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The Pool Malebo, formerly Stanley Pool, also known as Lake Nkunda by local indigenous people in pre-colonial times[citation needed], is a lake-like widening in the lower reaches of the Congo River.[1] The former name Stanley Pool was named after early European explorer and journalist Henry Morton Stanley.

Contents

1 Description 2 Geography 3 Ecology

3.1 Flora 3.2 Fauna

3.2.1 Fish

4 References

Description[edit]

Map of Stanley Pool

The Pool Malebo
Pool Malebo
is about 35 km (22 mi) long, 23 km (14 mi) wide and 500 km2 in surface area. Its central part is occupied by M'Bamou or Bamu Island[1] (180 km2), which is Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
territory. The pool is shallow with depths of 3–10 m, while water levels vary by as much as 3 m over the course of a year at an average altitude of 272 m (900 ft). Geography[edit] The capitals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
and the Republic of the Congo— Kinshasa
Kinshasa
and Brazzaville, respectively—are located on opposite shores of Pool Malebo. These are the two closest capital cities in the world (other than Rome, Italy
Italy
and Vatican City, which are actually contiguous). The Pool is the beginning of the navigable part of the Congo River upstream to the cities of Mbandaka, Kisangani
Kisangani
and Bangui. Downstream, the river descends hundreds of meters in a series of rapids known as the Livingstone Falls[2]:Vol.Two,255 to reach sea level at the port of Boma after a trajectory of 300 km. Ecology[edit] Flora[edit] There are many palm and papyrus swamps along the edges of the river and pool, and often movement of floating mats of Eichhornia
Eichhornia
plants.[3] Fauna[edit] Fish[edit] Most fish endemic to the area are catfishes, including the mountain catfish, L. brieni, Leptoglanis mandevillei, L. bouilloni and Atopochilus chabanaudi, an upside-down catfish.[3] The area has over 200 fish species documented, with Mormyrids as the most common with over 40 species, and with the highest diversification.[3]

Aerial view of Pool Malebo
Pool Malebo
from above Kinshasa

Stanley's route is depicted by the solid black line.

View of Stanley Pool from Leopoldville, 1889

References[edit]

^ a b "Malebo Pool". Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed June 2011. ^ Stanley, H.M., 1899, Through the Dark Continent, London: G. Newnes, Vol. One ISBN 0486256677, Vol. Two ISBN 0486256685 ^ a b c "Malebo Pool" Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine.. Freshwater Ecoregions of the World. The Nature Conservancy. Accessed June 2011.

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