Nile River Map
The Nile River flows for 6.700 kilometers through ten countries in northeastern Africa – Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya,Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Egypt – before reaching the Mediterranean, and is the longest international river system in the world – see, Nile River Map.
Nile River Facts
Its two main tributaries converge at Khartoum: the White Nile, which originates from Burundi and flows through the Equatorial Lakes, provides a small but steady flow that is fed by the eternal snows of the Ruwenzori (the ‘ rain giver’) mountains, while the Blue Nile, which suffers from high seasonal fluctuations, descends from the lofty Ethiopian ‘water tower’ highlands. They provide 86 per cent of the waters of the Nile – Blue Nile 59 per cent, Baro-Akobo (Sobat) 14 per cent, Tekesse (Atbara) 13 per cent – while the contribution from the Equatorial Lakes region is only 14 per cent.” As many as 263 million people were thought to be living in the Nilotic countries in 1993, which are among the poorest in the world, with an average of US$282 gross national product (GNP) per capita in 1994.
About half the total population was estimated to be dependent on the Nile, whose average annual runoff is comparatively modest for such a mighty and vitally important river. In addition, the flow from the Ethiopian tributaries fluctuates greatly between the wet and dry seasons, which means that the water reaching Egypt also varies considerably: from 104 billion cubic metres in a good year like 1946 to, for instance, only 45 billion in 1913, when poor rains were experienced.
Moreover, the average annual flow of the Nile has declined at Aswan in Egypt: from 1.100 billion cubic metres during 1870–99, down to 84 billion during 1899–1954 and to 81 billion during 1954–96.
The Historical Role of the Nile River
As is well known, the Nile enabled ancient civilizations to flourish inits lower reaches in Egypt – also, for that matter, in its upper and middle reaches at Meroe and Auxum – and for the inhabitants this was a holy river, revered as the God Hapi. The famous Greek historian Herodotus wrote in the fifth century B.C, ‘Egypt is the gift of the Nile’, and the dependence of the rapidly growing nation on the river has not diminished. Since time immemorial Egyptians have made most use of the waters of the Nile.
Nile River Map and Where it Located?
Cruise The Nile of Cleopatra For centuries
The Nile River has been at the center of life in Egypt. The ancient Egyptian civilization relied on the flooding of the Nile to create fertile land for farming in an otherwise desert landscape. Excavations along the Nile have unearthed vast quantities of archeological remnants from ancient times and a leisurely cruise along the Nile takes you through this ancient populated area that is so steeped in history. And remember, you are following a royal route; the pharaohs and Queen Cleopatra cruised the Nile!
A cruise along Nile is an excellent way of visiting scattered archeological sites in a country with less than spectacular roads and airline service. In fact, some quality travel agents recommend cruising as the preferred method of transportation in Egypt.
The best time of year to enjoy a Nile cruise is winter, from December to February, due to the hot desert climate. Think of the romance of a leisurely cruise through such an ancient and historic land.
The banks of the Nile are lined with ancient monuments and unusual sites, like banana plantations. Excursions to other famous locations, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the kings in the city of Luxor, are available on most cruises. Other towns that can be touring stops are Aswan, Kom Ombo and Edfu. Knowledgeable local guides are available and are recommended to explain the finer points of each site.