Grande de Buba River

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For other uses, see Rio Grande.

The Rio Grande de Buba, also called the Rio Buba, Rio Grande, and Grande River, is an estuary[1] of West Africa that is entirely contained within Guinea-Bissau, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 54 kilometres (34 mi) in total length and is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) wide at its mouth.[2] It is an environment unique in West Africa, which has no other example of an arm of the sea extending so far inland, with a downstream depth of around 30 metres (98 ft), and its fauna is extremely rich and diversified.[3]

The Grande was commercially important in the late 16th century,[4] but this soon changed: "Biafada and Mandinka traders along the Geba River and the Papel of Bissau greatly benefited from the precipitous decline of Grande River trade as Bijago raiders increasingly disrupted Biafada and lançado commerce and terrorized Biafada communities along the river."[5]


  1. ^ George E. Brooks, Landlords and Strangers: Ecology, Society, and Trade in Western Africa, 1000-1630 (Westview Press, 1993; ISBN 0813312620), p. 265: "The Grande River is not properly a river but a drowned estuary captured by the sea, into which flow insignificant streams; the sandbanks and strong tides and currents there are navigational hazards for seamen."
  2. ^ Hendrik A. Van der Linde and Melissa H. Danskin (eds.), Enhancing Sustainability: Resources for Our Future : Proceedings of a Workshop Held at the World Conservation Congress Organised by the Sustainable Use Initiative, 17-20 October 1996, Montreal, Canada (IUCN, 1998: ISBN 2831704278), p. 63.
  3. ^ Van der Linde and Danskin, Enhancing Sustainability, p. 63.
  4. ^ Brooks, Landlords and Strangers, p. 269: "[Francisco de Andrade] stated [in January 1582] that, at times, there were twenty to thirty vessels trading in the Grande River for captives, ivory, and gold."
  5. ^ Brooks, Landlords and Strangers, p. 272.