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Kundelungu National Park and Lake Tshangalele, DRC

10.8S 27.0E

August 28th, 2009 Category: Fires, Lakes, Rivers

Democratic Republic of the Congo - June 21st, 2009

Democratic Republic of the Congo - June 21st, 2009

This view of a southeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) encompasses Kundelungu National Park, Lake Tshangalele, and the city of Lubumbashi. A wildfire can also be seen blazing in the upper left quadrant.

Kundelungu National Park, in the central upper part of the image, has a surface area of 7600 km². Its landscape includes a series of high plateux and savanna hills with altitudes ranging from 1200 to 1700 meters.

The park is particularly well-known for its waterfalls, along the Lofoï River, one of the tributaries of the Lufira River. These falls are the highest in Africa and the second-highest in the world, at 384 meters, with an uninterrupted cascade of water for 347 meters.

The artificial Lake Tshangalele, below the center, also known as Lake Lufira or Mwadingusha Reservoir, lies at about 1100 meters above sea-level in a large depression surrounded by low mountains. It was created by a dam built on the Lufira River near Mwadingusha in 1926 to provide hydro-electric power.

The lake is shallow with a mean depth of only 2.6 m. The area of open water is about 362.5 km². During the wettest months of February and March, the area flooded reaches a maximum of 440 km².

Finally, the city of Lubumbashi, visible as a bright tan area near the bottom edge, formerly known as Élisabethville or Elisabethstad, is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is second only to the nation’s capital Kinshasa, and is the hub of the southeastern part of the country.

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