The Cataracts In 1876 the explorer Henry Morton Stanley first encountered the Lualaba River in what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo. Stanley was convinced that the Lualaba was connected to the great Congo River which the Portuguese had first sighted 400 years earlier on Africa's west coast. Although easier than traveling across country the river offered dangerous sailing, especially when his expedition encountered the Wagenia tribe and the cataracts of the middle Congo. The cataracts were a series of seven rapids stretching over 100km and around which Stanley was forced to drag his boats while continuously facing attack from the Wagenia. He was to lose many men to the rapids and the Wagenia's arrows, but in the end the locals could not match the firepower of Stanley's modern rifles. Stanley named the cataracts Stanley Falls and was to found the settlement of Stanleyville after the last cataract, where the river once more became navigable and where at last it became the Congo River. Stanleyville was renamed Kisangani in 1966 and today is one of DRC's largest cities. Stanley Falls is now Boyoma Falls and from Kisangani's bustling banks it is possible to look upstream and see a raging line of whitewater; the seventh and last cataract, which Stanley called a 'tumultuous rush'. Arriving here in 1877 Stanley described the method of fishing used by the Wagenia people, whereby they would climb out over the rapids on wooden frames and use wooden baskets to catch fish. The scene has not changed in over one hundred and thirty years. Using only materials harvested from the forest the Wagenia still fish the cataracts, which they call Wagenia Falls, in exactly the same way as their forefathers. During the dry season, when the water is low, they drive tree trunks into crevices in the riverbed and form a scaffold from which they can hang their baskets. The baskets are essentially wooden funnels made from branches and bamboo fastened together with thin strips of bark. When lowered into the water fish swim in through the wide opening and get trapped at the narrow end by the force of the current. In a country where fish is one of the most important sources of food the Wagenia have become the master fishermen of the Congo River.