The Congo River (in the past also known as the Zaire River) is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of 220 m (720 ft). It is the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged. Additionally, its overall length of 4,700 km (2,920 mi) makes it the ninth longest river.
The Congo gets its name from the ancient Kingdom of Kongo which inhabited the lands at the mouth of the river. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, both countries lying along the river's banks, are named after it. Between 1971 and 1997 the government of then-Zaire called it the Zaire River.