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Congo River


Biggest River on Earth ::--|| 1.Nile River|| 2.Amazon River|| 3.Yangtze River|| 4.Missisipi River|| 5.Yenisei River|| 6.Yellow River|| 7.Ob River|| 8.Parana River|| 9.Congo River|| 10.Amur River|| 11.Lena River|| 12.Mekong River|| 13.Mackenzie River|| 14.Niger River|| 15.Murray/Darling River|| 16.Tocantins River|| 17.Volga River|| 18.Purus River|| 19.Madeira River|| 20.Sao Francisco River||List of River's.||


congo river
The Congo River near Mossaka
Countries
Angola, Burundi, Cameroon,Central African Republic,Democratic Republic of the Congo,Gabon, Republic of the Congo,Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia
Mouth
Atlantic Ocean
Length
4,700 km (2,920 mi) 
Basin
4,014,500 km2 (1,550,007 sq mi) 
Discharge
- average
41,000 m3/s (1,447,901 cu ft/s) 
- max
75,000 m3/s (2,648,600 cu ft/s) 

The Congo River (also known as the Zaire River) is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of 230 m (750 ft). It is the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon. Additionally, its overall length of 4,700 km (2,920 mi) makes it the ninth longest river.



Its drainage basin covers 4,014,500 square kilometres (1,550,000 sq mi). The Congo's discharge at its mouth ranges from 23,000 cubic metres per second (810,000 cu ft/s) to 75,000 cubic metres per second (2,600,000 cu ft/s), with an average of 41,000 cubic metres per second (1,400,000 cu ft/s).
The river and its tributaries flow through the Congo rainforest, the second largest rain forest area in the world, second only to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. The river also has the second-largest flow in the world, behind the Amazon; the third-largest drainage basin of any river, behind the Amazon and Río de la Plata rivers; and is one of the deepest rivers in the world, at depths greater than 230 m (750 ft). Because large sections of the river basin lie above and below the equator, its flow is stable, as there is always at least one part of the river experiencing a rainy season.
The Congo gets its name from the ancient Kingdom of Kongo which inhabited the lands at the mouth of the river. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, both countries lying along the river's banks, are named after it. Between 1971 and 1997 the government of then-Zaire called it the Zaire River.



The sources of the Congo are in the highlands and mountains of the East African Rift, as well as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru, which feed the Lualaba River, which then becomes the Congo below Boyoma Falls. The Chambeshi River in Zambia is generally taken as the source of the Congo in line with the accepted practice worldwide of using the longest tributary, as with the Nile River.
The Congo flows generally northwards from Kisangani just below the Boyoma falls, then gradually bends southwestwards, passing by Mbandaka, joining with the Ubangi River, and running into the Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool). Kinshasa (formerly Léopoldville) and Brazzaville are on opposite sides of the river at the Pool, where the river narrows and falls through a number of cataracts in deep canyons (collectively known as the Livingstone Falls), running by Matadi and Boma, and into the sea at the small town of Muanda.
The Congo River Basin is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the larger Mid-African province, which in turn is part of the larger African massive physiographic division.

Natural history

The Congo River formed 1.5-2 million years ago during the Pleistocene.The Congo's formation may have led to the allopatric speciation of the bonobo and the common chimpanzee from their most recent common ancestor. The bonobo is endemic to the humid forests in the region, as are other iconic species like the Allen's swamp monkey, dryas monkey, aquatic genet, okapi and Congo Peafowl.
In terms of aquatic life, the Congo River Basin has a very high species richness, and among the highest known concentrations of endemics. Until now, almost 700 fish species have been recorded from the Congo River Basin, and large sections remain virtually unstudied. Due to this and the great ecological differences between the regions in the basin, it is often divided into multiple ecoregions (instead of treating it as a single ecoregion). Among these ecoregions, the Lower Congo Rapids alone has more than 300 fish species, including approximately 80 endemics while the southwestern part (Kasai Basin) alone has about 200 fish species, of which about a quarter are endemic. The dominant fish families–at least in parts of the river–are Cyprinidae (carp/cyprinids, such as Labeo simpsoni), Mormyridae (elephantfishes), Alestidae (African tetras), Mochokidae (squeaker catfishes), and Cichlidae (cichlids). Among the natives in the river is the huge, highly carnivorous giant tigerfish. Two of the more unusual endemic cichlids are the whitish (non-pigmented) and blind Lamprologus lethops, which is believed to live as deep as 160 metres (520 ft) below the surface, and Heterochromis multidens, which appears to be more closely related to cichlids of the Americas than other African cichlid. There are also numerous endemic frogs and snails. Several hydroelectric dams are planned on the river, and these may lead to the extinction of many of the endemics.
Several species of turtles, and the slender-snouted, Nile and dwarf crocodile are native to the Congo River Basin.

Congo River Overview

The Congo River -- formerly the Zaire River -- is Africa's most powerful river and the second most voluminous river in the world with a discharge of 1,500,000 cubic feet of water per second. It is the fifth longest river in the world, draining a basin of nearly 1.5 million square miles. 

The river is best known for its role in history. Called the heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad, the river and surrounding rainforest have long been known as the mysterious land of pygmies, mythical beasts, dreadful plagues, and cannibals. It is a land made famous by the rigorous adventures of Stanley and Livingstone, and known as a place of brutality and violence for its past: the days of the Arab slave and ivory trade, its long history of tribal warfare; and its present: the ethnic violence and massacres of today. 

The river itself is as turbulent as its history, though it begins peacefully enough in the savannas just south of Lake Tanganyika. Gradually the river widens and picks up speed until it enters the "Gates of Hell," a 75-miles long canyon of impassable rapids. The river emerges again, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest as the Lualaba or Upper Congo. During the course its journey through the foreboding rainforest, the river crosses the equator twice. Because the watershed of the Congo drains from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere it does not have the great seasonal fluctuations in water level as other great rivers. Its flow is relatively stable because part of its watershed is always in the zone of rain. The Upper Congo abruptly ends with Stanley Falls, a 60 mile stretch of rapids. 

Stanley Falls gives way to the Middle Congo, a 1000 mile stretch of navigable river, nine miles wide in some parts. Along this quiet stretch of river is the city of Kinsangani, a city known for violence since Belgian colonial days. Near the end of the Middle Congo, the river slows to a virtual stand-still for 20 miles, a section known as Stanley or Malebo Pool. Here the river is 15 miles wide and flanked by the capital cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville. The peace of the pool is suddenly shattered by Livingstone Falls, a series of rapids and cataracts 220 miles long. There are some 32 cataracts, having as much power as all the river and falls in the United States combined. The final 100 miles to the Atlantic ocean from the end of the falls is fully navigable. 

 

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