6 Interesting facts about the Zambezi River
March 14 is International Day of Action for Rivers!
We are acknowledging this day by celebrating our wonderful Zambezi River which is a glorious source of life for many species in our regions. Have a look at these 6 interesting facts about the river, accompanied by some beautiful photographs that display the exquisiteness of the river and what stands to be lost if we don't protect it.
The photographers we are featuring are a some of Bushtracks Africa's favourites, often capturing photos exclusively for us. They understand how to express the beauty of their surroundings, and provide a deep global appreciation for nature through their art.
1. The Zambezi River is the 4th longest river in Africa
At 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometers) long, the Zambezi takes fourth place for the longest river in Africa after The Nile, The Congo/Zaire and The Niger. It holds first place as the longest east flowing river in Africa, as well as the largest African river flowing into the Indian Ocean.
2. The Zambezi flows through a total of 6 different countries
The Zambezi flows through six different countries, namely Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. For a river that spans such a distance, it surprisingly only has four major bridge crossings.
3. There are several waterfalls on the Zambezi River
The most famous being the Victoria Falls, right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Other significant waterfalls on the Zambezi include the Chavuma Falls and the Ngonye Falls.
4. The Zambezi holds 2 sources of hydroelectric power
The first source is the Kariba Dam, which generates power for Zimbabwe and Zambia. The second hydroelectric plant is at Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which powers sections of Mozambique and South Africa.
5. The river is protected by the Nyami Nyami water spirit
The Nyami Nyami is the river god to the local Tonga people that live near the river. It is said that the spirit resides in Zambezi River and protects the river and all the life surrounding it. The Nyami Nyami is also believed to protect Tonga people and provide sustenance during times of difficulty.
6. The Zambezi River contains grade 4 & 5 rapids
The Zambezi River is home to some extreme rapids, classed as grade 4 and 5 (very difficult and violent) by the British Canoe Union. This makes the river a popular destination for extreme white water rafters from around the world.