Interesting facts about the Congo River

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      308

While not the longest river in Africa, the Congo River is notable for its other features. It slowly rolls its mighty waters on the hottest continent of our planet and gives life to millions of people living on its banks. However, the facts about the Congo River are still not as much as we would like to know, because in the past, scientists did not pay proper attention to it, and nowadays the surrounding land is not too safe for explorers.

Facts about the Congo River

  • In terms of water content, the Congo surpasses even the Nile and is second only to the Amazon.
  • It is the Congo River that is the deepest in the world. In some places, its bed is as deep as 230 meters or more.
  • Locals call her upstream Lualaba, but in the European classification, the entire river from source to mouth is called the Congo.
  • Its length reaches 4,374 kilometers, making it the 10th in this parameter.
  • Of all the major rivers of the world, the Congo is the only one which crosses the equator twice.

  • Besides its impressive depth and length, it is also characterized by an impressive width, reaching 15 kilometers in some places.
  • The Congo River has the largest hydropower reserves in the world. This is because of the considerable dip in the riverbed all the way to its mouth, as well as the amount of water carried.
  • Three hydroelectric power plants have already been built on the Congo River, and several more are planned.
  • Swimming here is not recommended - the local waters are inhabited by goliath fish, or tiger fish. This predator, which can grow up to 1.5 meters, is very dangerous and can easily attack a careless person.
  • The Congo coast is rich in minerals such as nickel, zinc, silver, copper ore and radium.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo, located on the banks of the river of the same name, could be the richest country in the world, as it contains 80% of the world’s uranium ore. However, the country is one of the poorest in the world.
  • In the heart of Africa, the Congo River basin is the second largest on earth - over 4 million square kilometers.

  • Among all the rivers of Africa, the Congo is second only to the Nile.
  • Some local people living on its banks believe that the river is home to the spirits of death. Perhaps these beliefs are related to dangerous river predators.
  • As it flows into the ocean, the Congo River desalinates the ocean 70 to 75 kilometers from shore because it brings in so much water.
  • For the first time, Europeans explored the Congo River at least partially in the XV century, but they could fully map it only in the XIX century.
  • It gets most of its water from the rains.
  • Over 900 different species of fish are found in the Congo River.
  • The total length of navigable routes along the Congo River is 20,000 kilometers. This is equal to the length of half the earth’s equator.
  • The largest city on its banks is Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. It is home to one-third of the country’s population.