Zambezi Escarpment

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Northern (mainly Zambian) scarp Southern (mainly Zimbabwean) scarp
Western end 17°51′32″S 26°54′06″E / 17.85889°S 26.90167°E / -17.85889; 26.90167 17°43′50″S 27°46′57″E / 17.73056°S 27.78250°E / -17.73056; 27.78250
Eastern end 15°26′01″S 30°03′00″E / 15.43361°S 30.05000°E / -15.43361; 30.05000 16°24′03″S 32°12′48″E / 16.40083°S 32.21333°E / -16.40083; 32.21333



Zambezi Escarpment is a name used for the escarpments forming both sides of the rift valley or graben in which lie the middle Zambezi river and Lake Kariba. They are fault scarps, rising 500 to 600 m higher than the lake or river, running from the Batoka Gorge roughly 800 km to the lower Zambezi, and facing each other about 50 to 100 km apart, closer in the west and opening up in the east.

The northern Zambezi Escarpment in Zambia is steeper. It is somewhat broken north of Lake Kariba, but is particularly steep and well-formed from a point north of Siavonga going east through the Lower Zambezi National Park to the Luangwa River. Along this section the bottom of the valley is relatively flat and provides a sharp contrast to the scarps.

The southern Zambezi Escarpment in Zimbabwe is quite marked in the west at the Chizarira Hills and the Chizarira National Park, but the slope becomes more broken and gentler further east around Matusadona National Park. It becomes steeper and more marked again from Kariba, east through Mana Pools National Park and then to the north of the Mvurwi Range and at the Mavuradona wilderness south of Lake Cahora Bassa. Again, the floor of the rift valley is quite flat here providing a marked contrast to the escarpment.

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