Livingstone Falls

Livingstone Falls extends for about 220 miles (354 km) between Kinshasa and Matadi in Congo (Kinshasa) and partially along the border with Congo (Brazzaville). The total drop of the falls is about 850 feet (260 m), despite only minor rapids over an 87-mile (140-kilometre) stretch to Isangila. The falls, beginning 100 miles (160 km) inland from the coast, prevent navigation from the mouth of the river to the interior but provide, in return, a tremendous potential for hydropower, as manifested in the giant Inga hydroelectric scheme just above Matadi. Other dams have been built (mainly on Congo tributaries). The falls, named for the Scottish explorer-missionary David Livingstone, were crossed in 1877 by Henry (later Sir Henry) Morton Stanley, who charted the course of the Congo River.

Inga Falls

The runoff basin from above Inga Falls. Inga Falls is a rapid 40 km from Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the Congo River drops 96 m (315 ft) over the course of 15 km (9 mi).

Inga Falls form a part of a larger group of rapids – Livingstone Falls and are located closer to the lower part of these falls. Falls have formed in a sharp bend of Congo River where the width of river fluctuates from more than 4 km to mere 260 m.  At median discharge of 42,476 m³/s (1,500,000 ft³/s) it is arguably the largest waterfall in the world, although Inga Falls is not a true waterfall. Its maximum recorded volume is 70,793 m³/s (2,500,000 ft³/s). Inga falls is also the site of two large hydroelectric dams, named Inga I and Inga II, as well as two projected dams Inga III, one, Grand Inga Dam, which would be the largest (by power production) in the world.

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