The nil

title of this article is ambiguous. For further meanings see Nile (term clarifying).
length: 6,671 km
source: Luvironza
(highest source river of the white Nile)
source height: Rwandese source river ~ 2,700 m and. NN
source river of Burundi ~??? m and. NN
delta: North of Cairo into the Mediterranean
muzzle height: 0.00 m and. NN
difference in height: ~ 2,700 m
catchment area: ~ 2.876 millions (Source river of Burundi) km ²
inhabitants in the catchment area:
Countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, the Sudan and Egypt
large cities: Alexandria, Aswan, Atbara, Bahri, Fajum, Giseh, Jinja, Dschuba, Cairo, Kampala, Khartum, Kigali, Kusti, Luxor, Malakal, Omdurman, Port Said, Rabak, Tanta
middle cities: Aluminium-Mahallat aluminium-Kubra, Asyut, Banha, Beni Suef, Bur, Damanhur, Damietta, Heliopolis, Helwan, Imbaba, Ismailia, Kafr asch Schaich, Mansura, Minya, Qena, Sohag, Are aluminium-Qaum, Wadi Halfa, Zagazig
of rights of tributaries: Sobat, blue one Nile, Atbara
left tributaries: Bahr aluminium-Ghazal
Important bridges:
Navigable: km
Satellitenaufnahmen of the Nile
Nillandschaft in Oberägypten
Nile landscape in Oberägypten
the Nile with Aswan 2002
Aswan dam

the Nile (arab. بحرالنيل, Bahr aluminium-Nīl) is a river in Africa.

The Nile rises in the mountains of Rwanda and Burundi and flows into the Mediterranean. Between them it flows through the areas of six states: Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, the Sudan and Egypt. Particularly for Egypt the Nile has paramount economic meaning.

At 6.671 km length is the Nile the longest or secondarylongest river of the earth, there the length of the Amazon - depending upon definition -between 6.500 km and 7,200 km one indicates. The inaccurate indication is based on the fact that the source river of the Amazon is to be determined not clearly.

See also for this: The longest rivers of the earth

table of contents

river courses, - lengthens andCatchment area

the Nile possesses two source rivers so mentioned - the shorter blue ones Nile and the substantially longer, actual white one Nile.

source rivers

the main river of the Nile, the white Nile, Akagera Nile develops from the source rivers ,that often only Kagera Nile is called and in the valleys of the mountains by Rwanda and Tanzania from two source rivers is fed:

  1. “Source river of Burundi”, that in Burundi rises
  2. “Rwandese source river”, from that in Rwanda rises

source river of Burundi: Luvironza Ruvuvu Ruvusu Akagera

The Luvironza Ruvuvu Ruvusu Akagera forms the southernmost and longest source river of the entire Nile: This river course is from the source to the delta 6,671 km long; its catchment area covers 2.870.000 km ² (other data, which are to be found in the most diverse media, report ofeven 6,693 km and 2.881.000 km ²); only the Congo, which is the water-richest river of Africa, has a still larger catchment area in Africa. Because the Nile of the source of the Luvironza out measured altogether longer and more largely than that following“Rwandese source river mentioned” is, represents it the actual source river of the Nile .

The source “source river of Burundi”, whatever the southernmost of the Nile and of the Nile delta and/or. furthest from the delta of the Nile is, lies into thateastern border mountains East Africa niches of the Grabenbruchs and/or. in the southern high mountains of Burundi. It is about 45 km east the Tanganjikasees between Bururi and Rutana; its source brook is called Luvironza. From there out this flows over the Ruvuvu, which also Ruwubu or Ruwuwu is called, and over the Ruvusu, which is navigable on the last kilometers, toward the north and length Akagera after 350 km ( continuation see further below) is called.

Rwandese source river: Rukarara Nyabarongo

The Rukarara Nyabarongo forms the northern and shorter source river of the entire Nile. It is considered as one of the two source rivers of the white Nile. The source of the Rukarara was discovered in the year 1898 by smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Kandt.

Its source area is appropriate for approximately 185 kmfurther north, as those of the “source river of Burundi” specified before. The source, SOURCE you Nile (source of Nile) mentioned (therefore it a mineral water named Nile) is appropriate in southern Rwanda likewise in the eastern border mountains East Africa niches of the ditch. It is inabout 2,700 m height in the Nyungwe forest about 40 km southeast the Kiwusees, which often also Kivusee is called. From there out it flows off as Rukarara 50 km eastward and forms later - with the flowing to it Mwogo - that Nyabarongo (also Njawarongo called ) are enough for about 225 km. This flows first toward northeast, in order to then bend eastward; those more than right-angled change of run is geologically/tectonically due to the emergence of the Virunga volcanos and East Africa niches the ditch there.Afterwards the Nyabarongo steers on Kigali too, without directly reaching the capital of Rwanda. South this city, by which he is usable with small ships with little depth, it takes to 165 km is enough for Akanyaru (also Akanjaru called) up,from direction the south comes and in its underflow with small ships with little depth is passable likewise. The Nyabarongo sets its run at the border of Rwanda and Burundi as well as at the border of Rwanda and Tanzania eastwardaway and passes the Rwerusee (Lac Rweru). The river carries Akagera off there for the names.

