Kouilou (river)

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Niari; Kwilu, Kwila, Kwil
Kouilou-Niari River OSM.png
location Congo RepublicRepublic of the Congo Republic of the Congo
River system Kouilou
muzzle approx. 30 km north of Pointe-Noire in the Atlantic Coordinates: 4 ° 28 ′ 15 ″  S , 11 ° 41 ′ 50 ″  E 4 ° 28 ′ 15 ″  S , 11 ° 41 ′ 50 ″  E

length 560 km
Catchment area 61,707 km²
Discharge at the Sounda gauge (1445100)
A Eo : 55,010 km²
Location: 135 km above the mouth
NNQ (min. Month Ø)
MNQ 1969–82
MQ 1969–82
Mq 1969–82
MHQ 1969–82
HHQ (max. Month Ø)
201 m³ / s
309 m³ / s
856 m³ / s
15.6 l / (s km²)
1326 m³ / s
2080 m³ / s
Right tributaries Louessé , Bouenza
Reservoirs flowed through Kouilou reservoir
The Kouilou at Sounda

The Kouilou at Sounda

The Kouilou , whose name is also spelled Kwilu , Kwila , or Kwil , is the largest river in the Republic of the Congo .


The river is around 700 kilometers long from its source on the Congo Plateau to its mouth at Pointe-Noire . It is called Niari in its central part in the Niari region of the Congo . From the right it takes on the tributary Louessé and finally flows into the Atlantic Ocean . It stretches across the entire Congo basin between the hull landscape of the sloping Lower Guinea Sill and the Atlantic Ocean and across 4 of the country's 12 departments ( Lékoumou , Bouenza , Niari and Kouilou ).

The Kouilou is not navigable because it has many sandbanks at its mouth that were formed by the Benguela Current. It also has many waterfalls, one of which is the Zrinski Waterfall, discovered in 1882 by Dragutin Lerman, a member of Henry Morton Stanley's expedition and named after the Croatians Nikola and Petar Zrinski.

Reservoir project

Among other things, the river flows through the Sounda Gorge. A large dam is to be built at this point , namely the Kouilou reservoir .


The flow rate of the Kouilou was measured over 13 years (1969-82) in Sounda about 135 kilometers upstream from the mouth (in m³ / s).

Individual evidence

  1. GRDC - The Kouilou in Sounda