river

Zambezi

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The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile's. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.

The Zambezi's most noted feature is Victoria Falls. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia.

There are two main sources of hydroelectric power on the river, the Kariba Dam, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which provides power to Mozambique and South Africa. There are additionally two smaller power stations along the Zambezi River in Zambia, one at Victoria Falls and the other one near Kalene Hill in Ikelenge District.

The Zambezi Delta has extensive seasonally- and permanently-flooded grasslands, savannas, and swamp forests. Together with the floodplains of the Buzi, Pungwe, and Save rivers, the Zambezi's floodplains make up the World Wildlife Fund's Zambezian coastal flooded savanna ecoregion in Mozambique. The flooded savannas lie close to the Indian Ocean coast. Mangroves fringe the delta's shoreline.

Although the dams have stemmed some of the annual flooding of the lower Zambezi and caused the area of floodplain to be greatly reduced they have not removed flooding completely. They cannot control extreme floods, they have only made medium-level floods less frequent. When heavy rain in the lower Zambezi combines with good runoff upstream, massive floods still happen and the wetlands are still an important habitat. However, as well as the shrinking of the wetlands further severe damage to wildlife was caused by uncontrolled hunting of animals such as buffalo and waterbuck during the Mozambique Civil War and now the conflict has ceased it is likely the floodplains will become more populated, and further damming has also been discussed. The only protected area of floodplain is the Marromeu Game Reserve near the city of Beira.

Although the region has seen a reduction in the populations of the large mammals, it is still home to some including the reedbuck and migrating eland. Carnivores found here include lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) and side-striped jackal (Canis adustus). The floodplains are a haven for migratory waterbirds including pintails, garganey, African openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus), saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis), wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus), and great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus).

Reptiles include Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Nile monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) and African rock python (Python sebae), the endemic Pungwe worm snake (Leptotyphlops pungwensis) and three other snakes that are nearly endemic; floodplain water snake (Lycodonomorphus whytei obscuriventris), dwarf wolf snake (Lycophidion nanus) and swamp viper (Proatheris).

There are a number of endemic butterflies.

The river supports large populations of many animals. Hippopotamuses are abundant along most of the calm stretches of the river, as well as Nile crocodiles. Monitor lizards are found in many places. Birds are abundant, with species including heron, pelican, egret, lesser flamingo and African fish eagle present in large numbers. Riverine woodland also supports many large animals, such as buffalo, zebras, giraffes, elephants.

The Zambezi also supports several hundred species of fish, some of which are endemic to the river. Important species include cichlids which are fished heavily for food, as well as catfish, tigerfish, yellowfish and other large species. The bull shark is sometimes known as the Zambezi shark after the river,not to be mistaken with Glyphis freshwater shark genus that inhabit the river as well.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here → https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambezi 
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The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile's. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.

The Zambezi's most noted feature is Victoria Falls. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia.

There are two main sources of hydroelectric power on the river, the Kariba Dam, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which provides power to Mozambique and South Africa. There are additionally two smaller power stations along the Zambezi River in Zambia, one at Victoria Falls and the other one near Kalene Hill in Ikelenge District.

The Zambezi Delta has extensive seasonally- and permanently-flooded grasslands, savannas, and swamp forests. Together with the floodplains of the Buzi, Pungwe, and Save rivers, the Zambezi's floodplains make up the World Wildlife Fund's Zambezian coastal flooded savanna ecoregion in Mozambique. The flooded savannas lie close to the Indian Ocean coast. Mangroves fringe the delta's shoreline.

Although the dams have stemmed some of the annual flooding of the lower Zambezi and caused the area of floodplain to be greatly reduced they have not removed flooding completely. They cannot control extreme floods, they have only made medium-level floods less frequent. When heavy rain in the lower Zambezi combines with good runoff upstream, massive floods still happen and the wetlands are still an important habitat. However, as well as the shrinking of the wetlands further severe damage to wildlife was caused by uncontrolled hunting of animals such as buffalo and waterbuck during the Mozambique Civil War and now the conflict has ceased it is likely the floodplains will become more populated, and further damming has also been discussed. The only protected area of floodplain is the Marromeu Game Reserve near the city of Beira.

Although the region has seen a reduction in the populations of the large mammals, it is still home to some including the reedbuck and migrating eland. Carnivores found here include lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) and side-striped jackal (Canis adustus). The floodplains are a haven for migratory waterbirds including pintails, garganey, African openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus), saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis), wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus), and great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus).

Reptiles include Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Nile monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) and African rock python (Python sebae), the endemic Pungwe worm snake (Leptotyphlops pungwensis) and three other snakes that are nearly endemic; floodplain water snake (Lycodonomorphus whytei obscuriventris), dwarf wolf snake (Lycophidion nanus) and swamp viper (Proatheris).

There are a number of endemic butterflies.

The river supports large populations of many animals. Hippopotamuses are abundant along most of the calm stretches of the river, as well as Nile crocodiles. Monitor lizards are found in many places. Birds are abundant, with species including heron, pelican, egret, lesser flamingo and African fish eagle present in large numbers. Riverine woodland also supports many large animals, such as buffalo, zebras, giraffes, elephants.

The Zambezi also supports several hundred species of fish, some of which are endemic to the river. Important species include cichlids which are fished heavily for food, as well as catfish, tigerfish, yellowfish and other large species. The bull shark is sometimes known as the Zambezi shark after the river,not to be mistaken with Glyphis freshwater shark genus that inhabit the river as well.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here → https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambezi 
More articles on Zambezi →
show less
Source