further river course

of the river courses Akagera Nile Viktoria Nile Albert Nile white Nile Nile forms starting from the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, lying above the Rusumo of casethe continuation of the river courses specified before - Luvironza Ruvuvu Ruvusu Akagera (“source river of Burundi”) and Rukarara Nyabarongo (“Rwandese source river”). It develops in scarcely over 2.000 m height in the mountain world of Rwanda, flows predominantly into northern directions and flows into Egypt into the Mediterranean:

Akagera Nile

that approximately 850 km long Akagera Nile (also Kagera Nile and in former times partly Alexandra Nile called) are for the time being only the continuation of the river run Rukarara Nyabarongo in the mountain valleys of Rwanda. It flows - navigable - first within Rwanda and thenapproximately 175 km on the borders mentioned before eastward. To its somewhat east and/or. below Ngara lying “south knees” takes up the Akagera Nile the Ruvusu , which is the underflow of the “source river of Burundi”.

Afterwards it bends northward andonly few hundred meters fall after this river inlet over the Rusumo of case (Chutes Rusumu). After the Wasserfall the Akagera up to the “north knee” is again navigable and does not only form in the there Akagera national park the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, in order approximately 180 km far in the north his “north knee” and three-landhit a corner Rwanda Tanzania Uganda to reach. There the river course changes again geologically/tectonically conditionally and again more than right-angled its direction of flow eastward. From now on it only a piece flows directly upthe national border of Uganda and Tanzania; it leaves these in order to flow over numerous currentfast by the northern parts from Tanzania to. Later it steers approximately 270 km toward northeast, over after its “north knee” and nearby the border thatto flow both states specified last into the western part of the Viktoriasees.

Strange to say the river course up to this lake is often not regarded as part of the Nile (see further below for this: “The actual source river”).

Viktoria Nile

the Nile flowsthen in Uganda as Viktoria Nile from the north of the Viktoriasees, in which the flooded Owen and Ripon of case lie, by the Kiogasee, which also Kyogasee is called, and over the Murchison of case, which one also Kabalega of case callsand in the Murchison of case national for park are appropriate, into the Albert lake, which was called in former times also Lac Mobutu Sese Seko.

Albert Nile

underneath the Albert lake is called running waters Albert Nile. It carries its name - together with the Albert lake -in honours of the prince husband of the queen Victoria of England, prince Albert. It flows within of Uganda past at the ruin place a calf layman further northward and reaches the border to the Sudan.

Bahr aluminium-Dschabal

starting from the borderto the Sudan the river course is called Bahr aluminium-Dschabal (Arab: Mountain river; also Bahr aluminium-Jabal and Bahr el-Dschebel mentioned). With the city Bur it flows into the Sudd , a large Sumpfgebiet, in which evaporate for 53 per cent of the water.

white Nile

after leaving the Sudd meet the Bahr aluminium-Dschabal with the river Bahr aluminium-Ghazāl in the NO lake and starting from there as 'white Nile are designated, which flows on now eastward. With the city Malakal it hitsthe Jonglei channel and the supply of the Sobat. Then it continues to flow to the north toward Khartum and Omdurman, where it meets the blue Nile, from right and/or. Southeast from Ethiopia comes.

Bahr on-Nīl

ofKhartum river downward becomes the river as Bahr on-Nīl (Arab: Nile river) marks. From there it flows on as Fremdlingsfluss so mentioned by expanded steppes and desert landscapes s-förmig further northward, without taking up still considerable tributaries. During it therebythe nubian board breaks through, passes it to its eastern bank bordering nubian desert. Thus it reaches the wet lake, which is accumulated by the Aswan dam established from 1960 to 1971. Therein the Nile crosses the border of the Sudan to Egypt, which the river from south flows through to north. In the desert areas of Oberägyptens the Nile forms thereby for 5 to 20 km broad a valley, a vital river oasis, which is agriculturally usable. By the evenly mentionedand for the purpose of the extensive irrigation their fertility leaves established dam, which holds back the suspended matters and sediments, with the durable use of the fields; this is also because of the fact that the salting of the soils increases, so that with fertilizers is helped.


northern and/or. underneath the Aswan dam and for instance starting from Qena the river carries only - Nile for its actual names. Now it concerns the Arabian desert bordering east. North its water continues to flow east to Fayyum basin past, a large oasis-like and plentifully settled basin landscape, with which it is connected by the Bahr Yusuf (channel).

