What is the world’s largest river?

River Nile is actually the longest river in the world.

  • The length of the Nile River is approximately 6650 kilometres (4132 miles). It is believed to be the longest river in the world. Although it is generally associated with Egypt, only 22% of the Nile’s course runs through Egypt.

  • Located in Africa, the Nile River lies in the following countries: Kenya, Eritrea, Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

  • The Nile River has huge significance in regards to Ancient Egypt. Most of Ancient Egypt’s historical sites are located along the banks of the Nile River including cities such as Luxor and Cairo.

  • In 2004, the White Nile Expedition became the first to navigate the entire length of the Nile River. The expedition began in Uganda and finished in Rosetta, taking four months and two weeks to complete.

  • The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is where the Nile River drains in to the Mediterranean Sea. It is around 160 kilometres (100 miles) in length and spreads out over 240 kilometres (149 miles) of coastline. It is rich in agriculture and has been farmed for thousands of years.

  • Around 40 million people (half of Egypt’s population) live in the Nile Delta region.

  • In 1787, the famous Rosetta stone was found in the Nile Delta in the city of Rosetta. This Ancient Egyptian artifact played a key role in modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

  • The Aswan High Dam was built in 1970 to help regulate flooding of the Nile River. Before the Aswan Dam was built, years that featured high levels of water could wipe out crops while years of low level water could produce famines and drought. The dam helps control these water levels.

The Nile Delta

  • In Egypt, the River Nile creates a fertile green valley across the desert. It was by the banks of the river that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began.
  • The ancient Egyptians lived and farmed along the Nile, using the soil to produce food for themselves and their animals.

Where is the source of the River Nile?

  • Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake, is generally thought of as the source of the River Nile. On the northern edge of the lake, water pours over a waterfall, known as Ripon Falls, into a narrow opening which some people believe is the beginning of the River Nile.

The true source of the River Nile

  • Ripon Falls may be the starting-point of the river, but the many streams that flow into Lake Victoria could claim to be the true source.
  • Much of Lake Victoria is surrounded by mountains with streams tumbling down into the lake. The largest tributary of Lake Victoria is the Kagera river. The Kagera and its tributary the Ruvubu, with its headwaters in Burundi, is now considered to be the true source of the Nile. It is from here that the Nile is measured as the world’s longest river.

What are the two main rivers that flow into the River Nile?

  • The River Nile is formed from the White Nile, which originates at Lake Victoria and the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. These rivers meet in Sudan and then go on their long journey northwards towards the sea.
  • The White Nile is a lot bigger than the Blue Nile, but because of losses along the way the it only contributes about 15% to the flow of the combined Nile. The Blue Nile, rising in Ethiopia, contributes about 85% to the flow of the Nile that passes through Egypt to the Mediterranean.

 

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