The Nile River

Nile River

The Nile River is the world’s longest river (6,650 km or 4,130 miles) and a major north-flowing river in North-East Africa. The Nile River has two major tributaries: the White Nile and the Blue Nile. 80% of the water in Egypt comes from the Blue Nile and its Ethiopian highland source. The White Nile rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source in central Burundi. Its tributaries and lakes connect 10 countries to what is known as the Nile River Basin. They are: Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt.

The two rivers meet in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and from there it heads north winding its way through the deserts of northern Sudan, into one of the world's largest dams (Lake Nasser) and then into Egypt. Its fertile banks widen as more canals disperse its waters into farming and residential areas and splits after Cairo (Egypt’s capital) into two major branches: the Rosetta and Damietta branches, forming a huge fertile delta where most of Egypt’s people live and work. The Nile flows through those two towns and finally enters the Mediterranean Sea.

Travelling along the river has been an attraction for adventurers for thousands of years. Herodotus (450 B.C.) tells us that Egypt is the "gift of the Nile". Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1897), of Sherlock Holme fame, didn't have a particularly good trip through to southern Egypt, yet Florence Nightingale (1849) was at home along the Nile.

You can travel, with some challenging border experiences, from the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains in Ethiopia, up what is known as the Blue Nile. There are trains that run from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea to Aswan, the most southerly point along the Nile in Egypt. A ferry traverses Lake Nasser from Aswan to Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan and air-conditioned buses transport you quickly to Khartoum. Full microbuses can get you to the Sudanese border with Ethiopia (Metema). Yet other full microbuses can get you to Bahir Dar at the main source of the Blue Nile, or to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capital city), crossing the Nile on your way.

All 3 countries offer wonderful cultural and historical experiences. We are equipped to assist you in all these countries and can advise and connect you to local guides who can help you cross the borders.

At this stage in time, it is very challenging to travel south along the White Nile from Khartoum to Juba in southern Sudan and across to the major source of the White Nile, Lake Victoria, which touches Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Egypt ethiopia sudan Sudan Ethiopia Red Sea Mediterranean Sea Egypt Nile River