The river Nile is probably one of the most renowned rivers in the world and here are some interesting facts to reveal why.
The Nile River runs for approximately 6,650 kilometres (4,132 miles) and is located in Africa but also flows through parts of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo (Kinshasa) and Kenya.
The Nile name originates from the Greek word Neilos, and this means a river valley.
The source of the Nile is believed to be from Lake Victoria, and the Ruvyironza River of Burundi is one of the main feeder rivers with its upper branches starting from the Kagera River which flows through the Rwanda-Tanzania and Uganda-Tanzania borders into Lake Victoria.
The Nile River was a great part of Ancient Egypt history and it is supposed that without the Nile river the pyramids would not have been built – as ships would carry the huge stones/bolders used to build the pyramids, hence why the pyramids are located so near to the Nile.
Back in 2004, the Expedition known as the White Nile, was the first group to navigate the entire length of the Nile River. Starting in Uganda and finishing in Rosetta, the expedition took the four months and two weeks to complete.
In Northern Egypt, the Nile Delta is the place where the Nile River runs into the Mediterranean Sea. The length at this point is around 160 kilometres (100 miles) and it continues along the coastline for over 240 kilometres (149 miles). Due to the fact that these parts are rich in agriculture the Egyptians have farmed them for thousands of years.
Around half of Egypt’s population live in the Nile Delta region – and that accounts for around 40 million people.
The famous Rosetta Stone was found in the Nile Delta back in 1787 near to the City of Rosetta. This Ancient Egyptian artefact enabled historians to have a further understanding of the original Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Due to the heavy and low flows of the Nile River, a dam was built in 1970 at Aswan to help regulate the flow of water, so that when the river featured high levels it would not wipe out crops and when it was at it’s lowest levels it did not cause famines and drought. This dam helps to control the level of the water.
Who is the God of the River Nile?
In Ancient Egyptian religion, the god of the Nile River was Hapi. He was depicted as a man with a large belly, symbolizing the abundance of the Nile, and was often shown holding offerings of food and drink. He was associated with fertility, life, and prosperity, as the Nile was crucial for the agriculture and economy of ancient Egypt.
Hapi was considered one of the most important gods in ancient Egypt, as the Nile was central to the survival and success of the civilization. The yearly flooding of the Nile was seen as the result of Hapi’s benevolence, and offerings and prayers were made to him to ensure a successful flood season.
Egyptians would therefore ensure that they honoured Hapi, as they believed he would make the river Nile flood which consequently would bring fertility to the land.
In temple inscriptions and artwork, Hapi was often depicted along with other Nile gods, such as Sobek, the god of the Nile crocodiles, and Taweret, the goddess of childbirth and fertility.
Together, these gods were considered guardians of the Nile and protectors of the people of ancient Egypt.