The Congo River is the largest river in Western Central Africa. Its overall length of 4700 km or 2922 miles long makes it the second longest in Africa (after the Nile). The river and its tributaries flow through the Congo Rainforest, the second largest rain forest in the world. Because large sections of the river basin lie above and below the Equator, its flow is stable, as there is always at least one river experiencing a rainy season. The Congo gets its name from the ancient Kingdom of Kongo which inhabited the lands at the mouth of the river. Although the Livingstone Falls prevent access from the sea, nearly the entire Congo is readily navigable in sections, especially between Kinshasa and Kisangani. The Congo River still is a lifeline of commerce in a land without many roads or railways.
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