What Is The Source Of The River Nile?

The banks of the River Nile in Aswan, Egypt.

The Nile River flows through the northeastern part of Africa. It is the longest river in the world (although some sources rank it as the second longest after the Amazon River). The Nile is an international river with its drainage basin covering eleven countries throughout northeastern Africa. It is the main source of water in Egypt and Sudan. The Nile covers a distance of about 4,132 miles and has a drainage basin of approximately 1.3 square miles. The river has two main tributaries known as the White and Blue Niles. The White Nile is the headstream and the main stream of the Nile while the Blue Nile supplies most of the waters and silt (clay that is deposited as sediment).

Course Of The River Nile

In Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, the section of the Nile is called White Nile. The term White Nile is used to highlight the area separating Lake No and Khartoum. The White Nile meets the Blue Nile at Khartoum. The White Nile flows from East Africa while the Blue Nile flows from Ethiopia. Both tributaries are located on the left side of the Great Rift Valley. The northern section of the Nile passes through Sudan to Egypt and results in a large delta before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The White Nile is approximately 510 miles long.

Sources Of The Nile River

Although the river has multiple sources, the Nile Proper originates from from Lake Victoria. The Nile starts in Jinja, Uganda, at the shore of Lake Victoria and flows northwards over Ripon Falls into Lake Kyoga. The Victoria Nile then flows out towards the western direction before emptying into Lake Albert through its northern end. The water of Victoria Nile mixes with the lake waters and pass northwards as Albert Nile. The Nile enters South Sudan and proceeds to Juba where it is called Al-Jabal River. The White Nile enters Sudan below Renk and proceeds north to the capital where it joins the Blue Nile. In Cairo, the Nile splits into two major distributaries, the Rosetta and Damietta, and forms the Nile Delta.

Tributaries Of The Nile River

A tributary is a river or stream that flows into a larger river or lake. Atbara River is one of the major tributaries of the Nile. The river originates from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and is about 500 miles long. However, Atbara only flows during the rainy seasons in Ethiopia and dries rapidly. The Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile, originates from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows for about 875 miles to Khartoum where it joins White Nile to form the Nile. About 90% of the Nile water originates in Ethiopia. Other major tributaries include the Yellow Nile Bahr el Ghazal and Sobat River which are the main tributaries of White Nile and the Yellow Nile.


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