Africa is the second largest continent on Earth in terms of both area and population. It is located to the south of Europe and to the south-west of Asia and the Middle East. Africa is home to many large freshwater lakes and it is from one of these lakes that the primary source of the largest river in the continent is found. This river is not only the longest in the world, but also supported one of the most famous Ancient civilizations. Let’s find out which river is the longest in Africa.
What is the longest river in Africa?
The longest river in Africa is the famous Nile River, which is estimated to be 6,650 km (4,132 mi) in length. The river runs in a general south to north direction. It flows through 10 African countries; Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt. The Nile drains into the Mediterranean Sea at the Nile Delta in Northern Egypt. The fertile soil in this region was one of the most important factors in the success of the Ancient Egyptian civilization.
The primary source of the river is often considered to be Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. However, the most distant source is still the subject of debate. The secondary source of the Nile River is Lake Tana, which is the largest lake in Ethiopia. The section of the river that starts at Lake Victoria is known as the White Nile and the section that starts from Lake Tana is the Blue Nile. These two rivers meet in Sudan, near the capital of Khartoum and after this point the river is simple called the Nile.
Did you know?
The Nile River is considered to be the longest river in the world by most people. However, a recent study by Brazilian scientists claims a new source for the Amazon River that would make it 104 km (65 mi) longer. This claim is not supported by most scientists.