Congo Odyssey, Day Two: Underwhelming Stanley Falls 'More Like Rapids Than Falls'

fishermen Kensington Falls Congo River

The historic Stanley Falls at Kisangani. These rapids rush noisily over boulders. Wagenia fishermen, who've lived on the banks of the Congo River since time immemorial, dive in and out of the water and giant stones (with huge cone-shaped baskets) trying to net the catch of the day. Emery Agalu Makumeno/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emery Agalu Makumeno/NPR

The Congo  River can throw up surprises. It's not always what you expect.

When you hear the word "falls" associated with bodies of water, don't you think Victoria Falls or Niagara Falls?

Well the Stanley — Boyoma — Falls in Kisangani, ex-Stanleyville, named after that British-American journalist-turned-adventurer and explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, look more like rapids than "falls."

The Wagenia fishermen diving in and out of the rushing waters and boulders are more exciting than the falls themselves. But history’s history — what say you?

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton describes the Stanley Falls.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.