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The Congo River was also known as Zaire River during the Mobutu regime, and it is the second-longest river in Africa next to the Nile River. The Congo River is also the world’s deepest river ever recorded.
See the fact file below for more information on the Congo River or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Congo River worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- It is located in west-central Africa.
- The river stretches for about 4,677 km (2,900 miles).
- It is the world’s deepest river ever recorded at 720 ft (220 m).
- It is the second-longest river, next to the Nile, on the continent of Africa.
- It is between Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa in the highlands of northeastern Zambia.
- The river is close to the equator and, because of that, it is hot and humid.
- The water sources of the river are located in the Great Rift Valley.
- The Chambeshi River in Zambia is also a source of the Congo River.
- The river’s course begins peacefully in the savannas of Lake Tanganyika and then the waters enter a 75-mile long canyon of rapids known as “Gates of Hell”.
- After this, it enters a rainforest area known as the Lualaba or the Upper Congo.
- The waters’ course in Lualaba causes it to cross the equator twice.
- The Lualaba ends in Stanley Falls and it is a 60-mile stretch of rapids.
- The river’s flow is relatively stable because its route and watershed are always in the rain zone.
- After Stanley Falls, the middle Congo can be found.
- It is a thousand-mile stretch of river and it is nine miles wide.
- Kisangani City in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be seen along this stretch of river.
- The Congo flows from west of Kisangani to the southwest, passing by Mbandaka and then joining the Ubangi River, and into the Malebo Pool (Stanley Pool).
- Malebo Pool is a lake that spans fifty miles across.
- The river follows the route into Livingstone Falls which has a series of rapids that stretch 220 miles long.
- The final route of the Congo River is to the Atlantic Ocean which is around 100 miles long.
- The final route is very navigable.
- It was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cam.
- Diogo Cam voyaged the river from 1482 to 1484.
- While voyaging, Cam claimed the river for his king.
- Francisco Jose de Lacerda, a Portuguese explorer, reached the copper-rich region of the river in Katanga in 1782.
- Arab traders used this region to trade their goods in the first half of the 1800s.
- They used the river to trade ivory and slaves.
- Henry Morton Stanley, a European explorer, was the first to measure the river’s length and returned to King Leopold of Belgium in 1876.
- The king declared a huge, long, and wide strip of land in the Congo river.
- The area was 76 times larger than the size of Belgium.
- The Europeans discovered the purpose and potential use of the river in the early 1800s.
- They named it Zaire.
- “Zaire” means river in local African languages.
- In the early 18th century, the river was called “Rio Congo”.
- The name was taken from the Kongo kingdom that can be seen in the lower course of the river.
- Since the democratic republic of Congo was named “Zaire” during 1971-1997, the government decided to name the river with the same name.
- Even if it’s called by the same name, the river is still called the Congo throughout the world.
- The river’s basin is the world’s second-largest contiguous rainforest after the Amazon.
- The river is biologically diverse and has a huge watershed.
- The north and south parts are littered with open grasslands and scattered trees.
- The Congo basin area is 3,730,881 square miles.
- The Congo Watershed contains 700 Fish Species, 500 Fish Endemics, 227 Amphibian Species, 4 Ramsar Sites, 21 Wetland-Dependent IBAs, and 6 Endemic Bird Areas.
- Only 4.7% of the river’s area is protected.
- Back in 1999, the World Commission on Water found that the Congo River was one of the world’s cleanest rivers because there is no industrial development near the river.
- The river’s state is currently changing because major threats to the tropical rainforests and savannas are increasing the population and its demands.
- Uncontrolled fishing and hunting, illegal logging and poaching of large creatures, deforestation, and unplanned urban projects, extraction of minerals and oils are the major crises that the Congo River is facing in the twenty-first century.
- The Congo River forms a navigable waterway that is 14,480 kilometers (9000 miles) long.
- It is used for trading copper, sugar, coffee, cotton, palm oils.
- River streamers operate throughout the year between Kinshasa and Kisangani.
- The river is the largest source of hydroelectric power in Africa.
- Livingstone Falls is the most valuable site.
- This is the first Inga Power Project that has been completed.
Congo River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about the Congo River across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Congo River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Congo River which was also known as Zaire River during the Mobutu regime, and it is the second-longest river in Africa next to the Nile River. The Congo River is also the world’s deepest river ever recorded.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Congo River Facts
- Diogo’s Exploration
- More Explorers
- Fact Check
- Make A Map
- Nile vs. Congo
- What’s It Called?
- Rivers of the World
- Crises of the Congo
- Significance of the Congo River
- Project Congo
Link/cite this page
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Link will appear as Congo River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 1, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.