The Tugela River with the Amphitheatre in the background
The course of the Tugela river, from the west to the east border of KwaZulu-Natal.
|Length||502 km (312 mi)|
|Basin size||29,100 km2 (11,200 sq mi)|
The Tugela River (Zulu : Thukela; Afrikaans : Tugelarivier) is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. It is one of the most important rivers of the country.
Zulu or isiZulu is a Southern Bantu language of the Nguni branch spoken in Southern Africa. It is the language of the Zulu people, with about 10 million native speakers, who primarily inhabit the province of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa, and it is understood by over 50% of its population. It became one of South Africa's 11 official languages in 1994.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
The river originates in Mont-aux-Sources of the Drakensberg Mountains and plunges 947 metres down the Tugela Falls. The Mont-aux-Sources is also the origin of tributaries of two other major South African rivers, the Orange and the Vaal. From the Drakensberg range, the Tugela follows a 502 kilometres (312 mi) route through the KwaZulu-Natal midlands before flowing into the Indian Ocean. The total catchment area is approximately 29,100 square kilometres (11,200 sq mi). Land uses in the catchment are mainly rural subsistence farming and commercial forestry.
The Drakensberg is the name given to the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation in this region – 2,000 to 3,482 metres. It is located in South Africa and Lesotho.
Tugela Falls is a complex of seasonal waterfalls located in the Drakensberg of Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. It is generally accepted as the world's second-tallest waterfall but there is an argument that it is actually the tallest waterfall in the world, rather than Venezuela's Angel Falls.
The ǂNūǃarib (Senqu) "Black River", IGqili, or under the colonial name, Orange River, is the longest river in Lesotho and the Orange River Basin extends extensively into South Africa, Namibia and Botswana 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 Namibia and between South Africa and Lesotho, 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, Groote River or Senqu River, derived from ǂNū "Black".
The Tugela has a number of tributaries coming off the Drakensberg, the largest being the Mzinyathi ("Buffalo") River (rising near Majuba Hill), but also the Little Tugela River, Klip River (rising near Van Reenen Pass), Mooi River, Blood River, Sundays River (rising in the Biggarsberg) Ingagani River and Bushman River. 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Tugela Ferry at .The Buffalo River joins the Tugela some
The Buffalo River is the largest tributary of the Tugela River in South Africa. Its source is in Majuba Hill, "Hill of Doves" in Zulu language, located northeast of Volksrust, close to the Mpumalanga / KwaZulu-Natal border. It follows a southerly route into KwaZulu-Natal past Newcastle then turns southeast past Rorke's Drift, before joining the Tugela River at Ngubevu near Nkandla. During the nineteenth century it formed part of the boundary between the Colony of Natal and Zululand.
The Klip River is a main tributary of the Tugela River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The river originates on the west side of KwaZulu-Natal, initially flows eastward and then swings southward. It flows into the Windsor Dam, and then into the larger Qedusizi Dam before flowing east again. The river passes through Ladysmith before joining the Tugela River.
Blood River is situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This river has its sources in the hills south-east of Utrecht; leaving the highlands it is joined by two important tributaries that originate in the Schurveberg, after which it flows meandering through a sandy plain. The Blood River is a tributary of the Buffalo River, which is a tributary of the Tugela River which it joins from the north-east.
The Blood River was named by the Boers, led by Andries Pretorius, after they defeated the Zulu king Dingane on 16 December 1838, when the river is said to have run red with the blood of Zulu warriors. Below the Blood River is Rorke's Drift, a crossing point and a battle site, in the Anglo-Zulu War.
The Battle of Blood River is the name given for the battle fought between 470 Voortrekkers ("Pioneers"), led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated "10,000 to 15,000" Zulu on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Casualties amounted to over 3,000 of King Dingane's soldiers dead, including two Zulu princes competing with Prince Mpande for the Zulu throne. Three Pioneer commando members were lightly wounded, including Pretorius.
The year 1838 was the most difficult period for the Voortrekkers since they left the Cape Colony, till the end of the Great Trek. They were plagued by many disasters and much bloodshed before they found freedom and a safe homeland in their Republic of Natalia. This could only be achieved by crushing the power of the Zulu King, Dingane, at the greatest battle ever fought in South Africa, namely the Battle of Blood River, which took place on Sunday 16 December 1838.
Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius was a leader of the Boers who was instrumental in the creation of the South African Republic, as well as the earlier but short-lived Natalia Republic, in present-day South Africa. The large city of Pretoria, executive capital of South Africa, is named after him.
The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Following Lord Carnarvon's successful introduction of federation in Canada, it was thought that similar political effort, coupled with military campaigns, might succeed with the African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa. In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring such plans into being. Among the obstacles were the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic and the Kingdom of Zululand and its army.
The Scaly Yellowfish (Labeobarbus natalensis) is found in the Tugela River System. It is a common endemic fish in KwaZulu-Natal Province and it is found in different habitats between the Drakensberg foothills and the coastal lowlands, including rivers such as the Umkomazi.
Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, which applies to species that are restricted to a defined geographical area.
