What is the longest river in Africa?
For centuries, the longest river in Africa provided water and fertile land for the creation of the Egyptian civilisation.
The Nile river flows northward crossing 10 countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. It drains into the Mediterranean Sea, forming the great Nile Delta; the cities of Cairo and Alexandria are located on the delta.
One of the most important sources of the Nile river is Lake Victoria, which is also the source of many other rivers. However, the main source of the Nile is the Kagera river.
Two water courses form the Nile:
- The Blue Nile and the Atbara river, which flow from the Ethiopian Highlands.
- The White Nile, including the headstreams that flow into Lake Victoria and Lake Albert until the merger with the Blue Nile and Atbara rivers.
The Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second longest river in the world, with 6,695 kilometres. Its basin spans 3,349,000 square kilometres, approximately 10% of the surface area of Africa.
The Nile river flows through a significant portion of the African continent and has generated numerous ecological relationships among the different populations, with broad ethnic diversity. In addition, the Nile river is used as a waterway for transport, and in some areas such as South Sudan, travelling is only possible through the Nile between the months of May and November, because of flooding.