Q:

Where does the Nile River start and end?

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Quick Answer

The Nile River's most distant source is the Kagera River in Burundi and it empties into the Mediterranean Sea in northern Egypt. The Nile River is considered the longest river in the world at about 4,180 miles or 6,695 kilometers.

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Full Answer

The Kagera River flows from Burundi through Tanzania into Lake Victoria as its largest tributary. From there, the Nile has two principal streams called the White Nile, which originates at Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands. The two streams meet in Sudan, south of Egypt. The White Nile is the larger of the two, but it loses much of its flow along the way, contributing to 15 percent of the water that eventually flows into Egypt.

The Nile River drains an area of over 1.9 million square miles, or 3.1 million square kilometers, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the African continent. The river has played an enormous role in the development of agriculture and civilization along its banks, including the ancient Egyptian civilization. Rainfalls in the Ethiopian highlands made the waters of the Nile rise and flood the lands adjacent to it. This flooding has been crucial to the development in arid Egypt where rainfall is rare.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is the Nile River so important?

    A:

    The Nile River is important because it provides Egypt with irrigation, hydroelectric power, a steady water supply and rich soil. It was the lifeblood of ancient Egyptian transport, commerce and agriculture, and remains crucial for sustaining life in the barren deserts of Egypt today. At over 4,000 miles long, it is the longest river in the world.

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  • Q:

    What was the Nile River used for?

    A:

    The Nile River was originally used a food source for the Egyptian civilization. Researchers believe that the Egyptian people began living around the river in 6,000 B.C.E.

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    What animals live near or on the Nile River?

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    There are a variety of animals that live near or on the Nile River, including the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, monitor lizard, perch, catfish, red-billed ibis and the pied kingfisher. The animal most synonymous with the Nile Rive may be the Nile crocodile.

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  • Q:

    What are the cataracts of the Nile River?

    A:

    The cataracts of the Nile River are portions of the river characterized by a sheer, rocky topography and a predominance of boulders that obstruct navigation in these areas. Although numerous cataracts have been charter, these shallow waters that extend for several miles from Egypt to Sudan are classified into six major divisions: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth cataracts.

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