Mozambique Rivers

Main River Basins of Mozambique

The Rovuma Basin The Rovuma River originates in Tanzania and empties into the Indian Ocean near Palma, in the form of an estuary. In Mozambique, the river runs 650 km. Its tributaries include the Lugenda River (originating from Lake Chiuta) and the Messinge and Lucheringo rivers (both originating from Lake Niassa).

The Lúrio Basin The Lúrio River starts at Mount Malema in Nampula and flows into the Indian Ocean. It is the longest river born within the country's interior. Moreover, it demarcates the boundary between the provinces of Niassa and Cabo Delgado with Nampula.

The Zambeze Basin The Zambezi River originates near Angola, and along its journey, it separates two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Mozambique, it flows for 820 km from Zumbo to the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi Basin is the largest in the country, encompassing the provinces of Tete, Manica, Sofala, and Zambézia.

The Búzi and Púnguè Basins Both the Búzi and Púnguè Rivers are born in Zimbabwe and traverse Manica and Sofala provinces before reaching the Indian Ocean, each covering a distance of 322 km. The Búzi Basin is home to the Revue River where the Chicamba Real Dam is located in the province of Manica.

The Save Basin The Save River rises in Zimbabwe and flows eastward to its mouth at the Indian Ocean near the district of Nova Mambone.

The Limpopo Basin The Limpopo River has its source near Johannesburg, South Africa. The Limpopo Basin occupies a large part of Gaza Province and includes the following tributaries:

  • The Elephants River, where the Massingir Dam is located; and
  • The Changane River, which originates near Chibuto. The Macarretane Dam is situated on the Limpopo River in the Chókwè district.

The Incomáti Basin The Incomáti River starts in South Africa and enters Mozambique through the Ressano Garcia border post, flowing to Marracuene near Maputo Bay. One of the Incomáti's tributaries is the Sabie River, where the Corumana Dam is located in the Moamba district.

The Umbelúzi Basin The Umbelúzi River has its sources in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and enters Mozambique through the administrative post of Goba. Along the Umbelúzi River, one can find the Pequenos Libombos Dam in the Boane district.

Map - location of main rivers in Mozambique

Major Rivers of Mozambique 

Rivers of Mozambique Total Length:

1 Zambezi 1,599 miles (shared with Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)

2 Limpopo 1,087 miles (shared with Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe)

3 Ruvuma 497 miles (shared with Tanzania)

4 Olifants 348 miles (shared with South Africa)

5 Komati 298 miles (shared with South Africa and Swaziland)

6 Shire 250 miles (shared with Malawi)

7 Pungwe 249 miles (shared with Zimbabwe)

8 Mazowe 249 miles (shared with Zimbabwe)

9 Save (Sabi) 249 miles (shared with Zimbabwe)

10 Lugenda 186 miles

The country is drained by five principal rivers and several smaller ones. The largest and most important is the Zambezi River. 

Some rivers in detail