The Nile river has contributed much to human history and continues to do so. Millions of lives depend on this river to live.
For numerous people, this river provides essentials, such as freshwater food and transportation. It is the major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa and flows into the Mediterranean Sea.
This is the longest river in Africa and is the primary water source of several countries, like Egypt, South Sudan, and Sudan. So, in this article, we will now explore some amazing facts about the Nile River of Africa.
Interesting Nile River Facts:
The longest river in Africa:
The Nile River is known as the longest river in Africa. Historically, it has been regarded as the longest river in the world. However, several researchers have contested this thought, indicating that the Amazon River is a little longer.
The river Nile is about 4130 miles or 6650 km long. It flows from the Great Lakes of Africa, crosses the Sahara Desert, and flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Unlike any other river, the Nile covers eleven countries, draining almost 10% of the entire Africa. However, the claims are still not confirmed.
Egypt and the Nile River:
The Nile river is the most significant in the evolution and history of Egyptian civilization. This river flows throughout Egypt and is the country’s major water source.
As most of Egypt is a desert-like area, and rainfall is not dense in this area, the river Nile still works as a vital source of food, water, and energy for millions of people in this region.
The country wouldn’t have prospered without the resources provided by this river. The people of Egypt depend on the waters of this river for fishing and agricultural purposes.
The starting and ending point of the river Nile:
There are several theories about the origin of this important and ancient river. One of those theories indicates that this river starts its flow from the area of Lake Victoria. However, it is also said that the Kagera River is the biggest feeder and the real Nile River source.
However, scientists are still trying to find the source of the Nile River. After flowing through nine different countries, such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt, this river merges into the Mediterranean Sea.
The origin of its name:
The name of this river, ‘Nile,’ originated from ‘neilos’, a Greek word that refers to ‘valley.’ During Egyptian civilization, this river was known as ‘Aur’ or ‘Ar.’
These two words have the same meaning, which is ‘black.’ Before entering Egypt, this river covers nine other countries and finally enters the northern edge of Egypt.
The two major tributaries of the Nile:
The Nile River has two major tributaries: the White and Blue Nile. The names of these tributaries came from the silt deposition amount made by the river.
The White Nile is regarded as the headwaters stream, though the Blue Nile is the actual source of most amounts of the water of the Nile River, containing almost 80% of the silt and water.
The routes of the Blue and White Nile:
The Blue Nile starts at Ethiopia’s Lake Tana and continues to flow into Sudan from the southeast. The White Nile is a bit longer and rises in the Great Lakes region. It starts at Lake Victoria and goes through South Sudan and Uganda.
These two rivers form the main Nile River at Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. Also, both of these tributaries play a vital role in ensuring the constant water flow of the river Nile throughout the year.
The river Nile once had a longer course:
In ancient times, the Nile was much longer during the Miocene Epoch, 23 and 5.3 million years ago.
At that time, the headwaters of this river stretched to the far south of Zambia. Also, Lake Tanganyika emptied its waters into the Nile until several volcanic eruptions cut the river off from the lake.
The Nile River is Egypt’s lifeline:
The river Nile is often regarded as the lifeline of Ancient Egypt. This is right because the country wouldn’t have prospered without the vital resources offered by the Nile river. Then, a lot of Egyptians built houses in proximity to the river.
Those people used the water of this river for preparing food, drinking purposes, fishing, and agriculture. Moreover, this river is the main source of water supply not only in Egypt but also supports around ten percent of the water supply of the entire Africa.
The Age of this river:
The age of the river Nile can be traced back to a really early time, like 3000 BC. According to several archeological shreds of evidence, it has been established that people used to practice farming along the banks of this river.
Moreover, the history of ancient Egypt and Egyptian civilization is associated with this famous and significant river. Also, the development of Papyrus is even credited to this river.
Centuries ago, tine reeds grew along the river beds of the Nile. People of ancient Egypt harnessed these reeds to create papyrus that could be used instead of paper for relaying messages and writing books.
The Nile expedition and the Rosetta Stone:
Back in 2004, explorers began the White Nile Expedition. This navigation was unique, and this river’s total length was assessed. This expedition continued for more than 134 days, and this journey started in Uganda and ended in Rosetta.
In 1787, the famous Rosetta stone was discovered in the Delta of the Nile River. This artifact was vital in our modern assessment of Egyptian hieroglyphics and paintings.
The Delta and the population of Egypt:
More than 50% of the population of Egypt lives around and in the Delta of the Nile River. Situated in Northern Egypt, this Delta is mainly the draining spot of the river Nile. The Nile Delta is rich in nutrients and silt, and hence, this part is ideal for agriculture.
This Delta is 164 km in length and 240 km in width. The silt deposition of the Nile River is created from chunks of rocks, boulders, and plant debris. This silt is one of the richest soils in the world as it is rich in minerals.
The Aswan Dam:
The journey of the Nile River started around five million years ago and played a significant role in the history of Egypt.
This river floods its bank every year, so the submerged land becomes more fertile yearly. However, Egypt also faced the loss of various damages and loss of lives because of this flood.
The construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile started in 1960 and controlled the annual flood by the 1970s. This Dam helped the inhabitants of that area to use the natural water source for various household activities.
The annual flood of the river Nile helps farmers:
Yearly floods are frequent in the Nile River. From the early date to recent times, you can notice that this river has changed its original course and shifted a bit. During the annual fold, this river was used to deposit fertile soil on the river banks of Egypt.
After the flood water dried up, the people of Egypt used this land full of fertile soil for cultivating crops. These floods helped the entire civilization to produce high-quality crops every year and even to transport their products to other lands.
Vegetation along the Nile River:
A wide variety of plants or vegetation makes this place a perfect tropical rainforest area that is covered with thick forest patches.
Here you can see different types of trees, like bamboo, rubber, coffee shrub, banana, and ebony, with patches of savanna and mixed woodland. Also, the grass ground is covered with mixed herbs and perennial thorny trees.
In the rainy season, this land becomes very swampy, and this area is desirable for growing tall grasses.
Animals along the Nile River:
You can see animals like hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles, and antelopes in this area. The crocodiles that can be seen in the Nile basin are famous as the largest species in the world that can gallop almost half the weight of its body in a single sitting.
Here, you can also find other animals, like snakes, soft-shelled turtles, lizards, mambas, and the famous Nile crocodile.
Inhabitants of Cairo deeply revered the crocodiles as god’s worldly manifestation. Live crocodiles or ‘Petsuchos’ are decorated with jewelry and worshiped in temples.
A perfect place for tourists:
The Nile is a great tourist destination for people visiting Egypt. Many cruises offer many attractive deals on river tours. Also, the Nile River is an important part of modern Egypt.
Many significant transport routes are developed through this river, which also mainly meets the water demand and irrigation of the country of Egypt.
As the Nile River has an incredible length, it flows through many areas inhabited by several indigenous people. Those tribes have their own languages.
The people near Sahara speak Arabic, people near Lake Victoria speak Bantu, and inhabitants of South Sudan speak Nilotic.
Therefore, the Nile River has played a vital role in shaping people’s culture, history, and livelihoods in Northeastern Africa for several thousands of years.
At the end of this article, we learned about 17 amazing facts about this fascinating river. These facts offer us a clear picture of our planet’s important natural resource, the Nile River. To know more, you may visit our website.
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