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SA9.co.za | August 18, 2019

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4. MOLOPO

4. MOLOPO

Runs: 960 kilometres | Province: North West

Flowing south-westerly, the Molopo River boasts a length of approximately 960 kilometres and a catchment area of 367 201 km2, making it only the 4th longest river in South Africa. It acts as a border between South Africa and Botswana on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. It ascends east of Mafikeng and as it runs westerly it ceases as a surface flow and discharges into pans in Botswana before turning south and emerging as surface flow just before it attaches to the majestic Orange River which it meets downstream of Augrabies Falls National Park. In its lower course the river passes through the Kalahari basin. River flow is intermittent and when it flows, its water flows very slowly owing to a gradient of only 0.76 m/km. Floods are rare because the vast sandveld areas of the kalhari Desert on the Namibian side of its basin absorb all water from the seasonal rains. Major dams in the river are the Setumo Dam and the Disaneng Dam, both located near the city of Mafikeng, which lies on the banks of the river.

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