Tugela River

Last updated
Tugela
Thukela
Amphitheatre Drakensberg.jpg
The Tugela River with the Amphitheatre in the background
JCW-Map-Natal-Tugela.png
The course of the Tugela river, from the west to the east border of KwaZulu-Natal.
Location
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
Towns Bergville, Colenso
Physical characteristics
Source 
  location Drakensberg
Mouth Indian Ocean
Length502 km (312 mi)
Basin size29,100 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. [1]

Contents

The river originates in Mont-aux-Sources of the Drakensberg Mountains at an elevation of almost 11,000 feet [2] 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. [3] The total catchment area is approximately 29,100 square kilometres (11,200 sq mi). [3] Land uses in the catchment are mainly rural subsistence farming and commercial forestr

Tributaries

British troops crossing the river during the Second Boer War Crossing the Tugela River - 1898-9.jpg
British troops crossing the river during the Second Boer War

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. [3] [4] The Buffalo River joins the Tugela some 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Tugela Ferry at 28°43′04″S30°38′41″E / 28.71778°S 30.64472°E / -28.71778; 30.64472 .

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. [2]

Ecology

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. [5]

Spelling

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:

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.

Tugela river mouth Tugela river mouth.jpg
Tugela river mouth

See also

Dams on the Tugela

Notes

  1. "Key rivers of South Africa". MyFundi. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10.
  2. 1 2 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tugela"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 364. This has a very detailed description of the river's course.
  3. 1 2 3 "Proposal to establishment a Catchment Management Agency for the Thukela Water Management Area - Appendix A" (PDF). Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. July 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  4. Thukela WMA 7
  5. "Technical Report on the State of Yellowfishes in South Africa 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  6. Nathaniel Isaacs (1836). Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa - Vol I. Edward Churton. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  7. C.R. Maclean (February 1853). "Loss of the Brig Mary at Natal with Early Recollections of that Settlement - Two". The Nautical Magazine . pp. 74–80. Reproduced in Stephen Gray, ed. (1992). The Natal Papers of John Ross. ISBN   978-0-869-80851-1.
  8. "Making outchoualla or native beer, at Gudu's kraal, Tugala River, Zulu country", a sketch by G F Angus; National Library of Australia.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Tugela River at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 28°45′00″S28°53′45″E / 28.75000°S 28.89583°E / -28.75000; 28.89583

Related Research Articles

KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa

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 second-most populous province in South Africa, with slightly fewer residents than Gauteng.

Drakensberg Mountain range in South Africa

The Drakensberg is the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation – 2,000 to 3,482 metres within the border region of South Africa and Lesotho.

Tugela Falls

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.

Maloti-Drakensberg Park International park in Lesotho and South Africa

Maloti-Drakensberg Park was established on 11 June 2001 by linking the Sehlabathebe National Park in the Kingdom of Lesotho and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The highest peak is Thaba Ntlenyana rising to 3.482 m.

Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal Place in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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 by and the when the [wintercolony]|Natal Government]] built a weir across the Little Tugela River. The town later changed its name to Winterton in honour the secretary for agriculture, J 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 Place in Free State, South Africa

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 and high commissioner 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.

Umgeni River River in South Africa

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

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.

Umfolozi River

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.

Blood 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.

Amphitheatre (Drakensberg)

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.

Kilburn Dam Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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).

Royal Natal National Park

The 80.94 squarekilometer sized 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.

Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme Dam in Free State & KwaZulu-Natal

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 Dam in KwaZulu-Natal

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).

Bushmans River

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.

Charles Rawden Maclean

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:

Maclean was a champion of liberty, and his stone will be one of the few inscriptions in a British cemetery which commemorates a positive interaction between the British and Zulu people; most existing memorials commemorate individuals who were involved in Anglo-Zulu conflict.

Buffalo River (KwaZulu-Natal)

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.

Wilge 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.