If you are looking for a place to visit near Kinshasa, the Livingstone falls is just a stone throw away from you. The Livingstone Falls, also known as the “Chutes de Livingstone” in French was named after the Explorer David Livingstone and comprises of a sequence of rapids on the lower course of the Congo River in the western side of Equatorial Africa, downstream from the Malebo Plunge Pool in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Livingstone falls is comprised of a succession of breathtaking rapids falling at 900 feet (274 meters) in 220 miles (354 kilometers), passing over 32 large and magnificent rapids with a total drop of 260 meters and stops at Matadi in Kongo Central (former Bas-Congo). Did you know that the mighty Congo River has the second largest/fastest flow rate in the World after the Amazon River of Southern America? It is even surprising that the Amazon River has no waterfalls or even rapids, of course except next to its source. This is why you need to visit the Congo River that is the second fastest in the World, but has over 32 large and breathtaking rapids.
The lowest rapids of the mind-blowing Livingstone falls are therefore the World’s largest waterfalls in terms of flow rate, making them appear inform of rapids. When the giant Congo River is squeezed through unbelievably narrow gorge of sometimes less than 260 meters wide and meanders between mountain ranges, it produces the impressive Livingstone waterfalls which are sometimes believed to be rapids because of the appearance. What even makes the site more impressive is the fact that the Inga waterfalls also belong to the large Livingstone falls and are found on the lower section (of course not the lowest)of the Livingstone falls. It’s even difficult to determine the exact width of the Inga falls because the width of the Congo River fluctuates from less than 260 meters to more than 4 kilometers throughout the rapids. Breathtaking thresholds of the rapids at the sharp bend of the Congo River are approximately 3.6 meters wide.
Livingstone waterfalls for years have hindered the Colonization of the Central African country because the falls were totally impassable and inaccessible with the boats and ships. It is not surprising that the mighty Congo River from more than 10 meters wide whirlpools and there are numerous cliffs and the speed of the stream sometimes reaches 50 kilometers per hour which makes the entire sighting breathtaking. The stream has eroded deep in the rock making it the deepest riverbed in the entire world with depth going beyond 230 meters/754 feet. There are technically deeper Rivers in the world but surprisingly their Riverbeds have been formed by other factors such as glaciers not like the one of River Congo.
There are numerous remarkable underwater waterfalls in some places within the Livingstone falls, and is where the stream passes the rock thresholds before speeding up and falling deeper in the Canyons that are invisible for above the water.
However, with the construction of hydroelectric power plants, some parts of the Congo River or stream don’t reach the Inga waterfalls. It is said that the strength of the stream within Livingstone waterfalls could not cover the electricity needs for the major part of Africa. Even with development, the only hope is for the Government of DRC to preserve the spectacular Inga waterfalls and the entire Livingstone waterfalls.
In conclusion, the Livingstone waterfalls are some of the most breathtaking sites within the Democratic Republic of Congo and Africa in general because of the size and appearance of the falls.