Ancient Egypt

The River Nile Facts

The Nile is famous as the longest river in the world. The river got its name from the Greek word Neilos, which means valley. The Nile floods the lands in Egypt, leaving behind black sediment. That's why the ancient Egyptians named the river Ar, meaning black.

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The Nile River

Satellite photo of the Nile

Here are some more river Nile facts:

How long is the Nile River? - The Nile River is actually 6695 kilometers (4184 miles) long. With such a long length, the Nile River is speculated to be the longest river in the world. The Amazon River runs a very close second, although it has been difficult to determine which is actually longer. River Nile facts state it winds from Uganda to Ethiopia, flowing through a total of nine countries. While the Nile River is often associated with Egypt, it actually touches Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan, as well as Egypt. It's only recent that the first known navigation team successfully followed the river from beginning to its end.

The banks of the Nile

The banks of the Nile

How did the ancient Egyptians use the Nile River? - The Nile River has played an extremely important role in the civilization, life and history of the Egyptian nation. One of the most well known river Nile facts is the river's ability to produce extremely fertile soil, which made it easy for cities and civilizations to spring up alongside the banks of the Nile. The fertile soil is contributed by the annual spring floods, when the Nile River overflows onto the banks. Much of the Egyptian nation consists of dry desert land. Throughout most of the year, very little rain falls on Egyptian deserts. This has remained true for thousands of years. The abundant Nile River provided much needed irrigation, even in ancient times. This waterway also provided a source of drinking water, and source of irrigation for farming as well as papyrus reeds that could be used for a variety of purposes such as paper and building materials.

Nile Crocodile Facts - The Nile Crocodile has been a major component of the Egyptian culture and way of life since the first Egyptians settled along the fertile banks of the Nile. Most Nile Crocodiles are approximately 4 meters in length, although some have been reported as longer. The animals make their nests along the banks of the Nile River, where the female may lay up to 60 eggs at one time. Some three months later the babies are born and are taken to the water by their mother. They will remain with her for at least two years before reaching maturity.

Not only is the Nile River one of the main rivers of Egypt, but many would in fact; say it is the primary river of Egypt. The Nile River has certainly played a critical role in the history of this mysterious nation.

Today, exotic and sophisticated cities like Cairo grace the banks of the Nile River, as they have for thousands of years. Individuals interested in experiencing the Nile up close and personal can journey along the famous river aboard riverboat cruises that depart from numerous cities along the bank.

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