Below Cairo and thus still further north, varies itself the Nile to approximately 24,000 km ² the large Nile deltaup, after its flowing through he finally into the Mediterranean flows; the Aswan dam is also the reason, why this river delta is continued to put forward no longer in the sea, but cleared away by the there often very strong surf.


left ones and/or. western tributaries:

of rights and/or. eastern tributaries:

of Wasserfälle

cascades and currentfast

in the upper run of the white Nile (with all its feeding itRivers) the Nile water must overcome numerous smaller and larger cascade-like Wasserfälle; in addition belong:

  • Rusumo of case (Chutes Rusumu) on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania
  • Kuruma fast one in Tanzania - eastern of the north knee of the Kagera Nile
  • Ripon of case in Uganda -(flooded by the Owen case dam of the Viktoriasee)
  • Owen of case in Uganda - (flooded by the Owen case dam of the Viktoriasee)
  • Bujagali - case in Uganda - nearby the place, where the Nile leaves the Viktoriasee
  • Murchison of case (also Kabelega of case called) in Uganda

Qatar document

in centralon the Nile, below the inlet of the blue Nile into the white Nile, (width unit) the Nile water between Omdurman and Aswan must overcome altogether 6 Qatar document. These are explicitly with difficulty passable currentfast not only with Niedrigwasser, thosein old Egypt were very feared, because it between partly pointed and only with difficulty visible rock cliffs would drive through, so that one cannot drive on them with large boats or ships; this very day this represents a challenge, this Qatar document with small boatsto overcome. In former times they formed the border between the kingdoms.

These 6 natural granite barriers, are hundreds of millions years old certifications of continental plates pushed one above the other, which are substantially harder, as the soft sedimentary rock, which the Nile had deposited. Onesimply and simply Qatar document called these barriers and gave them an additional number; the numbering takes place river upward: The 1. Qatar act is with Aswan, which today however - like second - by the Wassermassen of the wet lake is overlaid. The 3.Qatar act lies only somewhat north of kerma, fourth east of Merowe and fifth 50 km north of Berber. The highest Qatar act is appropriate for about 75 km north of Omdurman.

By this Qatar document the Nile water flows due to of thenarrower and deeper Flussbettes and the stronger downward gradient mostly tearing, in particular if far raves south the rain time and the Wassermassen come northward. With Aswan the Nile navigation becomes by the 1. Qatar act still interrupted: Everything which by shipfurther to the south, material and humans want to be reloaded, must and/or. transfer to take over a detour over country and to continue then driving to Aswan artificial lake further and in reverse.

some interesting lengths and data of the Nile

The Nile with Khartum
Nil bei Kairo und Gizeh
Nile with Cairo and Gizeh

source in Burundi, furthest from its , puts the Nile up to its delta altogether 6,671 km back Flussstrecke. From the Viktoriasee this is still 5,588 km, from Khartum, wherethe blue Nile into the white Nile flows, approximately 2,700 km and from the national border from the Sudan/Egypt to the delta still 1,550 km.

Geological investigations resulted in that itself only forwards approx. 1 million years of the Viktoriasee by sinkingthe there high country formed. After the end of the last ice age is this lake forwards approx. 12000 years only overcrowded and left the Viktoria Nile, and/or which develop for white Nile.


old Egypt

only throughthe Nile became possible the life and the culture on the Nile banks of the old person of Egypt. Without it the country would be only one desert. One sees it to the fact that he in the west of the Libyan one and in the east of that Nubian desert as well as the Arabian desert is set in, where up to water it does not exist to a few oases and thus agriculture and culture were impossible and/or. are. Only by the fruitful mud, that the Nile with its floods over the countrydistributed, useful plants could be cultivated and agriculture be operated. In addition the very tonhaltige mud of the Nile was used for the building of houses.

While the quantity of water, which depended almost exclusively on the precipitation in the countries around the Viktoriasee, led from the Nile, their lowest pointmostly in April reached (e), this rose to at the end of of August to that about 50 to 60fache:

Once in the year the Nile inundated the country and covered up to several kilometer of broad strips country. If the water flowed off and evaporated,it left fruitful, dark mud (so would be this also today still, if there were not the Aswan dam), which gave its name to the old person Egypt (Kemet - “the black country”). In order to be able to use this cultivated area for grain completely, those settledEgyptian usually directly along the Nile, in addition, something off the river in the desert. In order to be able to store for the desert settlements and for drying times water, they had channels and artificial seas to put on. There the individual Egyptian farmer this notto build, united the inhabitants of a region could and formed gaus, which were administered by gau princes.

