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Barotse Floodplain on Zambezi River in Western Zambia

15.5S 23.0E

January 24th, 2012 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Zambia - January 6th, 2012

The Barotse Floodplain, visible as a bright green area by the Zambezi River on the left side of this image, is one of Africa’s great wetlands and a designated Ramsar site. It is located in the Western Province of Zambia. The region is a flat plateau at an elevation of about 1000 m tilting very slightly to the south. The Zambezi and its headwaters rise on the higher ground to the north, which enjoys good rainfall (1400 mm annually) in a rainy season from October to May.

The floodplain stretches from the Zambezi’s confluence with the Kabompo and Lungwebungu Rivers in the north, to a point about 230 km south, above the Ngonye falls and south of Senanga. Along most of its length its width is over 30 km, reaching 50 km at the widest. The main body of the plain covers about 5500 km², but the maximum flooded area is 10 750 km² when the floodplains of several tributaries are taken into account.

Cahora Bassa Lake on Zambezi River, Mozambique

15.6S 32.1E

January 1st, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Mozambique - December 24th, 2011

Parallel to the top edge of this image is the Cahora Bassa lake, Africa’s fourth-largest artificial lake, situated in the Tete Province in Mozambique. In Africa, only Lake Volta in Ghana, Lake Kariba, on the Zambezi upstream of Cahora Bassa, and Egypt’s Lake Nasser are bigger in terms of surface water.

The lake is situated on the middle section of the Zambezi River. The middle segment ends where the river enters Lake Cahora Bassa. Formerly the site of dangerous rapids known as Kebrabassa, the lake was created in 1974 by the construction of the Cahora Bassa Dam. Most of the electricity generated by Cahora Bassa, is sold to nearby South Africa.

Sediments from Zambezi and Buzi Rivers, Mozambique – July 18th, 2011

19.8S 34.8E

July 18th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Mozambique - July 14th, 2011

The Zambezi and Buzi Rivers empty into the Mozambique Channel and Indian Ocean in this image of southern Mozambique. Here, the mouth and estuary of the Buzi can be observed just north of the patch of clouds at the bottom left. The mouth of the Zambezi is visible further up the coast, near the image center.

The Zambezi River divides Mozambique into two topographical regions. To the south of the river, visible here, are broad lowlands, with the Mashonaland plateau and Lebombo mountains located in the deep south.

The Buzi River (Portuguese: Rio Búzi) flows eastward through the Manica and Sofala provinces of Mozambique. It then empties to the Mozambique Channel west of Beira, forming an estuary. It is 250 kilometres (155 mi) long, with a drainage basin 31,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) in size. Its mean annual discharge is 79 m³/s (2,790 cfs) at its mouth.

The Zambezi, on the other hand, is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1390000 km2, slightly less than half that of the Nile.

Floodplains of and Near the Zambezi River, Zambia – April 24th, 2011

16.1S 23.2E

April 24th, 2011 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Zambia - April 15th, 2011

The wide green line running vertically through the center of this image of Zambia is the Barotse Floodplain, around the Zambezi River.

A second, unnamed floodplain can be observed as a horizontal line extending from the left edge to the end of the Barotse Floodplain south of Senanga, forming almost a right angle with the Barotse. This seccond broad floodplain carries overspill from high floods of the Cuando River in Angola.

A third floodplain, the Luanginga River floodplain near Kalabo, reaches diagonally southeastward from the upper left corner until it joins the Barotse Floodplain.

Okavango, Cuando and Zambezi Rivers in Angola and Zambia

16.2S 21.9E

April 4th, 2011 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Angola and Zambia - March 31st, 2011

Several rivers can be seen flowing southeastward across Angola (left) and Zambia (right). The man ones are the Okavango (left), the Cuando (center) and the Zambezi River (right).

The thicker green area at the center right is the floodplain of the Zambezi River. Today it is about half as broad as it was before the construction of the Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams, which control the seasonal variations in the flow rate of the river.