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What Countries Does the Nile River Run Through?

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. August 9, 2021
What Countries Does the Nile River Run Through?

The Nile River is the longest river in Africa at 6,853 kilometers long. Although it has been contested over the years, it is considered the longest river in the world. The Nile flows in a northern direction until it empties out into the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea. This river was fundamental for the development of the first communities that settled in the area. Since that time, this area has developed into nations. If you want to know what countries does the river Nile run through, be sure to read this oneHOWTO article.

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  1. History of the river Nile
  2. Countries the river Nile runs through
  3. The course of the river Nile

History of the river Nile

The Nile river was fundamental for the birth and development of the Ancient Egyptian civilization. The vast majority of its cities were located in the Nile valley and the Nile Delta. The Egyptian civilization knew well how to take advantage of this river and its power.

The Nile overflowed every year, making its banks very fertile in the process. Due to this circumstance, the Egyptians could grow enough food for their people, while avoiding famines at the same time. This is something many other settlements could not do and is one small part of why Egypt became so powerful in the ancient world. The Nile river also provided a seemingly unlimited supply of fish. It also attracted water buffalo and, later, camels. The latter were introduced by the Persians in the 7th century BCE.

The resources of the Nile also made it possible for the Egyptians to have good relations with other countries. The wealth they were able to accumulate afforded them a stable army, not improvised militias as happened in neighboring regions.

If it were not for the overflowing of the Nile River, Egyptian civilization would probably not have developed in the way it did. To know more about the areas which surround rivers, take a look at our article on what is a river delta?

Countries the river Nile runs through

The Nile River, as we said, is the largest river in the world. Although longer than its nearest rival, the Amazon river, the Nile has less than half of its drainage area and only a fraction of its water discharge amount. Despite these facts, the Nile runs through more countries in total. The Amazon runs through 7, while the Nile runs through the following 11 countries:

  • Burundi
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Eritrea
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

If you want to know more about the African continent, take a look at our related article on how many countries are there in Africa?

What Countries Does the Nile River Run Through? - Countries the river Nile runs through

The course of the river Nile

Since ancient times, many expeditions have tried to find the source of the River Nile. However, it was not until the 17th Century when the first academic work on the source of the Nile was published. This research was written by the Jesuit priest Pedro Páez.

Before Páez, some other Europeans claimed to have visited the source, but it is not documented. Generally, when speaking of the source of the river Nile, it is usually in reference to the White Nile, but we must not forget the Blue Nile. When they both join with each other in Khartoum, they give rise to the Nile River. Let's see what is the full course of the Nile River:

  • The White Nile: has different sources. If we continue to the exact origin, we would trace its path from the Luvironza river to the Kagera river. After flowing into Lake Victoria, the body of water follows a course of rapids and waterfalls and empties into Lake Alberto. Together, these waterways form the White Nile which continues its journey to Khartoum, the place where it will converge with the Blue Nile.
  • The Blue Nile: rises from Lake Tana, in Ethiopia. About fifty smaller tributaries reach this lake. The largest of all those tributaries is called the Blue Nile by local populations.
  • The middle Nile: only has the Atbarah River as a tributary. This section is an arid and dry region, 1800 km long, characterized by its six waterfalls.
  • The lower Nile: is generally considered to be made up of the Nile Delta and all the fertile lands that border it. This entire area is characterized by a series of canals that irrigate the valley. Finally, the river flows into the Mediterranean Sea, specifically in its extreme southeast.

If you liked knowing these details about which countries the Nile River crosses and its total course, you may also be interested in knowing more about rivers in general. For more information on the subject, take a look at our related article on why do some rivers flow faster than others?

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What Countries Does the Nile River Run Through?