Fact Sheet 3 : Economic Profile

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The Limpopo River

The Limpopo River flows over a total distance of 1,750 kilometres. It starts at the confluence of the Marico and Crocodile rivers in South Africa and flows northwest of Pretoria. It is joined by the Notwane river flowing from Botswana, and then forms the border between Botswana and South Africa, and flows in a north easterly direction. At the confluence of the Shashe river, which flows in from Zimbabwe and Botswana, the Limpopo turns almost due east and forms the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa before entering Mozambique at Pafuri. For the next 561 km the river flows entirely within Mozambique and enters the Indian Ocean about 60 km downstream of the town of Xai-Xai.

The Basin

The Limpopo river basin is almost circular in shape with a mean altitude of 840 m above sea level. It lies between latitudes 22S - 26S and longitudes 26E - 35E. The total surface area drained by the basin is estimated at about 415,000 sq km.

The Limpopo basin covers almost 14 percent of the total area of its four riparian states - Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. And of the basins total area, 44 percent is occupied by South Africa, 21 percent by Mozambique, almost 20 percent by Botswana and 16 percent by Zimbabwe.

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