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, great river of equatorial Africa, c.2,720 mi (4,380 km) long, formed by the waters of the Lualaba River and its tributary, the Luvua River, and flowing generally N and W through Congo (Kinshasa) to the Atlantic Ocean.
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(Luvua), a river in Zambia and Zaire, a right tributary of the Lualaba (Upper Congo). Some consider it the head-stream of the Congo (Zaire) River. From the upper reaches of the Chambezi River it flows for more than 1,500 km, draining an area of 265,300 sq km. Originating south of Lake Tanganyika, it falls in several branches into Lake Bangweulu and flows out of the lake as the Luapula; it then flows through Lake Mweru, below which it is called the Luvua. The river is full of rapids, and its water level rises during the rainy season, lasting from November to March or April. Average water discharge in the lower course exceeds 600 cu m per sec. The Luapula is navigable in its lower reaches, for 145 km from its mouth and directly above Lake Mweru. A hydroelectric power plant is on the river.