Shashe River

Shashe River

The Shashe River (alternative spelling Shashi River) is a major left-bank tributary of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe.

It rises northwest of Francistown, Botswana and flows into the Limpopo River where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet, site of the Shalimpo Transfrontier Conservation Area.


The Shashe River is a highly ephemeral river, with flow generally restricted to a few days of the year. The river contributes 12.2 % of the mean annual runoff of the Limpopo Basin .

Major tributaries of the Shashe River include the Ramakwebana, Simukwe, Shashani and Thuli Rivers.

The lower Shashe River is a sand filled channel, with extensive alluvial aquifers in the river channel and below the alluvial plains. These supply water for a number of irrigation schemes including Sibasa and Shashi.

More than two million years ago, the Upper Zambezi river used to flow south through what is now the Makgadikgadi Pan to the Shashe River and thence the Limpopo River.

Cities, Towns and Settlements along the River

The settlements cities below have are ordered from the beginning of the river to its end:

Bridges and Crossings

There is a road bridge and a rail bridge south of Francistown.

The lower Shashe River forms the international boundary between Botswana and Zimbabwe and is unbridged. However, at Tuli, both sides of the river are in Zimbabwe and there are two legal crossing points (see left).


The Shashe River is dammed near Francistown at Shashe Dam. This supplies water to Gaborone via the Botswana National Water Carrier.

See also


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