Ubangi River

This river is pronounced as “Oubangui” and is the widest right-bank headwater of the Congo River in the region of Central Africa and starts at the confluence of the Mbomou as well as the Uele Rivers flowing westwards hence forming the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

This River usually turns to the south-westwards and drains through Bangui, the Capital City of Central African Republic and afterwards changes to flow south thus forming the border between the Republic of Congo and DRC, before finally joining the Congo River at Liranga. Through its course, the River passes through a thick equatorial rainforest and flows through river Islands as well as down rapids and waterfalls before finally emptying into River Congo.

The River is approximately 1060 kilometers (660 miles) long although when combined with River Uele, its longest tributary increases the length to 2270 kilometers (1410 miles). The drainage of the River basin is approximately 772,800 square kilometers (298,400 square miles) while its discharge at Bangui varies from around 800 cubic meters per second to 11,000 cubic meters per second with an average flow of over 4000 cubic meters per second but the mean discharge at Bangui is approximately 4280 cubic meters per second (151,147 cubic feet per second). However, during floods from May to December, the discharge sometimes exceeds 14,000 cubic meters (494,000 cubic feet) whereas during the period of reduced waters (February to April), it drops to 1000 cubic meters (35,300 cubic feet) per second or even less as mentioned above.

River Ubangi is formed by the union (close to Yakoma in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the border of the Central African Republic of the Bomu and the Uele Rivers then flows westwards for approximately 560 kilometers (350 miles). Besides being the headwater for Congo River, it has two main tributaries including Kasai and Uele with the latter being the longest, thus the name River Ubangi-Uele.

Ubangi River together with the Congo River offers a significant transport route from riverboats between Bangui and Brazzaville. From the source of this River to about 100 kilometers (62 miles) below Bangui, it drains at the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic before eventually forming the border between the Republic of Congo and DRC until it finally pours its water into the Congo River. The confluence of River Ubangi-Uele and Congo is near Lake Tumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In its upper courses, River Ubangi divided into arms divided by verdant elongated Islands whereas in other places confine the rocks to create rapids like those found at Bangui. However, this river changes on reaching the Congo Basin with its vast course being divided by the sandy shoals. Therefore, some of the headwaters are still impeded by rapids while other areas are comprised of flat wetland valleys and low divides descending east and south-eastwards from the western hills to the Congo River.

Conclusively, on top of the extraordinary primates such as mountain gorillas, the eastern lowland gorillas, Bonobos and Lesula, as well as large tropical rainforests, the Democratic Republic of Congo is also home to several rivers including the Ubangi River, one of the headwaters of the Congo River.

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