Notwane River

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Notwane River
Gaborone Dam 1.jpg
View of Gaborone Dam in the Notwane River
Notwane River is located in South Africa
Notwane River
Location of the Notwane River mouth
Physical characteristics
MouthPala Camp
 ⁃ location
Limpopo River, South Africa/Botswana border
 ⁃ coordinates
23°44′56″S 26°57′37″E / 23.74889°S 26.96028°E / -23.74889; 26.96028Coordinates: 23°44′56″S 26°57′37″E / 23.74889°S 26.96028°E / -23.74889; 26.96028
 ⁃ elevation
847 m (2,779 ft)
Basin size18,053 km2 (6,970 sq mi)

The Notwane River (or Ngotwane River) is a river in southeastern Botswana. Certain sections of its course form the international boundary with South Africa. Its mouth is at the head of the Limpopo River. It has a catchment area of 18,053 square kilometers.


The Notwane rises about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) south of Ramotswa, and runs along the border in a northeast direction to enter the Limpopo at the same longitude as Mahalapye.[1] The Notwane has its source in the sandveld, at the eastern fringes of the Kalahari Desert. It flows roughly northeastwards past the most densely populated area of Botswana, passing east of Lobatse, between the city of Gaborone and Tlokweng village and then through Mochudi village. Finally it joins the left bank of the Limpopo River at the border with South Africa, just 6 km short of the confluence of the Limpopo with the Matlabas River.[2]

The Notwane basin is drained by the Notwane itself and its tributaries the Taung, Segoditshane, Metsimotlhabe, Metsemaswaane and Nywane.[1] Its main tributaries are the Taung, Peleng, Metsimotlhabe and Nywane rivers. All the rivers in the Notwane basin are ephemeral experiencing mostly brief, seasonal flow depending from the rainfall. The Notwane and Taung riverbeds are dry during the dry season and in years of drought they may be completely dry the whole year round. All these rivers may cause flash floods.[3]


The banks of the Notwane River have been occupied since the middle Stone Age. The first modern settlement was Moshaweng, which was established by Chief Gaborone of the Tlokwa in the late 1880s, near the site of the modern capital.[4] The city of Gaborone, an expansion of the earlier settlement, was developed on the Notwane River in the 1960s in part due to proximity to the railway, in part due to availability of water provided by the river.[5]


NASA picture of the Notwane River with the Gaborone Dam

The Gaborone Dam, which supplies water to the city of Gaborone, has a capacity of 144,000,000 cubic metres (5.1×109 cu ft). Further upstream, the Ngotwane Dam in Lehurutshe, South Africa has a capacity of 18,000,000 cubic metres (640,000,000 cu ft). In the Gaborone dam catchment area there are many other dams, mostly very small, with only the Nnywane Dam near Lobatse being used for domestic water supply. Following a 1992 study on their impact on downstream water resources, a moratorium was placed on construction of small dams in the catchment area.[6]

See also[edit]



  • Firestone, Matthew; Karlin, Adam (2010-02-05). Botswana & Namibia. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-922-0. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  • Molaodi, Phillimon (6 March 2006). "Minister Reveals Gaborone Dam Catchment Area". Mmegi. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2009-10-31). Botswana Since Independence. Godfrey Mwakikagile. GGKEY:YU62DC73GS9. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  • Yadava, Ram Narayan (2003). Watershed Hydrology. Allied Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7764-547-7. Retrieved 2012-09-19.

External links[edit]