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The Thuli River, former name Tuli River, is a major tributary of the Shashe River in Zimbabwe. It rises near Matopo Mission, Matobo District, and flows into the Shashe River near Tuli village.

Thuli River
Thuli River.jpg
The Thuli River flowing out of Thuli Gorge, south of Gwanda, Zimbabwe
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationMatopo Mission, Matobo District, Zimbabwe
 ⁃ location
Shashe River
Basin size7,910 km2 (3,050 sq mi)
 ⁃ average36.0 mm/a (1.42 in/year) unit flow[1]


The Thuli is an ephemeral river, with declining annual unit runoff.[2]

Major tributaries of the Thuli River include the Mtshabezi, Mtshelele and Mwewe Rivers.

The Thuli River below Thuli-Makwe Dam is a sand filled channel, with alluvial aquifers in the river channel.[3]

Towns along the riverEdit

The Thuli River passes through no major settlements, only the following business centres:

Bridges and crossingsEdit

Bridge on the Thuli River at Freda Mine.

There are five main bridges over the Mzingwane River:

There are also a number of fords and crossing points, including:

  • Ntalale causeway, which was badly damaged by Cyclone Eline.
  • Causeway below Thuli gorge


Thuli-Makwe Dam.

In addition to a number of small weirs, there is one major dam on the Thuli River:

The Mtshabezi River (the principal left-bank tributary) is dammed at Mtshabezi, Sheet and Blanket. Mtshabezi Dam will augment the water supply for the City of Bulawayo, once a connecting pipeline has been completed. Sheet and Blanket Dams supply water to the City of Gwanda and Blanket and Vubachikwe Mines.

Two additional dam sites have been selected further downstream:

  • Thuli–Moswa, where no development has taken place.
  • Thuli–Manyange, upstream of Elliot Bridge, where construction was briefly started in 2007 but is now halted.[1]


  1. ^ a b Chibi, T., Kandori, C. and Makone, B.F. 2005. Mzingwane Catchment Outline Plan. Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Bulawayo.
  2. ^ Love, D., Uhlenbrook, S., Madamombe, E., Twomlow, S. and van der Zaag, P. 2006. An evaluation of climate and run-off variability and associated livelihood risks in the Mzingwane Catchment, Limpopo Basin, Zimbabwe. Water Institute of Southern Africa Biennial Conference and Exhibition, Durban, South Africa, May 2006.
  3. ^ Görgens, A.H.M. and Boroto, R.A. 1997. Limpopo River: flow balance anomalies, surprises and implications for integrated water resources management. In: Proceedings of the 8th South African National Hydrology Symposium, Pretoria, South Africa.

Coordinates: 21°48′01″S 29°03′42″E / 21.8003°S 29.0617°E / -21.8003; 29.0617