Tana - Encyclopedia




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TANA, a river of British East Africa, which gives its name to the Tanaland province of that protectorate. It has a course, following the main windings only, of over 50o m. Its sources are along the watershed close to the eastern wall of the eastern rift-valley, and it enters the Indian Ocean in 2° 40' S., about 1 ro m. N. by E. of Mombasa. One series of its numerous headstreams traverses the Kikuyu plateau north of the Athi, while others flow down the southern and eastern slopes of Kenya. The main stream, from about 37° E. 1° S., where it runs close to the upper waters of the Athi, flows in a wide curve N.E., nearly reaching the equator. About 39° E. it turns S., and from this point is not known to receive any tributary of importance. Its course is very tortuous, the current rapid, and the channel much obstructed by snags. Its width varies, as a general rule, between loo and 200 yds. The banks are usually low, in part forested and inundated at high water, but away from the river the country appears to consist of dry plains covered with mimosa scrub. Adjoining the lower Tana are many backwaters, which seem to show that the course has been subject to great changes. In 2 ° 20' S. the river again turns east, but during the last 10 m. it flows south-west, parallel to the coast, entering the sea across a dangerous bar. The Tana has been navigated in a steam-launch for some 300 m. from the mouth. North of the Tana is the Ozi, a small river connected with the Tana by the Belazoni canal.

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