Orange River

Major river in southern Africa / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Orange River (from Afrikaans/Dutch: Oranjerivier) is a river in Southern Africa. It is the longest river in South Africa. With a total length of 2,432 km (1,511 mi), the Orange River Basin extends from Lesotho into South Africa and Namibia to the north. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. The river forms part of the international borders between South Africa and Lesotho and between South Africa and Namibia, as well as several provincial borders within South Africa. Except for Upington, it does not pass through any major cities. The Orange River plays an important role in the South African economy by providing water for irrigation and hydroelectric power. The river was named the Orange River in honour of the Dutch ruling family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch explorer Robert Jacob Gordon. Other names include simply the word for river, in Khoekhoegowab orthography written as !Garib, which is rendered in Afrikaans as Gariep River with the intrusion of a velar fricative in place of the alveolar click,[6] Groote River (derived from Kai !Garib) or Senqu River (used in Lesotho), derived from ǂNū "Black".[7] It is known in isiZulu as isAngqu.[8]

Quick facts: Orange River Kai Garib (Groote Rivier), Garie...
Orange River
Kai Garib (Groote Rivier), Gariep, Senqu, Oranje
Sunset over the Orange River near Upington in the Northern Cape
The course and watershed of the Orange River, Caledon River and Vaal River (ǀHaiǃarib). This map shows a conservative border for the watershed. Specifically, the Kalahari basin is excluded, as some sources say it is endorheic.[1] Some other sources using computational methods show a basin which includes parts of Botswana (and hence of the Kalahari).[2]
CountryLesotho, South Africa, Namibia
DistrictThaba Tseka
DistrictQacha's Nek,


Mohale's Hoek
Physical characteristics
  locationMaloti Mountains (Drakensberg), Lesotho
  elevation3,350 m (10,990 ft)
MouthAlexander Bay
Atlantic Ocean
Length2,432 km (1,511 mi)
Basin size973,000 km2 (376,000 sq mi)
  average365 m3/s (12,900 cu ft/s)
Basin features
  rightCaledon River, Vaal River, Fish River (Namibia)
Quick facts: Designations, Ramsar Wetland, Official name,...
Official nameOrange River Mouth (Namibia)
Designated23 August 1995
Reference no.744[4]
Official nameOrange River Mouth (South Africa)
Designated28 June 1991
Reference no.526[5]
Orange River south of Rosh Pinah
Senqu River Near Ha Potomane (Cutting Camp) in Quthing, Lesotho