Mbhashe River

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Mbashe River
Mbhashe, Bashee
Mbhashe River is located in South Africa
Mbhashe River
Location of the Mbashe River mouth
EtymologyReferring either to 'dark river' or 'dangerous ravine' in the Xhosa language, or perhaps named after a person called 'Mbashe'[1]
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape Province
Physical characteristics
 - locationNE of Elliot, Eastern Cape
 - elevation1,700 m (5,600 ft)
MouthIndian Ocean
 - location
 - coordinates
32°15′S 28°54′E / 32.250°S 28.900°E / -32.250; 28.900Coordinates: 32°15′S 28°54′E / 32.250°S 28.900°E / -32.250; 28.900
 - elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Basin size6,030 km2 (2,330 sq mi)

Mbhashe River, Mbashe River (the official name according to the South African geographical names council) or Bashee River is one of the major rivers in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It flows in a southeastern direction and has a catchment area of 6,030 km².[2] The river drains into the Indian Ocean through an estuary located near the lighthouse at Bashee, south of Mhlanganisweni.[3]

The Mbhashe river's main tributaries are the Xuka River, Mgwali River, Dutywa River and the Mnyolo River. Presently this river is part of the Mzimvubu to Keiskamma Water Management Area.[4]


In 1554 Portuguese ship São Bento ran aground at the mouth of the Mbhashe River. The ordeal of 322 of its survivors, who walked from there to Lourenço Marques, presently Maputo, has been recorded.[5]

Mvezo is a village on the banks of the Mbashe River, where Nelson Mandela was born in 1918.[6]


Some of the fishes caught in its waters are Labeobarbus aeneus, Barbus pallidus, Barbus anoplus, Myxus capensis, Anguilla marmorata and Anguilla mossambica. Labeobarbus aeneus is an invasive species, now widely present in the river system.[7]

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