South of Cochin, situated on a strip of coast between the sea and one of those backwaters that here form the chief means of inland communication.
On the west a series of small lakes and backwaters receives water from the Juba during the rains.
Between Lechlade and Oxford the main channel sends off many narrow branches; the waters of the Windrush are similarly distributed, and the branches in the neighbourhood of Oxford form the picturesque "backwaters" which only light pleasure boats can penetrate.
These form the Cochin backwaters, which consist of shallow lagoons lying behind the beach-line and below its level.
Across, also belongs to this group. It grows in the backwaters of the Amazon, often covering the surface for miles; the seeds are eaten under the name water maize.
Adjoining the lower Tana are many backwaters, which seem to show that the course has been subject to great changes.
The Eastern province consists of well-forested, undulating land (Busoga) on the coast of the lake, a vast extent of marsh round the lake-like backwaters of the Victoria Nile (Lakes Ibrahim or Kioga, Kwania, &c.) and a more stony, open, grain-growing country (Bukedi, Lobor, Karamojo).
By way of the White river cut-off the Arkansas finds an additional outlet through the valley of that river in times of high water, and the White, when the current in its natural channel is deadened by the backwaters of the Mississippi, finds an outlet by the same cut-off through the valley of the Arkansas.
In the monsoon the Cochin backwaters are broad navigable channels and lakes; in the hot weather they contract into shallows in many places not 2 ft.
The whole surface is undulating, and presents a series of hills and valleys traversed from east to west by many rivers, the floods of which, arrested by the peculiar action of the Arabian Sea, spread themselves out into lagoons or backwaters, connected here and there by artificial canals, and forming an inland line of smooth-water communication for nearly the whole length of the coast.
From Sansandig, that the labyrinth of lakes, creeks and backwaters ceases.
The middle Niger, however, reaches its maximum near Timbuktu only in January; in February and March it sinks slowly above the narrows of Tosaye, and more rapidly below them, the level being kept up by supplies from backwaters and lakes; and by April there is a decrease of about 5 ft.