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River Nile Uganda – The World Longest River

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Background

Found in the north-eastern Africa, river Nile stands out as the longest river in Africa and the whole world. With a remarkable length of 6853 km, the Nile’s drainage system covers as many as eleven countries including; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt and the Republic of Sudan. The Nile is the primary water source for Egypt and Sudan.

The main tributaries

River Nile has two major tributaries; the white Nile and the Blue Nile. The white Nile is regarded as the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself. The blue Nile on the other hand is the source of the most water and silt. The white Nile flows through the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, it flows north through; Lake Victoria, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Sudan. As for the blue Nile, it begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeastern direction. The two tributaries have their meeting point just north of Khartoum – the Sudanese capital.

The source of the Nile

The source of the Nile is disputable. Though most recorded findings say the Nile originates from Lake Victoria, the lake has other feeder rivers of a considerable size. Flowing into the lake from Bukoba town in Tanzania, River Kagera is believed to be the largest feeder. Some people believe Burundi is the source of the Nile because Ruvubu, a major tributary of River Kagera is found in the country. Regardless of its source, the Nile river has several beginnings marked out in the various countries where it flows.

Uganda’s Nile River

In Uganda, river Nile begins its journey as the Victoria Nile from Lake Victoria at the Ripon falls near Jinja. It flows for about 130 km northward to Lake Kyoga. The last part of the approximately 200 km of the river starts journeying from the Western shores of Lake Victoria, flowing at first to the west, until just south of Masindi port, from where the river turns northward before making a great half circle to the east and north until Karuma falls. The remaining part of the river flows westerly through the Murchison Falls until it reaches the northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a significant river delta. After leaving Lake Albert, the river Nile continues its flow to the Northern region of Uganda where it is known as the Albert Nile.

Other tributaries

Besides the white Nile and the Blue Nile, river Nile has other tributaries found in the various countries where it flows. These tributaries include; the 800 kilometers long Atbara river, found below the confluence with the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, north of Lake Tana. The other tributaries are; Bahr El Ghazal and Sobat river, the two most important outlets of the white Nile in terms of discharge. The other tributary is the Yellow Nile, a former tributary that connected Ouaddai highlands of Eastern Chad to the Nile River Valley.

Water disputes

Through the years, the waters of the Nile have been a point of contention in East Africa and the horn of Africa. The other Nile sharing countries especially; Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan have usually complained about Egyptian dominion. Several attempts have been made to forge an understanding among these countries yet it remains difficult to for them to agree given their differences, and self interests. While at Entebbe on 14th. May. 2010, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia signed a new agreement on sharing the Nile waters, the agreement however stirred opposition and dispute from Egypt and Sudan. These water conflicts could go on for years among these countries till an alternate water source is found. Most of these countries depend on the Nile not only for their water supply but also for their social and economic development. The Nile is backbone of Egyptian civilization.

Wildlife

River Nile is nature’s hub. The waters and the surrounding areas are a habitat to massive wildlife population. The areas near the river are a home to tropical rainforests and bamboo trees. Banana plants are also common around the river. The reptiles to encounter at the river include; Nile crocodiles, monitor lizards, softshell turtle, and about fifteen species of venomous snakes. The Nile crocodile is the most common reptile on the river banks – it can be as long as 20 feet and weigh as much 1500 pounds. The common fish species in the river include; lung fish, Nile perch, tiger fish, and the red-tailed catfish.

Adventure and Tourism

River Nile is a major tourist attraction. At its source in Jinja – Uganda, the Nile attracts a myriad tourists on a daily basis. A day spent at the Nile is an adventurous one and a sating experience for the avid tourist. The activities to enjoy while at the river include; white water rafting, jet boating, bungee jumping, kayaking, swimming, horse riding, quad biking, canoeing, fishing, birding, mountain biking, bungee jumping, boat cruising at Bujagali falls, and visiting the Itanda falls. An adventure experience at the Nile is worthwhile.

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