Congo River Rapids is a river rafting ride made by Intamin. The ride is located in the Katanga Canyon area of Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. The rapids course come close to the Runaway Mine Train as it passes through the tunnel, and also features twin waterfalls that the boats pass between. It also shares a name with a ride at Busch Gardens: Africa in Tampa Bay, Fl. Both rides have different layouts.
Congo River Rapids first opened in 1986 named Grand Canyon Rapids and was part of the Aqua Land area of the park. The entrance to the queueline was originally located where the path to Katanga Canyon starts in Mutiny Bay today, meaning that the ride was hidden from view. This was changed when Katanga Canyon was built in the centre of the rapids circuit, as part of John Wardley's plan to open up the area. Katanga Canyon opened in 1992 along with the new Runaway Mine Train. The Grand Canyon Rapids were rethemed to adopt the African safari theme of the new area, including the change of name to: "Congo River Rapids". The original boats held six riders, but were exchanged years later for eight seat boats, to increase passenger throughput.
INSPIRATIONThe inspiration for this ride comes from the real Congo River Rapids. They lie on the outskirts of Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, where the Djoué River meets the Congo.