Located in North Africa, the River Nile is one of the most famous rivers in the world. Egyptians have relied on this river since ancient times for irrigation and transport. Here are 12 interesting facts about the River Nile.
Although traditionally considered the longest river in the world, the starting point of the river is disputed often, and many people consider the Amazon River to be the longest in the world.
The Nile flows through eleven different countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It goes north for about 6,650km (4,132 miles).
Humans are only one of the many species that rely on the Nile, as it flows through a wide variety of ecosystem across its course. Hippopotamuses, which were once common through the Nile system, are found only in the Al Sudd region and to the south currently. The Nile crocodile is one of the largest crocodiles on the planet and is found in most parts of the river. Other reptiles such as around thirty species of snakes, soft-shelled turtles and three species of monitor lizards are also found in the Nile basin.
The White Nile and the Blue Nile are two major tributaries of the Nile.
The name of this extraordinary river originates from the Greek Neilos.
The Nile crocodile is one of the largest crocodiles on the planet and is found in most parts of the river. These crocodiles are responsible for the deaths of many people each year. Although their habitat has shrunk over the years, these reptiles could be found as far up as the Nile Delta at one point in time.
The Ancient Egyptians created an accurate calendar because the flooding of the Nile River was such a regular annual event.
“May you always drink from the Nile” is a common Egyptian blessing to this day.
The Aswan High Dam was completed in 1970. It curbed the river’s floods and provides around half Egypt’s power.
Hapi was the Ancient Egyptian God of the Nile. “Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes” and “Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation” were some of the titles that he was known by. Hapi was honoured for the floods which brought fertility to the lands.
The river discharges about 300 million cubic meters of water (10.5 billion cubic feet) every day.
The Nile Delta region is home to over 40 million people (which is around half of the population of Egypt).
Do you know any fun or interesting facts about the River Nile that we’ve missed? Share them in the comments section below!