Top 5 Fascinating Facts About the Zambezi River


With the Zambezi River currently at an impressively high water level, and after recent false claims about Victoria Falls running dry, Tongabezi shares with us five of their top interesting facts about this magnificent river.

  • The lifeblood of Southern Africa

Protecting and conserving the Zambezi River is incredibly important. Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique all rely to some degree on the river to quench their nation’s thirst. The Zambezi River Basin is the largest in Southern Africa, spanning eight countries – all the above along with Malawi and Tanzania – and provides water to around 40 million people.

© Miki Ash / Tongabezi

  • Africa’s fourth largest river system

Beginning its journey at the convergence of Zambia, Angola and Congo, the Zambezi River travels over 2500 km until it reaches its final destination, the Indian Ocean off of Mozambique. This makes it the fourth largest river system in Africa, after the Nile, Congo and Niger rivers. It does bear the crown, however, for being the longest east-flowing river on the continent.

© Tony Barnett / Tongabezi

  • Divided by the world’s largest curtain of falling water

Locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is here, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, that the Zambezi River cascades down 108m into the Batoka Gorge. Chavuma Falls and the Ngonye Falls are two other significant waterfalls found along the Zambezi River.

© Tony Barnett / Tongabezi

  • Includes the biologically diverse Barotse Floodplain

It is after the great Victoria Falls, that the Lower Zambezi and Africa’s most productive and biologically diverse tropical floodplain begins. Known as the Zambezi or Barotse Floodplain, it is a dedicated Ramsar wetland, which means it is a priority conservation area. From beginning to end, all manner of incredible wildlife calls the mighty Zambezi River home.

© Gerben van der Waals / Tongabezi

The Zambezi is a highly sought-after extreme holiday destination. Thrill-seekers looking for a real white-knuckle water adventure come here especially for the Grade 4 and 5 rapids. The best time to experience these hair-raising rapids is from August to December as the low water makes for the most exciting rapids.

© Tongabezi





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