The Umkomazi River is a river in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The spelling "Tugela" was used for most of the twentieth century; it is an Anglicised version of the Zulu name Thukela. Nineteenth-century writers adopted a variety of spellings including:
Nathaniel Isaacs (1808–1872) was an English adventurer who played a part in the history of Natal, South Africa. He wrote a book spread over two volumes called Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa. This book subsequently became one of the principal sources quoted by writers of the history of Natal including Morris , Ritter and Bulpin.
Charles Rawden Maclean, also known as "John Ross", was born on 17 August 1815 in Fraserburgh and died 13 August 1880 at sea on the RMS Larne while en route to Southampton. In a tribute to him during the re-dedication of his grave in Southampton in 2009, the Zulu War author and broadcaster Ian Knight said:
Some of the variations can be accounted for by the early European writers being unaware that Zulu grammar uses prefixes, often a "i-" or a "u-", to denote the noun class of a noun.
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu bantustan of KwaZulu and Natal Province were merged. It is located in the southeast of the country, enjoying a long shoreline beside the Indian Ocean and sharing borders with three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg and its largest city is Durban. It is the 2nd most populous province in South Africa, with slightly fewer residents than Gauteng.
Winterton is a small town situated on the banks of the Tugela River in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 1905 as Springfield when the Natal Government built a weir across the Little Tugela River. The town later changed its name to Winterton in honour the secretary for agriculture, HD Winter. Winterton is a small town with only a primary school. It is close to the Second Boer War battle sites of Battle of Vaal Krantz and Spioenkop.
Harrismith is a large town in the Free State province of South Africa. It was named for Sir Harry Smith, a 19th-century British governor of the Cape Colony. It is situated by the Wilge River, alongside the N3 highway, about midway between Johannesburg, about 300 km to the north-west, and Durban to the southeast. The town is located at the junction of the N5 highway, which continues westward towards the provincial capital Bloemfontein, some 340 km to the south-west. This important crossroads in South Africa's land trade routes is surrounded by mesas and buttes. It is located at the base of one of these called Platberg.
The Umgeni River or Mgeni River, 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 the river of entrance in Zulu, though other meanings have been proposed.
Mont-aux-Sources is a mountain in Southern Africa, forming one of the highest portions of the Drakensberg Range. It is mostly within Lesotho, with parts in the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces of South Africa.
The Umfolozi River is a river in KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa. It is formed by the confluence of the Black and White Umfolozi Rivers near the southeastern boundary of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. The isiZulu name imFolozi is generally considered to describe the zigzag course followed by both tributaries, though other explanations have been given.
The Amphitheatre is one of the geographical features of the Northern Drakensberg, South Africa, and is widely regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth. The cliff face of the Amphitheatre is roughly three times the size of the total combined area of all the cliff faces in Yosemite's famous El Capitan, and more than 10 times the size of El Capitan's most famous face. It is part of the Royal Natal National Park.
The Kilburn Dam, an earth-fill type dam and part of the Tugela-Vaal Water Project and Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme, is located 500 metres (1,600 ft) lower than the Sterkfontein Dam, on the Mnjaneni River, near Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, province of South Africa. The dam was commissioned in 1981, has a capacity of 36,700 cubic metres (1,300,000 cu ft), and a surface area of 207 hectares, the dam wall is 48 metres (157 ft) high. The main purpose of the dam assembly is to serve for the generation of hydro-electricity and its hazard potential has been ranked high (3).
The Royal Natal National Park is in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa and forms part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Notwithstanding the name, it is actually not a South African National Park managed by the SANParks, but rather a Provincial Park managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. This park is now included into the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area Peace Park.
The Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme is an energy storage facility built in the South African provinces of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal starting in 1974 and completed by 1981.
Woodstock Dam is located on the upper reaches of the Tugela, KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa and is the main source of water for the Thukela-Vaal Transfer Scheme. The dam was commissioned in 1982, has a storage capacity of 373.26 million cubic metres, and a surface area of 29.129 square kilometres (11.247 sq mi), the dam wall is 54 metres (177 ft) high. The dam serves mainly for municipal and industrial water supply purposes and its hazard potential has been ranked high (3).
The Bushman's River is an east to north-easterly flowing tributary of the Tugela River, in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. It rises in the Drakensberg Mountain range, with its upper catchment in the Giant's Castle Game Reserve, north of the Giant's Castle promontory. It feeds the Wagendrift Dam and then flows past the town of Estcourt to join the Tugela River near the town of Weenen.
The Bloukrans River (KwaZulu-Natal) originates in the Emangosini foothills of the Njesuthi Drakensberg, in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. It proceeds in a north-easterly direction, passing the village of Frere, until it joins the Tugela River. The river and its tributaries are mostly undammed, though limited irrigation occurs from its upper reaches. Its original Dutch name Blaauwekrans referred to bluish cliff faces present in the area.
Spion Kop is a mountain in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is located near the town of Ladysmith, 27 km to the WSW and about 2.5 km to the north of the Spioenkop Dam, a reservoir for the waters of the Tugela River.
The Wilge River is a tributary of the Vaal River in central South Africa. This river is important as part of the Tugela-Vaal Water Transfer Scheme where water is transferred from the Tugela River basin to the Vaal River basin.