The Nile. Ancient River of Africa | Kenya Safari Guide

Mfangano Island Camp. Lake Victoria. KenyaMfangano Island Camp. Lake Victoria. Kenya

Immortalized in print and on screen the Nile is arguably the most famous river in Africa, and at more than 6000km is the longest river in the world

Man has lived on the banks of the Nile since the dawn of humanity, utilizing its fertile plains and plentiful water, and the river has been the source of numerous explorations throughout history. One of the most recorded adventures is the race to find the source of the Nile, a subject that is an issue even today due to varying theories. Two major tributaries unite to form the Nile. The Blue Nile rises in Ethiopia at Lake Tana and the source of all debate, the White Nile which is the longest of the two tributaries, rising somewhere in Central Africa. The two rivers meet near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

The Search for the Source of the Nile

As the White Nile is the longer of two tributaries it is generally considered that its source is the source of the greater Nile. Many expeditions in the 1800's centered on the search for the source of the Nile with organizations such as the National Geographic Society paying huge sums to finance these expeditions.Sunset over Lake Victoria from Mfangano Island Camp

After many adventures it was claimed that Lake Victoria was the source of the Nile, the exact spot located at Jinja in Uganda. This was the accepted ideal for more than a century but recently the debate has surfaced again with many saying that the one of the tributaries of Lake Victoria had to be the true source. With this new debate it seems that the actual source could be located in Rwanda or Burundi.

Many Countries Sharing the Bounty

If it is decided that one of the tributaries of Lake Victoria is indeed the source of the Nile then it will mean the number of countries the Nile runs through is ten:, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt.

Tourism and the Nile

Mfangano Island Camp. Dining at the edge of Lake Victoria

Aside from the iconic tourist attractions of Egypt, the Nile provides attractions all along its course, from the activities in and around Lake Victoria to the roaring power of the Murchison Falls in Uganda. The Nile is also associated with wildlife including Chimpanzees, Buffalo and Elephants found in Murchison Falls National Park.

Boat cruises and white water rafting are also available for tourists on sections of the Nile.
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