Are there any closer than Namibia/Zimbabwe (which are separated by "less than 200 metres of riverbed", belonging to Botswana, according to Wikipedia)?

I'm interested specifically in the case where the countries don't share a land border, but are separated by a short overland distance.

  • 3
    Can you clarify your question? I am not sure that qualifies as not sharing a border. They share a border. It's simply a river. Somewhere in the river there's the "imaginary" lines that separates both countrys.
    – nsn
    Mar 31, 2014 at 13:28
  • 8
    @nsn: no, that riverbed is in Botswana.
    – Max
    Mar 31, 2014 at 13:28
  • 2
    What do you consider a "short" overland distance? Both the Netherlands/France and Croatia/Italy are separated by a country less then 50 km at some point.
    – user141
    Mar 31, 2014 at 15:03
  • 2
    What do you mean by "overland"? the riverbed between Namibia and Zimbabwe is not an overland area.
    – Vince
    Mar 31, 2014 at 15:08
  • 2
    @mouviciel technically both the Netherlands and St Maarten are separate countries, both part of the kingdom of the Netherlands.
    – user141
    Apr 1, 2014 at 9:48

8 Answers 8


Tajikistan and Pakistan are 16 km from each other, separated by the Wakhan Corridor which belongs to Afghanistan.


Since nobody has found a shorter distance, it seems that Namibia and Zimbabwe are the closest pair

  • around 200 meters of Botswana territory lies between Namibia and Zimbabwe

Bangladesh and Nepal come within about 25 km of each other, with India in between.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia come within about 30 km overland through Israel and Jordan (closer straight-line distance over water).

Mongolia and Kazakhstan are separated by about 35 km of rather mountainous terrain.

Germany and Italy are separated by about 45 km through Austria.

  • Germany - Liechtenstein is <40 km, with Austria inbetween.
    – nohillside
    Dec 28, 2022 at 15:53

I'm trying to find countries with a tight corridor to sea, so that the countries on both sides are close to each other. Bosnia's corridor is only a few km, but both sides of it are Croatia, so that doesn't count.

Israel's Red Sea corridor is about 10km wide I think, with neighbouring Egypt and Jordan being that close to each other. This is probably the closest of the ones I've looked at.

I think Iraq's connection to the Gulf (bringing Iran and Kuwait close to each other) is slightly larger, but all these "measurements" were made by on zooming on Google Maps and squinting.

Slovenia's corridor between Italy and Croatia is similar.

Armenia and Iran get within a few km of each other, with Turkey in between, here. But that is spoiled by the fact that they share an actual border on the other side of Azerbaijan's exclave to the right.

I want to finish this by mentioning Baarle-Nassau-Hertog, which doesn't qualify (it's all either Netherlands or Belgium) but it's fun.

There are also six Dutch exclaves located within the largest Belgian exclave, one within the second-largest, and an eighth within Zondereigen.

  • 1
    I was pretty sure Armenia and Iran do have a border because I was hoping to cross it a couple of years ago, but didn't get to. Indeed: Wikivoyage Armenia→Iran and Iran→Armenia. Apr 1, 2014 at 8:58

The easternmost tip of Sughd Province, Tajikistan, east of the town of Isfara, has a panhandle squeezed between Uzbekistan to the north and Kyrgyzstan to the south. Using the Maps Labs Distance Measurement Tool on Google Maps, its skinniest part is only around 2.2 km wide.

The national borders in the whole Fergana Valley region are generally just ridiculous thanks to Stalin, but this was the thinnest three-country sandwich I could find.

...and I just realized I missed the qualification "that do not share a border", since Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan do. Oh well, it's still an interesting oddity of geography.

  • 2
    Heh, I've been to that province (to Khujand/Khojand). Thinking though, this answer should probably be a comment, given that it doesn't address all the qualifications specified by the question :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 2, 2014 at 1:39
  • 2
    What are you two smoking? It's an answer, just an incorrect one ;) Apr 2, 2014 at 10:49

How about Laos and Myanmar, which are separated by the Mekong River?

  • 1
    How wide is it and which country lies between them (that is what the question is about and don't share a common border) Jun 30, 2021 at 18:34
  1. Sealand to UK: 13 kilometers

  2. Spain to Morocco: 14.3 kilometers

  3. Saudi Arabia to Bahrain: 27 kilometers

  4. Bahrain to Qatar: 101 Kilometers

  • Sealand's claim to be a separate country is rather shaky.
    – WGroleau
    Dec 26, 2022 at 6:42
  • Can you provide a link to the Sealand you claim to be a country in Europe?
    – Willeke
    Dec 26, 2022 at 7:33
  • @Willeke en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand
    – Sneftel
    Dec 26, 2022 at 7:33
  • 2
    This answer doesn't fulfill the criteria of the question: where the countries don't share a land border, but are separated by a short overland distance. Spain and Morocco share a common border in 2 places (Ceuta and Melilla). Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/Qatar have a common sea border, but are not seperated by a overland distance. Dec 26, 2022 at 7:34
  • That very weak, I do not think it is a country, Saeland claim also does not meet the overland distance requirement, with only water between it and the UK, it being in UK waters.
    – Willeke
    Dec 26, 2022 at 8:54

The U.S and Russia are 2.5 miles away from each other at it's closest point.

  • 1
    You probably want to clarify where this is for those who don't know the Diomede Islands.
    – jcaron
    Jun 30, 2021 at 17:14
  • 1
    But no country lies in between the 2. That is what the question is about. Jun 30, 2021 at 18:31
  • Also, in a clarifying comment, the OP stated the separation was not to be ocean.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 1, 2021 at 12:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .