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Quirimbas Islands and Ruvuma River, Mozambique

February 23rd, 2009 Category: Rivers

Mozambique coastline - February 19th, 2009

Mozambique coastline - February 19th, 2009

The Quirimbas Islands lie in the Indian Ocean off northeastern Mozambique, in East Africa.

The archipelago consists of about 30 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Quilaluia, Quirimba, Quisiva and Rolas Island. Today, many of the islands are uninhabitated.

The Quirimbas National Park, spanning an area of 1 500 km², protects most of the islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves.

These islands are known for their high-quality diving sites, including phenomenal drop-offs, some up to 400 meters. These underwater cliffs can be observed in the image as the areas where the shallow, turquoise waters suddenly turn dark blue due to their great depths.

Ruvuma River, formerly also known as the Rovuma River, is visible above the islands, discharging sediments into the Indian Ocean. During the greater part of its course it forms the border between Tanzania and Mozambique.

The Ruvuma is 800 kilometres (497 mi) long, with a drainage basin 155,500 square kilometres (60,000 sq mi) in size. Its mean annual discharge is 475 m³/s (16,774 cfs) at its mouth.

Its lower section varies greatly in width, containing in many parts long wooded islands which rise above the flood level, and are often inhabited. The river is fordable in many places in the dry season. At its mouth it is about a mile (1.6km) wide.

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