The River Nile or Nile River is arguably one of the most famous rivers in not only Africa but the world as well. This colossal river is the longest river in Africa. It is also believed to be the longest or the second longest (after the Amazon) in the world. The river that has come to be known as the father of African rivers and the longest river in the world rises south of the Equator and flows northward through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea. The following are some mesmerizing facts about the Nile River, its relationship to Ancient Egypt, how long it is, the agriculture it supports and more and we hope you’ll find it interesting:
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10 mesmerizing Nile River Facts About
1. Its Origin Still Remains a Mystery
Every river always has a source. This may be a mountain spring or an underground source. However, the source of the Nile hasn’t been established. Several expeditions such as “The White Nile Expedition, 2014” attempted to finds its source. Nonetheless, lots of controversies still exist. The most likely starting point is believed to be in the Central region in Africa in either Burundi or Rwanda.
2. Its Exact Length is, Still Unknown
The Nile River has been in existence since time immemorial. In fact, it is believed to have played a major role in early civilisation. However, the exact length is not known to date. The approximations vary from 6.650 kilometres to 6,853km. This can be blamed on the fact that its origin still remains a mystery.
3. Has been a source of regional conflict
It may only be a natural water source; however, no river in history has caused so much political wrangles. It is believed that Egypt who fully depend on it always stir up political instability in Ethiopia as a way of stopping them (Ethiopia) from initiating projects such as irrigation or hydroelectricity dams along the river.
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4. Supports half the population of Egypt
The River Nile is so huge such that despite going through several countries it still manages to support half the population in Egypt. According to the last Census, the population of Egypt stood at about 82 million. The Nile is used to irrigate cotton fields, horticultural farms, fishing and transportation
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5. Also known as the “Black river”
If you went to Egypt, you may have a hard time finding the Nile River in some regions. Not because it doesn’t exist, but simply due to another name. It is also referred to as “Aur or Ar” which means Black in Egyptian. The name comes about from the black sediment left behind by the river.
More Mesmerising River Nile Facts
6. River with Many Names
The Nile is arguably the most famous name for the river. However, owing to its many tributaries and distributaries, the name will change from one region to another. In Sudan you may hear it being referred to as Bahr al Ghazal. Downwards it will be known as Bahr el Abyad. In Ethiopia it starts as Bahr el Jabal before becoming Sobat. Other names include Aur, Atbara, The White Nile, Yellow Nile, or Blue Nile.
7. Governed by a pre-colonial Agreement
The economic importance of the river has been noted since the beginning. The people at the lower side of the river feared that the people at the source would deprive them of water. To come up with a sort of equitable distribution, the Nile treaty was formed. It governs how the water is to be distributed among the countries along the river.
8. Early Civilisation Began here
Time and again, historical artefacts have been discovered inside and also near the river. A closer observation reveals that early civilisation could have started from here. Currently, major towns in Egypt are located along its bank. The most important being Cairo the Capital City. The Nile Bridge is the most famous attraction on the river.
9. Known as the International River
Of the many long rivers, the Nile takes the crown for winding through many countries. This is basically why it is known as the “international River”. It goes through eleven countries. These are Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Egypt.
10. Home to the Nile crocodile
The Nile River is home to the world-famous Nile crocodile. This is a type of crocodile only found in the river. It normally attains a length of 4 metres on maturity. Nonetheless, longer species have also been recorded. Well, the above River Nile facts have certainly shined new light on this phenomenon river. It plays a very important role in the economies of many countries along its banks. It provides drinking water, fishing grounds and also a mode of transport. It is used for the production of hydroelectricity; for instance Sennar Dam in Sudan and Aswan High Dam in Egypt.