African Nile river

Nile river
African One of the longest rivers in the world

As one of the longest rivers in the world, traversing through more than 9 African countries, The Nile is one of the most important rivers in Africa.

When the River Nile is mentioned one would quickly relate it to Egypt. It had a spiritual connotation for the ancient Egyptians as well as the Pharaohs.

Egypt is in a desert climate that greatly depended on this river for its major developments. Egyptians used the water for irrigation and building the pyramids too.

Rich soil deposits along the banks of the Nile have also allowed people to farm. It has indeed played an important role in Egypt’s civilization.

Most of Egypt’s developments are located along the banks of the River Nile. After crossing over 9 countries and a desert, the River Nile finally drains into the Mediterranean Sea.

Astonishing facts About Nale River

1. The River Nile is believed to be the longest river in the world

The Nile is 4,132 miles long. It flows from Lake Victoria in East Africa up north through the Sahara Desert and finally drains into the Mediterranean Sea.

Some challenge this thought of it being the longest river and have been searching for its main source, some stating that it starts from a stream in Rwanda. It is without a doubt the longest river in Africa. 

Some scientists believe that River Nile is longer than the Amazon River which is 3,997 miles long.

2. The River Nile passes through 9 African Countries

The River Nile goes through Tanzania (its source), Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. This ‘route’ is famously known as the Nile Delta.

Part of the River Nile that flows north flows through South Sudan and Sudan then to Egypt.

It also flows through Egypt’s capital Cairo and the city of Alexandria which is by the Mediterranean Sea.

The annual flooding that happens at the Nile has been a blessing to the communities living by its banks. This is because the rich soil deposits went to farms along the bank.

Most historical sites in Egypt and Sudan are found along the banks of the River Nile. This says a lot about the significance of this river.

3. The River Nile was sacred to ancient Egyptians

This river played a very important role in the lives of ancient Egyptians.

They used the river water levels to plan their calendar. Their year began in mid-July when the river flooded.

Since the soil deposits during the flooding season were black, the Egyptians called it aur, meaning the mud that gave life. It was a source of life for them because they farmed there.

The crocodiles of the Nile were also honoured. They were seen as an earthly manifestation of a god.

A crocodile was kept in a temple and it was adorned in jewellery. When it died, they would replace it with another one. It was named Petsuchos.

4. The annual floods make the banks of the River Nile very fertile

The Nile River floods annually, this is welcomed by the communities that live by its banks.

The floods keep the soil along the river fertile and perfect for farming. It is through this that Egypt was able to develop through agriculture.

Known as one of the richest silt deposits in the world, the River Nile has greatly contributed to the civilization of Egypt.

This black deposit made the people call it the Black River. Egypt is a fairly dry country, thanks to the Nile that never dries up, and its economy and development have never stalled. The river was also used to transport goods to other far places.

5. There are two other Nile Rivers

Although this is the main Nile, there are other tributaries. The Lower Nile also known as the Blue Nile, floods during summer. It also flows throughout summer and supplies about 60% of its water to the River Nile.

The White Nile is the other tributary, it starts from Lake Victoria and its water remains steady all year round.

As it traverses the Ethiopian highlands, the Atbara river, the White Nile tributary drains its waters to the Nile before it gets to Egypt.

There is also the Yellow Nile which was a distributary of the Nile River, unfortunately, the Yellow Nile dried up. 

6. River Nile led to human development along its banks

The ever-flowing River Nile led to permanent human settlements along its banks. It was around 6000 BCE when the first human settlers moved there.

According to historical facts, the settlement was officially recognized as a state in 3150 BCE.

As the population grew, so did the culture making it rich and complex. Egypt was the most dominant nation for more than 3000 years along the Mediterranean Sea.

Today, Egypt is home to more than 50 million people and a majority of the population lives along the Nile.

7. Egyptian Cotton is grown along River Nile

A Greek historian, Herodotus, was famously quoted for saying that Egypt was the gift of the Nile.

He came up with this phrase because the river is ever-flowing and sustains millions of lives along its course.

River Nile is also credited for the civilization of Egypt. The rich black soil has been used to grow cotton, wheat and other crops that are for export.

Egyptian Cotton is very popular; you probably own a pair of comfortable bed sheets made in Egypt.

The papyrus growing along the banks of the river was used to make paper. Ancient Egyptians had a famous song praising the river for its miracles.

8. Ancient Egyptians believed the River Nile led to the afterlife

The Nile River was an important part of Egyptian spiritual life. They believed that it was the pathway between life and death.

For this reason, they built all tombs on the west side of the Nile. Egyptians believed the west bank was the place of death since the sunset in the west.

The east was believed to be the place of birth. Their sun god was called ra.

Another god associated with the River Nile was the god Hapi, he was the god of the floods. It was believed that both the hapi and the pharaoh controlled the floods.

9. The River Nile provided water used to construct the great pyramids

Egypt is known for its majestic and towering Pyramids. They were used as tombs for the pharaohs. Ancient Egyptians used bricks and rocks to build them.

The bigger the pyramid, the higher the status of the king. This required more bricks and water. 

They used the water from the River Nile to build the pyramids and other historic structures in Egypt.

To have a constant supply of water to the construction sites, they dug dykes that took water through the canal. The canals were later used by ships and boats.

10. The River Nile is one of the tourist attractions in Egypt

The Nile is a much-loved tourist destination for people visiting Egypt. Several boat cruises take tourists on a tour of the Nile.

Most tours use the Luxor and Aswan routes. It usually takes about three or four nights. At night, one gets to see illuminated temples and monuments under a starry night.

During the day, there is more to see such as farmlands and other rural scenes that have remained unchanged for several years.

11. Worship of Crocodiles

The folks who live close to the Nile do not share your fear of the dangerous crocodiles. These species often referred to as Nile Crocodiles, are incredibly prevalent in the city of Faiyum (formerly known as Shedet).

The people of this Cairo-area city held the crocodile in high regard since they believed it to be the earthly embodiment of god. Live crocodiles, known as “Petsuchos” locally, are venerated in temples and adorned with jewellery. When they pass away, a similar species of crocodile takes its place.

12. Multiple Languages

The Nile travels through several different regions that are home to indigenous people because of its length.

These tribes speak various languages, contrary to popular belief. The people of South Sudan speak Nilotic, whereas those living near the Sahara speak Arabic and those living near Lake Victoria speak Bantu.

13. A Symbol of Afterlife

Osiris, an Egyptian God, was allegedly deceived and murdered by his brother Set in accordance with Egyptian mythology. He was killed by Set, who then dismembered him and dumped his body parts in the Nile. The deceased spouse of Osiris’ wife couldn’t be fully recovered when she sought him.

He is thought to have evolved into a deity of the afterlife and death since he was not reborn. The Nile is frequently seen as a symbol of the afterlife as a result of Osiris’ connections to the river. Its western portion is considered to represent death, while its eastern portion is thought to represent life.

14. It’s a very old river

The Nile River has been documented as far back as 3000 BC. A quality amount of farming was done along the banks of this river, according to the archaeological data. Furthermore, this vast river is linked to the entirety of ancient Egyptian culture.

15. More than 50% of Egypt’s Population Lives in the Delta

You did get that right! The Nile Delta and its surrounding areas are home to more than half of Egypt’s population. This Delta, which is situated in Northern Egypt, is where the Nile River empties. It covers a length of 164 km and a breadth of 240 km (width). The Nile Delta is excellent for farming since it is rich in fertilizers and silt.

Every river is important for the nearby people and wildlife habitat, but the Nile continues to loom big due to its historical importance and current cultural prominence.