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Shari(both: shä`rē), longest river of interior drainage in Africa, c.650 mi (1,050 km) long, rising in the uplands of the Central African Republic, N central Africa. It flows NW across S Chad, past Sarh (Fort Archambault), Bousso, and Ndjamena (Fort-Lamy), and enters Lake Chad through a wide delta. The Logone River is its chief tributary. During the summer rainy season, the river floods much of the surrounding area.
(also Shari), a river of Central Africa whose course lies in the Central African Republic, in the Republic of Chad, and along the Chad-Cameroon border.
Formed primarily by the Ouham (Bahr Sara) and Gribingui rivers, the Chari empties into Lake Chad. Its length is variously given at between 1,400 and 1,500 km, as measured from the Ouham, and it drains an area of approximately 700,000 sq km. The Gribingui has a large number of tributaries on the right—among them the Bamingui, the Bahr Aouk, and the Bahr Kéita—and an inland delta in the vicinity of Sarh (Fort-Archambault). After the Ouham and the Gribingui, the Chari receives the Bahr Salamat from the right and, farther downstream, the Logone River, its largest left tributary. At Lake Chad, the Chari and the Logone form a common, branching delta.
Water levels in the rivers of the Chari basin rise during the summer rainy season and remain high for several months. Since freshets move downstream slowly, the highest water levels in the middle and lower courses of the Chari and the Logone occur in the autumn months; at Ndjamena (Fort-Lamy), they occur in November. The Chari and the Logone flood extensively, forming temporary lakes and linking with the rivers of the Niger basin. The Chari is fished commercially. Navigation is possible for more than 860 km—from the mouth of the Chari to the city of Batangafo on the Ouham.