having a total drop height of 40 meters.