1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rovuma
ROVUMA, a river in East Africa, forming during the greater part of its course the boundary between German and Portuguese territory. The lower Rovuma is formed by the junction in 11° 25' S., 38° 31' E. of two branches of nearly equal importance, the longer of which, the Lujenda, comes from the south-west, the other, which still bears the name Rovuma, from the west. Its source lies on an undulating plateau, 3000 ft. high, immediately to the east of Lake Nyasa, in 10° 45' S., 35° 40' E., the head-stream flowing first due west before turning south and east. In its eastward course the Rovuma flows near the base of the escarpment of an arid sandstone plateau to the north, from which direction the streams, which have cut themselves deep channels in the plateau edge, have almost all short courses. On the opposite bank the Rovuma receives, besides the Lujenda, the Msinje and Luchulingo, flowing in broad valleys running from south to north. The Lujenda rises in closing proximity to Lake Chilwa, in the small Lake Chiuta (1700 ft.), the swamps to the south of this being separated from Chilwa only by a narrow wooded ridge. The stream which issues from Chiuta passes by a swampy valley into the narrow Lake Amaramba, from which the Lujenda finally issues as a stream 80 yds. wide. Lower down it varies greatly in width, containing in many parts long wooded islands which rise above the flood level, and are often inhabited. The river is fordable in many places in the dry season. At its mouth it is about a mile wide. The lower Rovuma, which is often half a mile wide but generally shallow, flows through a swampy valley flanked by plateau escarpments containing several small backwaters of the river. The mouth, which lies in 10° 28' S., 40° 30' E., is entirely in German territory, the boundary near the coast being formed by the parallel of 10° 40' . The length of the Rovuma is about 500 m.