Welcome to Kisangani
Kisangani was known in colonial times as Stanleyville, and it is where the Lualaba River 'becomes' the Congo River. Despite being the same river, they were named at different ends, and each part has since retained its original name. Even though it's the third largest city in DRC, Kisangani is a real backwater, and few travellers make it here. It feels far more authentically Congolese than either Kinshasa or Goma, however, and its sandy streets, raucous riverside market and the steamy brown Congo River all produce a languorous air that's infectious. The city was founded by Henry Morton Stanley in 1883 as the last point ships can travel upriver from Kinshasa before being blocked by the Boyoma Falls, a 100km stretch with seven treacherous stretches of rapids.