Rivers and Lakes

None of the country’s rivers are commercially navigable and most river mouths are unsuitable as harbours because large sandbanks block entry for most of the year.

South Africa has no significant natural lakes, but several artificial lakes are used mostly for crop irrigation.

The Orange River is South Africa’s largest river. Rising in the Drakensberg Mountains, it traverses through the Lesotho Highlands and joins the Caledon River between the Eastern Cape and the Free State. Before it empties into the Atlantic Ocean, it forms the border with Namibia.

Other major rivers include the Vaal, Breede, Komati, Lepelle (previously Olifants), Tugela, Umzimvubu, Limpopo and Molopo rivers.