Umgeni River

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Umgeni river
uMngeni (Zulu)
River
Blue Lagoon, d, Umgenirivier, Durban.jpg
The Umgeni River's Blue Lagoon at Durban North
Country South Africa
Region KwaZulu-Natal
Tributaries
 - left Msunduzi River
Source Drakensberg
 - elevation 1,825 m (5,988 ft)
Mouth Indian Ocean
 - location Durban, South Africa
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 29°48′36″S 31°02′08″E / 29.81000°S 31.03556°E / -29.81000; 31.03556Coordinates: 29°48′36″S 31°02′08″E / 29.81000°S 31.03556°E / -29.81000; 31.03556
Length 232 km (144 mi)
Basin 4,432 km2 (1,711 sq mi)
Location of the Umgeni River mouth
The Umgeni River just below Howick Falls in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, taken during the dry season

The Umgeni River or Mgeni River (Zulu: Mngeni; Afrikaans: Umgenirivier), is a river in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It rises in the "Dargle" in the KZN midlands, and its mouth is at Durban, some distance north of Durban's natural harbour. The name is taken to mean place of the Acacia trees in Zulu, though other meanings have been proposed.[1][2]

The river is approximately 232 kilometres (144 mi) long with a catchment area of 4,432 square kilometres (1,711 sq mi). The Howick Falls are some famous waterfalls on the Mngeni.

Tributaries[edit]

A noteworthy tributary is the Msunduzi River, which joins it between Nagle and Inanda dams. Higher up its course the Msunduzi (or 'Dusi' for short) passes through the KwaZulu-Natal capital Pietermaritzburg. A famous downriver race, the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place between the capital and Durban, attracting thousands of canoeists for the three-day event held in January every year.

A smaller tributary close to its mouth is the 26-kilometre-long (16 mi) Palmiet River, which should not be confused with the Palmiet River in the Western Cape.[3]

Dams[edit]

Presently the Umgeni is part of the Mvoti to Umzimkulu Water Management Area.[4] There are four large dams in its catchment basin:

Ecology[edit]

The Scaly Yellowfish (Labeobarbus natalensis) is a fish found in the Umgeni River System as well as in the Umzimkulu, Tukhela, Umkomazi and the Umfolozi. It is a common endemic species in KwaZulu-Natal Province and it lives in different habitats between the Drakensberg foothills and the coastal lowlands.[5]

History[edit]

It is assumed that Vasco da Gama replenished his fleet's water supply at the Umgeni mouth on Christmas Day, 1497, and so named the region Natal, Portuguese for Christmas. The river then acquired the name "River of Natal".

130 years later the Umgeni was crossed by Nathaniel Isaacs on his way to visit Shaka.[1]

Umgeni river mouth

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b du Plessis, E.J. (1973). Suid-Afrikaanse berg- en riviername. Tafelberg-uitgewers, Cape Town. pp. 277, 278. ISBN 0-624-00273-X. 
  2. ^ Raper, P.E. (2004). South African Place Names. Jonathan Ball, Jhb & Cape Town. p. 245. ISBN 1-86842-190-2. 
  3. ^ Palmiet Nature Reserve Flooding
  4. ^ Mvoti to Umzimkulu WMA 11
  5. ^ Technical Report on the State of Yellowfishes in South Africa 2007
  • Peters, Janice (1973). Proceedings of the first International Conference on Ephomeroptera. Brill Archive. p. 90. ISBN 978-90-04-03590-4. 

External links[edit]