The level of the Nile at present the inundation varied strongly. It became at so-called. Nilometern measured. There with low conditions some regionswere not inundated and the there living farmers hungerten, the taxes after the conditions of the Nile were determined. Stairs the Nile however too highly, threatened breaking dams and the destruction of the houses. Thus already early geo meters were needed,those the country extents and the field borders specified again again.

The Nile was the principal trade way of Egypt. Over the river z became. B. Wood transports, which does not occur in Egypt nearly at all. It was imported from Syria and Palestine. In addition becameStone blocks for the building of pyramids on ships transports. Ship traffic was limited to the day, since one ran in the night the risk to run on sand banks. With very low water level the ships were pulled over short distances over country.The sail became only 3350 v. Chr. introduced.

Roman to modern times

Der Nil bei Luxor
the Nile with Luxor

already the old Romans was on the search for the sources of the enormous river. The Portuguese Jesuitenmissionar Pater Pedro Paez (1564-1622) discovered 1613 the source of the blue Nile. The Scottish Africa researcher James Bruce (1730-1794) discovered the source to 4. November 1770 again and stressed the fame (futile) for itself; it drove on 1771 the blue Nile up to the combination.

For the discoverythe actual source of the Nile at the Luvironza many Africa researchers searched in vain usually and hypotheses set up. With an expedition, which of 1821 - 1822 lasted, the Frenchman Frédéric Cailliaud ( 1787-1869) reached the delta of the blue into the white Nile. 1861if the Netherlands Afrikaforscherin Alexandrine Tinné arranged an expedition in Cairo, this had to break off however for logistic reasons after some months unsuccessfully. 1866 made itself the famous British researcher David Livingstone (1813-1873) on expeditions the sources Nile andthe Congo; he meant to have found it in the many far Bangweulusee lying south, however never achieved the real source. 1857 went the British John Hanning Speke and smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Francis Burton together on investigation of the Viktoriasees: John Speke sawin it the source - smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Burton however in the more southern Tanganjikasee; 1858 made itself John Speke, now in company with James Augustus Grant, again on expedition and it discovered 1862 the Ripon of case (those flooded for a long time at that timeprobably still lay exposed) in the north of the Viktoriasees, which false way is often regarded as source of Nile. The source of the Kagera of Nile at the Luvironza, which corresponds to the actual source of Nile, became 1893 of Austrians OSCAR Baumann (1864-1899) and Oskar spring (1848-1925)discovers together; only 1898 became the geographical location of this source of the German Dr.Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Kandt (1867-1918) determines exactly. Also the Britisher Samuel White Baker and the Italian Romolo Gessi, which likewise made itself on the search, have successful expeditionsundertaken.

the discovery of the actual source river of the Nile

because the white Nile - with its itself to it following and mentioned above source rivers - as the blue Nile is clearly longer and also a substantially larger catchment area thanthis exhibits, is it the actual and for a long time undisputed source river of the Nile.

However the blue Nile was considered in former times also as its source river, probably because to its name the designation Nile belongs; this happened, until 1893, as onethe source of the Luvironza above specified found and in the future made themselves to measure itself the river course following to it. Thus one found out that the white Nile with its source rivers is the clearly longer river, so that thesethe actual source river of the Nile is. Probably the tradition because of often also still the Viktoriasee becomes (and/or. and the Ripon of case) as source, flooded lying in it, since long time, mentioned; however 1,083 km become (nearly the length of the Elbe) suppress of the source of the Luvironza up to the discharge of the Nile from this lake.

If one summarizes the realizations over the length and catchment area of the river, specified before, then the Luvironza Ruvuvu Ruvusu Akagera white Nile Nile is the actual - entire - river coursethe Nile.


the Nile possesses a species-rich and unique animal world. Many received after the river also its name, so for instance the Nilkrokodil, the Nilhecht, the Nile goose, the Nile grass rat, the Nilwaran and alsothe nil or river horse, which does not occur however today in the underflow any longer. Many animals used the Egyptians as domestic animals or models for Gods.

cities on the Nile bank

the towns with millions of inhabitants Cairo, Giseh (both Egypt) and Khartum (the Sudan)are the largest cities. The old Egyptians often built their cities on the fruitful levels of the holy river. Many Qatar documents and water retaining structures became, and. A. for the settlement, establishes.

Cities on the bank also over 100.000 inhabitants:

Nil in Egypt
Nillandschaft in Oberägypten
Nile landscapein Oberägypten


artificial one channels put on, which accompany the Nile, or of it branches are under others:


  • Lutz Knörnschild: To the history of the Nile water use in the Egyptian agriculture from the beginnings to the present (= Leipziger of contributions to the Orientforschung, Bd. 1), Frankfurt/a. M./Berlin and others 1993, S.284, 11 fig., 60 Tab., ISBN 3-631-44755-8

Web on the left of

Commons: Nil one - pictures, videos and/or audio files

  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)