A Sunday on the Congo River

So you live in Kinshasa.

You live your life in traffic, at home or at work. Maybe you go for a beer with a friend. Maybe you have a meal somewhere nice with your wife or girlfriend. Maybe you go for ice cream with your kids. But do you remember that you’re right next to one of the largest rivers in the world?

The Congo river starts across the country somewhere far after Kisangani and is fed by thousands of tributaries and ends in the Atlantic.

Most Kinois don’t think of the river but she’s always there with her massive expanse of brown cloudy water from all the clay and strong current she dishes out into the Atlantic.

There are many ways to see the river. From a terrasse on the coast in the Gombe area, or further down or up at Chez Tintin, Kinkole or Safari Beach. You can even get on a boat to see her up close.

Some people have boats parked in one of the yacht clubs of the city. There are two near a horribly smelly fish market on Kingabwa, Yacht and Nautique Club, and there is a newer one closer to town called Majestic Yacht Club.

The two near the fish market are sometimes overrun by unruly boats that block access to the river or mountains of trash thrown into the waters. In the dry season, the water level drops so low that boats cannot leave.

There is also a large old school cruise ship called the Majestic that takes passengers upriver for more or less 100$ but includes a buffet and some local drinks.

Yesterday I went on a small speedboat and pic nicked on one of the sandbanks on the river.

The water is clean as it is upriver and before the city. You can swim and even jet ski or waterski if you rent the material or invest in it.

It is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city and can really help you see pristine places and experience a Congo that is tranquille and serene. There are lush forests that line the river. Fishermen on pirogues. Birds flying above you. It is truly worth a visit if you have time.

It can get dangerous if you are stuck in a storm or in an unsafe boat. Ideally, go with friends who go often and know the river well. The river isn’t always deep and an inexperienced skipper can run your boat into a hidden sandbank.

Here are some pictures I took of my outing last Sunday.

I’ll say it again. It is a very beautiful environment and calm place to appreciate a historic and mystical river and its people.

You will see and learn about another way of life far from the modern world and its madness.

At sunset it is quite stunning
You can see beautiful villas surrounded by lush vegetation from afar
Birds flying above
Apartment blocks being built in Gombe
New skyscraper apartments near the river, rent can reach 6000 USD a month.
Sometimes the water is like a mirror
Sozacom building and tree trunks from the equatorial forest
Nice cloud formations
The river front is very undeveloped unfortunately
Birds flying along the water
Oil companies store fuel along the river
The Échangeur in Limete, a white elephant building built by the dictator Mobutu in the 80s in the distance
Fishermen roam around
Sun’s reflection on the river
Tree on river
Huts on stilts on sandbanks in the middle of the river when it rises in the rainy season
Congo Brazzaville villagers and kids
Rent or get a friend that has a boat and likes you to take you on the river
Sandbanks are available most of the year on the river except when the river level rises over them
Fishermen casting their net
Massive boats carrying goods to Kisangani up river while making a huge racket with their two stroke engines
Peaceful and large open space with a powerful unforgiving waterway under you.

Here are a few more pictures!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Taken on the 7th of May 2023.



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2 responses to “A Sunday on the Congo River”

  1. LingalaVision Avatar

    I just discovered your blog. The articles, the pictures, I like everything! It makes me wanted to go back in Congo! Keep doing this great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. K Emilio Noorani Avatar

      Thank you very much!


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