KWANZA (CoANZA or QUANZA), a river of West Africa, with a course of about 700 m. entirely within the Portuguese territory of Angola. The source lies in about 13 40' S., 17 30' E. on the Bihe plateau, at an altitude of over 5000 ft. It runs first N.E. and soon attains fairly large dimensions. Just north of 12 it is about 60 yds. wide and 13 to 16 ft. deep. From this point to 10 it flows N.W., receiving many tributaries, especially the Luando from the east. In about 10, and at intervals during its westerly passage through the outer plateau escarpments, its course is broken by rapids, the river flowing in a well-defined valley flanked by higher ground. The lowest fall is that of Kambamba, or Livingstone, with a drop of 70 ft. Thence to the sea, a distance of some 160 m., it is navigable by small steamers, though very shallow in the dry season. The river enters the sea in 9 15' S., 13 20' E., 40 m. S. of Loanda. There is a shifting bar at its mouth, difficult to cross, but the river as a waterway has become of less importance since the fertile district in its middle basin has been served by the railway from Loanda to Ambaca (see ANGOLA).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)