Wonders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo belongs to the least explored and most promising countries of the world regarding exciting wonders. A major part of the country is covered with impenetrable, very diverse equatorial jungle and crossed by large rivers. The jungle covers mountain ranges, the base of volcanoes, and surrounds barren inselbergs and precipices with countless high waterfalls.
The most amazing wonders of the Democratic Republic of Congo are:
- Waterfalls and rapids. Not too far from its mouth Congo River has the most powerful rapids in the world – Inga Falls. But there are countless other impressive rapids and falls all over the country.
- Volcanoes. There is a group of very impressive volcanoes rising over the jungle of north-eastern Congo. Unique is the nearly permanent lava lake of Mount Nyiragongo – the largest in the world.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
One of the few volcanos in the world with a nearly permanent lava lake in it. Height of the mountain – 3,470 m. The depth of the lava lake has reached up to 600 m. Eruptions produce very fluid lava of a rare type. The speed of lava flows here can reach 100 km/h and the volcano is very steep.
Africa’s most active volcano, 3,058 m high. The volcano has erupted 30 times since 1880 and produces the major part of sulfur dioxide pollution in the world. The volcano has created lava fields. An intense eruption took place also in 2010 and damaged the virgin rainforest. The volcano contains an intermittent lava lake that seems to become more stable and permanent.
These are some of the largest and most impressive rapids in the world, on the Congo, one of the largest rivers in the world. They drop 96 meters over the course of 15 kilometers and form a part of Livingstone Falls (Chutes de Livingstone) consisting of 32 rapids over the distance of 340 km, with a total drop of 260 m.
The third highest mountain in Africa, 5,109 m high (Margherita Peak). The summit area contains glaciers and one can descend with skis up to 800 m vertical distance, which is a highly unusual experience in equatorial Africa.
Beautiful falls with multiple tiers and cascades, formed on River Lufira. Approximately 270 m wide, height some 60 m.
Kakanda malachite caves
Caves lined with highly unusual malachite stalactites. Found also unique malachite crystals that are up to 2 cm large.
Very impressive, 60 m tall waterfall with several steps. The width of the river is similar to the height of the falls.
Visually awe-inspiring falls on Lufuku River, approximately 100 m wide.
Kiubo Fairy Falls (Chute de Luvilombo)
These falls have formed on a smaller stream with a smaller water volume as compared to the nearby Kiubo Falls and as a result, have a very unusual look – water has divided into countless small streams and pours down along an amphitheater-formed cliff.
Thysville Caves (Mbanza-Ngungu Caves)
Group of caves with endemic blind fish Caecobarbus geertsii living in seven of these caves. Not explored, it may contain other endemic animals as well.
Enormous and visually impressive waterfall. 165 m tall, approximately 50 m wide fall on Lofoi River, with a single drop. In this region are numerous other falls that are falling over the same precipice.
Guilherme Falls (Tembo Falls)
Approximately 30 m tall and 600 m wide waterfall on Kwango River.
Boyoma Falls (Stanley Falls, Wagenia Rapids)
Group of some 7 cataracts, each approximately 1 km wide and several meters high, formed on the Lualaba River. Total drop – 61 m over the distance of 100 km. At the bottom of these falls is the beginning of the Congo River.
Each km² around Kifuka is hit with lightning on average of 158 times per year. Thus Kifuka has the greatest lightning flash density in the world.
Malamba Gungu Falls
Pyrochlore mine of Rutshuru
One of the largest mines of niobium-containing minerals in the world.
Group of impressive rapids on Luapula River – here the river has carved numerous arches, and potholes. Stream has left giant boulders, some balancing.
Rapids on Luapula River. The river squeezes through numerous small islands, creating countless smaller waterfalls.
Waterfall on Luapula River.
Stanley’s Baobab in Boma
An enormous baobab with a hollow that can be entered through a door. There is also an enormous opening between the branches. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley supposedly spent here a night on August 9, 1877.
Important archaeological monument in the Ituri rainforest. This cave contains sediments that have recorded a sequence of human occupation lasting for the last 40,000 years. There have been found some of the oldest microlithic tools in the world used for arrows and saws. When these tools were made 12,000 years ago, there was a savanna.
Dimba Cave contains the oldest remnants of human activity in Lower Congo – it was inhabited already 18,000 BC or even earlier. Found also artifacts from the 2nd – 1st c. BC, marking the shift from Stone Age to Iron Age.
Frère Gillet Botanic Gardens (Kisantu Botanical Garden)
More than 100 years old botanical garden with numerous unique and rare species, especially renowned due to the collection of rare orchids. Developed by a Jesuit brother who was passionate about plant cross-breeding.
Palaces of Gbadolite
Two abandoned luxury palaces were constructed in the times of Mobutu Sese Seko in the 1980s and raided by the forces of Laurent Kabila in 1997. Now palaces and surrounding regular parks are overrun by forest. Contains an underground tunnel leading to a nuclear bunker and a 12 km distant N’dangi harbor.
Fort de Shinkakasa
European-style fortification at Congo River, built in 1891 by Congo Free State to prevent the invasion of Portuguese.
In the powerful travel-writing tradition of Ryszard Kapuœciñski and V.S. Naipaul, a haunting memoir of a dangerous and disorienting year of self-discovery in one of the world’s unhappiest countries.
Known as the heart of Africa, the Congos are one of the last bastions in Africa for seriously adventurous traveler. This revised guide tells you how to travel both adventurously and safely with the practical information and unique maps needed to explore this jungle territory.