"A continuous noise of the rapids above"

These rapids are the Yellala Falls, a series of waterfalls and cataracts on the Congo River just upstream from Matadi, and the lowest of a long series of rapids, known as the Livingstone Falls, that render the river unnavigable for over 300 km. Before the completion of the Matadi-Leopoldville railway, the 230-mile journey to the next navigable point on the river at Stanley Pool (now known as Pool Malebo) had to be undertaken by foot.


The Yellala Falls (c. 1892)
Public DomainThe Yellala Falls (c. 1892) - Credit: Elisée Reclus
View of Yellala Falls from the left bank (1880)
Public DomainView of Yellala Falls from the left bank (1880) - Credit: H. M. Stanley