Wonders of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lava lake in Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
Lava lake in Mount Nyiragongo / Cai Tjeenk Willink, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

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. Jungle covers mountain ranges, the base of volcanoes, surrounds barren inselbergs and precipices with countless high waterfalls.

The most amazing wonders of 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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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geological wonders

Mount Nyiragongo


One of the few volcanos in the world with a nearly permanent lava lake in it. Height of the mountain – 3,470 m. Depth of lava lake has reached up to 600 m. Eruptions produce very fluid lava of rare type. The speed of lava flows here can reach 100 km/h and the volcano is very steep.

The evilish glow of the lava lake of Mount Nyiragongo
Mount Nyamuragira


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.

Mount Nyamuragira in January 2014
Inga Falls


These are some of the largest and most impressive rapids in the world, on the Congo, one of the largest rivers of 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.

Inga Falls, Congo DR
Mount Stanley


The third highest mountain in Africa, 5,109 m high (Margherita Peak). The summit area contains glaciers and it is possible to descend with skis up to 800 m vertical distance, which is a highly unusual experience in equatorial Africa.

Mount Stanley, Margherita Peak
Kiubo Falls


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.

Malachite stalactite from the cave in Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo
Inkisi Falls


Very impressive, 60 m tall waterfall with several steps. Width of river is similar to the height of falls.

Kakobola Falls


Visually very impressive falls on Lufuku River, approximately 100 m wide.

Kiubo Fairy Falls (Chute de Luvilombo)


These falls have formed on a smaller stream with 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, may contain other endemic animals as well.

Lofoi Falls


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 Lualaba River. Total drop – 61 m over the distance of 100 km. At the bottom of these falls starts Congo River.

Kifuka – place where lightning strikes most often


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.

Frequency of lightning strikes in tropical belt of Earth, 1998 - 2010
Malamba Gungu Falls


Impressive waterfall.

Pyrochlore mine of Rutshuru


One of the largest mines of niobium containing mineral in the world.

Tangwa Falls


Group of impressive rapids on Luapula River – here the river has carved numerous arches, potholes. Stream has left giant boulders, some balancing.

Mambilima Falls


Rapids on Luapula River. The river squeezes through numerous small islands, creating countless smaller waterfalls.

Johnston Falls


Waterfall on Luapula River.

Biological wonders

Stanley’s Baobab in Boma


Enormous baobab with hollow inside, can be entered through a door. There is also enormous opening between the branches. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley supposedly spent here a night on August 9, 1877.

Archaeological wonders

Matupi Cave


Important archaeological monument in Ituri rainforest. This cave contains sediments that have recorded a sequence of human occupation lasting for the last 40,000 years. Here 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, here was savanna.

Dimba Cave


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.

Architecture wonders

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 an Jesuit brother who was passionate about plant cross-breeding.

Palaces of Gbadolite


Two abandoned luxury palaces that 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 also to 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.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo

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.

Congo: Democratic Republic· Republic

Known as the heart of Africa, the Congos are one of the last bastions in Africa for the 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.

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