- Lualaba River
The Lualaba River is the greatest
headstreamof the Congo Riverby volume of water. However, by length the Chambeshi Riveris the furthest headstream. The Lualaba is 1800km long, running from near Musofiin the vicinity of Lubumbashiin Katanga Province. The whole of its length lies within the Democratic Republic of Congo. It rises at an elevation of 1400m above sea level and flows northwards to Kisangani, where the Congo Riverofficially begins. The Lualaba River's source is on the Katanga Plateau; it then descends to the Manika Plateau, with waterfalls and rapids marking the descent. As it drops to the Kamalondo Trough(457m in 72km), it is harnessed for hydroelectric power at Nzilo Damnear Nzilo Falls. At Bukamathe river becomes navigable for about 640km through a series of marshy lakes (including Lake Upembaand Lake Kisale). Below Kongola, the river becomes unnavigable as it enters a narrow gorge, Portes d'Enfer. Between Kasongoand Kibombo, the river is navigable for about 100km, before rapids make it unnavigable again at Kindu-Port-Empain. The river's end is marked by the Boyoma Falls, made up of seven cataracts over a stretch of 100km between Ubunduand Kisangani.
The Lualaba serves as the northern and western boundary of the
Upemba National Parkin the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Lualaba was once considered a possibility for the source of the
Nile, until Henry Morton Stanleyjourneyed down it and proved that it drained into the Atlantic Ocean.
Tim Butcher: "Blood River - A Journey To Africa's Broken Heart", 2007. ISBN 0-701-17981-3
The largest tributaries of the Lualaba are:the Lowa River:the Ulindi River:the Luama River:the Lukuga River, which drains
Lake Tanganyika:the Lufira River:the Lubudi River:the Luvua River
Towns along the Lualaba include the following::
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