Though the Nile rises from Lake Victoria,
the Ruvyironza River of Burundi is regarded as the ultimate source
of the Nile. The Nile when it rises from the Lake Victoria is called
the Victoria Nile and it takes a north-westerly direction, flowing
through Lake Kyoga and then entering Lake Albert. Here the Nile
flows out of the northern end of the lake and is rechristened the
The Albert Nile flows through Uganda and
then gets a new name in Sudan, the Bahr al Jabal. Flowing through
Sudan, the Great Nile has through the ages served as a dividing line
between the northern and southern regions. In Sudan, at a junction
where numerous tributaries meet, rises the White Nile. The White
Nile is a very peaceful river and is navigable throughout the year.
A dam has been built on it at Khartoum.
At Khartoum, the Blue Nile joins the White
Nile. The Blue Nile, which flows into Sudan from Ethiopia,
contributes two thirds of the water of the Nile. Dams have been
built here for tapping the river for irrigation and
hydroelectricity. Now the Nile flows through very picturesque
territory. It flows through the Nubian Desert and then through six
waterfalls of which one is in Egypt. Near Cairo, the Nile separates
into branches and enters the Mediterranean Sea through a delta.
The regions irrigated by the Nile yield a variety of crops, as the
land is very fertile. Various crops like cotton, wheat, sorghum,
dates, citrus fruits, sugarcane and various legumes are grown in
these regions. And because the land here is very fertile, sites
along the Nile have been the centers of ancient civilizations like
the Great African Civilization in 5000 BC. This region has also
attracted a lot of foreign invaders since time immemorial.
Men who have made the journey
Many explorers have traveled all along the Nile to find
answers to various questions. Notable among them are British
explorers Sir Samuel White Baker, John Hanning Speke and James
Augustus Grant and Scottish explorer Bruce James and many others.
Another notable explorer was Sir David Livingstone with whom the
famous “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” story is attached. A search
party led by journalist Harry Stanley was sent in search of Dr.
Livingstone when he was not heard of for many days. The now famous
words are what Harry Stanley said to Dr. Livingstone when he finally
came upon him in what is now Tanzania.