The Munyati River (also known as the Umniati River and, for part of its length, as the Sanyati River) is a river in Zimbabwe. Under the Rhodesian administration, it was officially named Umniati, but its spelling was changed in 1983 to more closely resemble the correct Shona pronunciation.
The river rises in Mashonaland East just north of Chivhu and approximately 100 kilometres south of Harare. It runs approximately north-west and for much of its length it originally formed the southern border of Mashonaland province, and today is largely the southern border of Mashonaland West. The river is joined by the Mupfure River (also known as the Umfuli). Below this point, the river is often referred to as the Sanyati. After a total of 500 km the river flows into Lake Kariba (the section of the Zambezi between the Kariba Dam and the Batoka Gorge) making it part of the Zambezi Basin.
The river flow is highly variable, reflecting the sharp distinction in the local climate between dry and wet seasons. Between December and May it flows strongly and is about 3m deep on the plateau and 80 to 100m in breadth (although less deep) on its lower reaches. During the rest of the year it is much reduced and slower-flowing usually only 2m deep and almost drying up on rare occasions during serious droughts; as last in 1984.
The biggest drop on the river is at Gandavaroyi Falls (Ganderowe Falls). As in Shona "ganda" means "to throw", and "varoyi" means "witches", with typical poetry and precision, the Africans have named the cataract after the picturesque practice they had of throwing reputed witches over the waterfall.