Congo The Grand Inga project
"If we had known how dangerous these rapids were, we wouldn't have taken them on," says South African expedition leader Steve Fisher. Working with Americans Rush Sturges and Tyler Bradt and Canadian Benny Marr, Fisher spent four days in western Congo last October running the Congo River's Inga Rapids, the world's largest by volume. "It was easily the closest I've ever come to dying," Fisher says. With whirlpools 40 feet across, 20-foot waves, this 50-mile stretch of rapids 150 miles from Kinshasa rages at 1.6 million cubic feet per second. That's a torrent four times the volume of the Mississippi forced into a channel one-fifth as wide.