Nossob River

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Nossob River
Auob matamata2.jpg
The Auob River's course, a Nossob tributary
Nossob River is located in South Africa
Nossob River
Location of the Nossob River's mouth
CountryBotswana, Namibia and South Africa
Physical characteristics
 • locationOtjihavera Range, Namibia
 • elevation1,900 m (6,200 ft)
2nd sourceConfluence of the Swart-Nossob and Wit-Nossob
 • elevation1,565 m (5,135 ft)
MouthMolopo River
 • location
Northern Cape, South Africa
 • coordinates
26°54′15″S 20°41′24″E / 26.90417°S 20.69000°E / -26.90417; 20.69000Coordinates: 26°54′15″S 20°41′24″E / 26.90417°S 20.69000°E / -26.90417; 20.69000
 • elevation
890 m (2,920 ft)
Basin features
 • leftBlack Nossob River, Klein Nossob River
 • rightWhite Nossob River, Auob River
Location of the lower Nossob river (centre) and its tributaries
Nossob River east of Aranos crossing the Kalahari

The Nossob (also Nosob or Nossop) River (ǂnuse ǃab, Khoikhoi for black river)[1] is a dry river bed in eastern Namibia and the Kalahari region of South Africa and Botswana. It covers a distance of 740 km[2] and last flooded in 1989. The river also lends its name to Nossob camp 25°25′18″S 20°35′47″E / 25.42167°S 20.59639°E / -25.42167; 20.59639 in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.[2]


The Nossob has its origin in two main tributaries, the Swart-Nossob and Wit-Nossob, meaning black and white respectively. Both tributaries have their origins in the eastern slopes of the Otjihavera mountain range, east of Windhoek. Their sources are at 1,800 m and over 2,000 m above sea level respectively. The two river beds have their confluence some 80 km south of Gobabis, which is situated on the bank of the Swart-Nossob.

From this confluence the river course passes the settlements of Leonardville and Aranos to arrive at Union's End, South Africa. From Union's End the river bed, forming the Botswana border, meanders through the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for a distance of over 200 km. It reaches the southern boundary of the game reserve just north of Twee Rivieren Camp, near its confluence with the Auob river.

In the Kalahari, the Nossob is said to flow about once a century. However, water does flow underground to provide life for grass and camelthorn trees growing in the river bed. The Nossob may flow briefly after large thunderstorms, causing wildlife to flock to the river.

The Nossob ends at a confluence with the Molopo River some 50 km south of Twee Rivieren. The confluence at 26°54′15″S 20°41′24″E / 26.90417°S 20.69000°E / -26.90417; 20.69000 is still 890 m above sea level. The Molopo is in turn a tributary of the Orange River, which it meets downstream of Augrabies Falls.


White Nossob[edit]

Oanob River[edit]

The Oanob River, a tributary of the Auob River features two dams:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ du Plessis, E.J. (1973). Suid-Afrikaanse berg- en riviername. Tafelberg-uitgewers, Cape Town. p. 293. ISBN 0-624-00273-X.
  2. ^ a b Raper, P.E. (2004). South African Place Names. Jonathan Ball, Jhb & Cape Town. p. 278. ISBN 1-86842-190-2.
  3. ^ "Otjivero Dam". Retrieved 28 October 2020.

External links[edit]