The Nile River is the longest river in the world. On this page of Interesting Africa Facts we list many facts about this amazing river. In this list you will find
information on such things as where the river begins and ends, why it has been so important throughout history, and the significance of the river especially to those who live
along it. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Interesting Nile River Facts
- It is the longest river in the world. It is approximately 4,160 miles (6,670 km) long.
- The Nile river flows from the high mountains in the middle regions of Africa north to the Nile delta.
- Near the Mediterranean Sea the river splits into two branches, the Rosetta Branch (to the west) and the Damietta (to the east). Both flow into the Mediterranean Sea.
- The name of the river (Nile) is derived from the Greek word "neilos" which means "river".
- There are two major branches of the Nile; they are the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile originates in East Africa, and the Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia. The two branches join at Khartoum (the capital city of Sudan located in North East Africa).
- The two major sources of the river are Lake Victoria which feeds the White Nile branch, and Lake Tana which feeds the Blue Nile branch.
- The rivers average discharge is approximately 300 million cubic meters per day.
- Ancient Egypt may have never become one of the greatest civilizations in history if it had not been for the Nile. Ancient Egypt relied on agriculture for its wealth and power.
- The Ancient Egyptians called the river Ar or Aur which means "black". They named it this because the annual flood left black sediment along the river banks.
- There are nine countries the Nile and its tributaries flow through. These countries are Egypt, Zaire, Tanzanian, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya.
- There are several major cities that are located along the edge of the Nile. These cities are Cairo, Thebes/Luxor, Khartoum, Gondokoro, Aswan, and Karnak.
- Many parts of the Niles banks are teeming with Crocodiles. They are the largest crocodiles in Africa.
- Numerous animals live in and around the river they include Nile crocodiles, Nile monitors, frogs, mongooses, turtles, tortoises, hippopotamus, wildebeest, baboons, and over three hundred species of birds.
- The fertile soil and water supplied by the Nile enabled ancient civilizations in Egypt to form and flourish. Before stopped by dams the Nile would overflow every year leaving deposits of rich soil along the banks.
- The river serves as a major source of transportation. This is especially true during the flood season when road transportation in many areas along the river is impossible.
- Major dams built on the Nile include the Aswan High Dam, Roseires Dam, Owen Falls Dam, and Sennar Dam.
- The Nile basin (the land area drained by the river) is very large. It includes areas in Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda.