River Nile

Countries: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt,Uganda, Congo-Kinshasa,Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda,Burundi, South Sudan,Eritrea
Length: 4,258 mi
Discharge: 99,940 cubic feet per second
Mouth: Mediterranean Sea
Sources: White Nile, Blue Nile
Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, More
Cities: Cairo, Khartoum, Jinja, Juba
Bridges: Qasr al-Nil Bridge, 6th October Bridge, Desouk Bridge, Aswan Bridge

The Nile river is one of the world’s great waterways; at 4,180 miles (6,695 kilometers) generally regarded as the longest river in the world and among the most culturally significant natural formations in human history. Flowing northward from remote sources in the mountains of Ethiopia and central Africa and draining into the Mediterranean Sea; it seasonally floods over millennia to provide life-giving fertile soils and irrigation for Egypt’s people. The drainage basin of the Nile encompasses about 10 percent of the area of Africa.

In Egypt, the River 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 this river, using the soil to produce food for themselves and their animals.

Like the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia in modern Iraq, the Nile provided a hospitable environment for the emergence of one of the earliest and most dominant civilizations in history. The river and its annual inundations played an important role in ancient Egyptian religion and cosmology. Most of the population of Egypt since ancient times and all its cities except those near the coast lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of ancient Egypt are found along its banks.

In modern times, the ten nations in the Nile Basin face perhaps their greatest challenge as they confront escalating demands for water, economic opportunities, and hydroelectric power. Pressed by their growing populations and water needs and projected drops in water flow as a result of climate change, all ten Nile basin countries have joined in a 1999 accord “to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.”