Rivers are natural flowing watercourses, usually freshwater streams, flowing on the surfaces or inside caves towards another waterbody at a lower elevation, such as an ocean, sea, bay, lake, wetland, or river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground or becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to by names such as creek, brook, and rivulet.
How Many Rivers Are There In Mauritius
Rivers are an important part of the water cycle. Water from a drainage basin generally collects into a river through surface runoff from precipitation, meltwater released from natural ice and snowpacks, and other underground sources such as groundwater recharge and springs. Rivers are often considered major features within a landscape; however, they actually only cover around 0.1% of the land on Earth.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE RIVERS IN MAURITIUS:
Rivière la Chaux
Rivière la chaux originated near Rose Belle Village and flows east with a length of 20km through the village of Mahebourg before terminating its course in the ocean.
Rivière Saint-Denis can be found near the village of Chamarel which cascades down beautifully from a height of 83 metres forming the Chamarel Falls which then merge with Riviere du Cap before terminating its course in the ocean at Baie du Cap in the south of Mauritius.
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Grand River South East (GRSE)
The GRSE originates on Butte Chaumon and flows down through sugarcane and tea plantations alongside its tributaries, the Riviere du Rempart, Riviere Vacoas, and Riviere Francoise. From Pave Citron Bridge, it cascades over a series of lava flows until it reaches the sea in a funnel-shaped estuary.
The Grand River South East is the longest river in Mauritius and this spectacular waterfall is close to the mouth and is also accessible by boat.
After Île aux Cerfs, the GRSE waterfall is one of the most popular attractions on the east coast. Every day, there are trips to the river and waterfall from the villages of Trou d’Eau Douce and GRSE.
Hiking can be arranged by following a trail from the village Beau Champ down to the mouth of the river which finishes its course at the sea.
Rivière Noire ( Black River)
Rivière Noire has cut its gorge back into the uplands and exposes solid bedrock along much of its course. This river is the largest stream with a length of 12km and dissects the volcanic shield and the spectacular views from its highland rim are famous.
Rivière des Créoles
Rivière des Créoles is a river in southeastern Mauritius. It flows southeast for 13 kilometres, reaching the ocean close to the city of Mahébourg.
Rivière du Rempart
Rivière du Rempart is located in the northeast of Mauritius. It originates in La Nicolière, a lake in the central north, and flows northeast with a length of 11km to the Ocean near the village of Poste de Flacq. The Rivière du Rempart District is named after the river.
Another Rivière du Rempart can be found in the Black River district, near Tamarin’s entrance and this one flows with a length of 15km.
Rivière du Tombeau
Its source is on the slopes of Pieter Both Mountain, from where it flows north and then west for a total of 16 kilometres, reaching the Indian Ocean at Baie-du-Tombeau, north of the capital of Port Louis.
Rivière des Galets
Rivière des Galets with a length of 9km starts its course from the Black River Gorge and flows south to the ocean. The beach Riviere des Galets is named after this river.
Longest rivers in Mauritius
There are 25 major rivers and 21 smaller rivers on the island. The longest river is the Grand River South East, 34 km in length, which also has the largest catchment area. GRSE has its source on Butte Chaumon and flows down alongside its tributaries namely Riviere du Rempart, Riviere Vacoas, and Riviere Francoise through sugarcane and tea plantations. It cascades over a series of lava flows from Pave Citron Bridge until it meets the sea into a funnel-shaped estuary.
The second longest river, 22 km long, is the Grand River North West. In contrast to GRSE, GRNW lies within urban areas even though a good part of it flows through sugarcane fields. It starts from the central plateau where underground water gives rise to several small tributaries namely Riviere Cascade, Riviere Moka, Riviere Terre Rouge and Riviere Plaines Wilhems. GRNW ends in the shallow Grand River Bay where a small delta has gathered amongst rocks.
Significance of rivers
1. They help in the transfer of water itself from its source, down its course so that other organisms can benefit from it.
2. Rivers ensure the distribution of nutrients from place to place as well as help dissipate dischargeable products from one point.
3. They help in landscaping the environment; for instance, the flow of water along the land results in valleys, crevices and canals.
4. These watercourses offer a unique environment for freshwater organisms like fishes, eels, shrimps and water plants.
5. Where river banks overflow often, wetlands can form. Wetlands are wonderful natural sites that act as pollution sinks.
1. Though there are small rivers in Mauritius, on continents with large rivers, the water bodies are used as a transport medium. The best that we see here is recreational paddling or fishing on small boats at GRSE and the bay of GRNW.
2. Rivers are places where fishes and plants are commercially grown which in turn provide food and bring back money.
3. Overflowing of the water banks during heavy rainfall provides fertile soil which can be used in agriculture. Watercress and Brede Songe are commercially cultivated in this way.
4. Streams that flow through private land are used for recreational activities like fishing.
5. One very important use of rivers is that they are dammed and made into reservoirs to feed the general population with paid water.
6. Or else, they can be used to produce electricity in hydroelectric power stations like the one at Plaine Champagne.
7. Water from rivers can be directed towards cultivated fields and used to irrigate crops.
8. Rivers help to transport excess water downstream during rainfall. Man-made alternatives would cost in the millions, as would flooding in the absence of natural canals.
Different uses of rivers
In some cultures, rivers have religious meanings. Hindus, for example, consider river banks as sacred places where they build their altars. In addition to this, psychologically, rivers and the surrounding environment provide a serene atmosphere to de-stress and initiate creativity in an individual.
What is the longest river in Mauritius?
The Grand River South East is the longest river in Mauritius and this spectacular waterfall is close to the mouth and is also accessible by boat. The waterfall at GRSE is one of the East Coast’s most popular attractions after Île aux Cerfs.