Jan S. Krogh's Geosite: Possible Quadripoint of Botswana - Namibia - Zambia - Zimbabwe (BWNAZMZW)

The only possible quadripoint in the World where four independent countries meet at a single point, is at the thalweg confluence of the Zambezi River with the Chobe River near Kazungula, between Botswana (BW), Namibia (NA), Zambia (ZM) and Zimbabwe (ZW). Zambezi River is the main river on the photo, while Chobe River is running between Namibia and Botswana. There is a ferry line between Botswana and Zambia 1).

(Photo: Lee Ouzman Gallery,!Pages/Lee%20Ouzman/LeeOuzman.htm in May 2010.)

We know 

– only a tiny part of the projected Zambezi River bridge between Botswana to Zambia will pass through Zimbabwian territory 2).  

–  where the Botswana - Zimbabwe land border meets Zambezi River and that Namibia is not involved in this project.  

– the bridge will be built on the most narrow point of the Zambezi River in this area.   

– BWNAZMZW has an issue of non aligned river border. 

– BWNA=thalweg 3), BWZM=no agreement, BWZW=only landborder is defined, NAZM=thalweg, ZMZW=midline, and 

– a thalweg does not always correspond with the river midline.  

– the thalwegs and midlines keep moving about anyway, so a quadripoint here can only be determed by a border treaty.

We expect the countries involved in the bridge project have a classified detailed border map for the construction area which is a part of the project agreement.

On this image we have drawn a prolonging line of the Botswana - Zimbabwe land border. The same is done out from the middleline of the Botswana - Namibia Chobe River. These two lines meet the middleline of the Zambezi River (A) differently, but only about 62 m apart. If the thalweg is slightly closer to Zambia, they would meet in a single point (B).  If the BWNA Chobe River thalweg turns slightly more east at the confluence with Zambezi River, BWNAZM may appear on the same point as BWZMZW. A quadripoint will not come into being unless all four countries sign a treaty on the issue.

We do not know exactly where the bridge is projected to be built, but if the Botswana - Zimbabwe border would turn where it runs into the river and go right towards Zambia in a 90° angle with land, the bridge would not run over a tiny part of Zimbabwian territory.

The "Shortest distance" length is 353 metres.

Same angle and area as on the image above, but ortomap of Kazungula ferry ports.

Zimbabwian map of the border area. Source: 1:250.000, sheet SE-35-5/9 Kazungula, 1981.

Namibian 1:50.000 map of the border area showing the Botswana - Zimbabwe land border.


Footnotes, sources and links:

1. Wikipedia:

2. The Zambian Chronicle (13 July 2008) ' “A small portion of the bridge actually goes past Zimbabwean territorial waters, hence Zimbabweans (are) requesting they also do their own feasibility study,” [The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Business Foundation Senior Project Manager, Mr John] Roche said.':

3. Thalweg = The line that connects the lowest points in a valley or river channel, and thus the line of fastest flow along a river’s course.

Thanks to Mr Jesper Nielsen and Mr Aletheia Kallos at Boundarypointpoint for valuable information.

This page was last time updated 04/03/12 .