Ugab River

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Ugab ( namasprachlich: U gave ǂ ) is an ephemeral ( temporary water-bearing ) River in Damaraland of central Namibia ( Erongo Region ). With its headwaters it has a length of 450 kilometers and ends at Ugabmund in the South Atlantic.


The Ugab belongs to the northern Namib- water region. Its catchment area covers 28,400 km ² and extends from the mouth in the Atlantic Ocean 200 kilometers north of Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo Outjo inland over to Otavi. The annual rainfall is sporadic and irregular and occur predominantly during the rainy season in the summer. The amount of rainfall increases from the coast at less than 50 mm / yr inland continuously and reached the headwaters of the Ugab up to 530 mm / yr Fall each year more than 300 millimeters in about half of the catchment area. Heavy precipitation in the eastern upper catchment lead to the Agreement of Ugab, which may then contribute significantly over several days water. A characteristic feature is the decrease of the amount of water in the lower reaches through infiltration into the sandy bottom, so that the Ugab rarely reaches the coast. After the flood, the river dries quickly to individual pools and wet depressions, although some still considerable underground water currents are detectable, so that there is a small, year-round wetland through the estuary.


The vegetation of the catchment ranges from desert (3% ) over semi-desert vegetation and savanna transition zone ( 17%), Mopanesavanne ( 37%) and thorn bush savannah (9% ) to the top savannah or Karstveld with 34% in the upper catchment. Striking and characteristic of all ephemeral rivers in the Namib is also the Ugab the more or less dense band of gallery forest, which forms a stark contrast to the arid landscape of the Namib particularly in the lower reaches. In the gallery vegetation mainly camel-thorn (Acacia erioloba ) find Anabaum ( Faidherbia albida ), tamarisk ( Tamarix spp.), But also Leadwood ( Combretum imberbe ), Mopane ( Colophospermum mopane ) and Salavadora, some with dense stock of large trees. As herbaceous species occur on different grasses, Cyperus and reeds. About three months after a flood can be found in the otherwise dry valley areas two to three meters tall grasses and perennials. Place the gallery forests as linear oases the basis of life for wildlife and the people living there dar.

Use and settlement

The Ugab and its catchment area enable its only 35,000 residents a wide range of land use. In the upper reaches is due to the abundant rainfall, predominantly agricultural and pastoral economy with about 300 commercial farms, makes their surface together about 60 percent of the catchment area. 38 percent of the catchment area are as Communal land in tribal hands. In the dry lower reaches, there are only very occasionally smaller, often temporary settlements of nomadic shepherds who drive their cattle according to the precipitation situation of the richest pastures in Damaraland. The catchment area also mining takes place in predominantly smaller scale. In addition, the Ugab offers an enormous tourist potential, which is yet largely untapped. In addition to the spectacular geological formations are found today especially in the lower course alongside desert elephants again the re-imported by the ' Save the Rhino Trust ' black rhino and a small number of free-running lion, depending on the rainfall situation and food supply between Ugab and the other dry rivers of northern Damaraland commute.