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Waterways Overview

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A number of major rivers cross Mozambique, the main ones being the Rovuma, Lúrio, Zambezi, Púngue, Save, Limpopo, Incomati and Umbeluzi rivers. The biggest is the Zambezi River.

Like all rain-fed rivers, the levels and force of the currents of Mozambique’s rivers fluctuate considerably with the seasons, and banks and shallows shift constantly. This makes navigation difficult and time consuming when trying to locate safe channels. Occasionally barges are forced to wait for rain somewhere upstream to be able to continue their voyage. There is not a lot of organized organised river transport, with the exception of Sena Sugar Estates on the Zambezi River.

Sena Sugar has one 300-ton flattop flat-top barge and a pusher tug. Sugar for export is transported to Quelimane, and to Beira for transhipment. A 30 - ton self-propelled barge is located in Caia and may be used for emergencies, as can other smaller barges owned by commercial operators.

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For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: HQ staff will input a link to section 4.1 Government Contact List here.

Company Information

The movement of passengers in inland waterways is insignificant, as most use small, local craft.

For more information on waterway company contact details, please see the following link: HQ staff will input a link to section 4.4 3 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List here.

Travel Time Matrix

Key Routes

Southern Region

In the Southern region, there are few river transport operators. In the past, when a flood-related emergency occurs, local fishermen are mobilised to assist stranded populations and those at risk.  Members of the yacht clubs in Maputo have also been called upon to make their Rigid Hull Inflatable Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and other ski boats available to provide assistance.

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There is no river transport capacity in the Northern Region.

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