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The NILE ( Arabic
Arabic
: النيل‎‎, Egyptian Arabic _en-Nīl_, Standard Arabic _an-Nīl_; Coptic : ⲫⲓⲁⲣⲱ, _P(h)iaro_; Ancient Egyptian : _Ḥ'pī_ and _Jtrw_; Biblical Hebrew : היאור, _Ha-Ye'or_ or השיחור, _Ha-Shiḥor_) is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa . It is generally regarded as the longest river in the world, however other conflicting sources cite a 2007 study that gave the title to the Amazon River
River
in South America
South America
. The Nile, which is 6,853 km (4,258 miles) long, is an "international" river as its drainage basin covers eleven countries, namely, Tanzania , Uganda
Uganda
, Rwanda
Rwanda
, Burundi , the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
, Kenya
Kenya
, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
, Eritrea
Eritrea
, South Sudan
Sudan
, Sudan
Sudan
and Egypt
Egypt
. In particular, the Nile
Nile
is the primary water source of Egypt
Egypt
and Sudan.

The Nile
Nile
has two major tributaries , the White Nile and Blue Nile
Blue Nile
. The White Nile is considered to be the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile
Nile
itself. The Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the water and silt . The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda
Rwanda
or Burundi. It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria , Uganda
Uganda
and South Sudan. The Blue Nile
Nile
(Amharic : ዓባይ? , _ʿĀbay_ ) begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and flows into Sudan
Sudan
from the southeast. The two rivers meet just north of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum
Khartoum
.

The northern section of the river flows north almost entirely through the Sudanese desert to Egypt, then ends in a large delta and flows into the Mediterranean Sea . Egyptian civilization and Sudanese kingdoms have depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population and cities of Egypt
Egypt
lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan
Aswan
, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt
Egypt
are found along riverbanks.

In the ancient Egyptian language , the Nile
Nile
is called _Ḥ'pī_ or _Iteru_ (Hapy), meaning "river". In Coptic , the words _piaro_ ( Sahidic ) or _phiaro_ ( Bohairic
Bohairic
) meaning "the river" (lit. p(h).iar-o "the.canal-great") come from the same ancient name.

The English name _Nile_ and the Arabic
Arabic
names _en-Nîl_ and _an-Nîl_ both derive from the Latin
Latin
_Nilus_ and the Ancient Greek Νεῖλος. Beyond that, however, the etymology is disputed. One possible etymology derives it from a Semitic _Nahal_, meaning "river". The standard English names "White Nile" and "Blue Nile", to refer to the river's source, derive from Arabic
Arabic
names formerly applied only to the Sudanese stretches which meet at Khartoum.

CONTENTS

* 1 Course

* 1.1 Sources

* 1.1.1 Lost headwaters

* 1.2 In Uganda
Uganda
* 1.3 In South Sudan
Sudan
* 1.4 In Sudan
Sudan
* 1.5 In Egypt
Egypt

* 2 Tributaries

* 2.1 Atbara River
River
* 2.2 Blue Nile
Blue Nile
* 2.3 Bahr el Ghazal and Sobat River
River
* 2.4 Yellow Nile
Nile

* 3 History

* 3.1 Eonile * 3.2 Integrated Nile
Nile
* 3.3 Role in the founding of Egyptian civilization * 3.4 Search for the source of the Nile
Nile
* 3.5 Since 1950

* 4 Water
Water
sharing dispute * 5 Modern achievements and exploration

* 6 Crossings

* 6.1 Crossings from Khartoum
Khartoum
to the Mediterranean Sea * 6.2 Crossings from Rwanda
Rwanda
to Khartoum
Khartoum

* 7 Images and media of the Nile
Nile
* 8 Annotated bibliography * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links

COURSE

See also: White Nile The Nile
Nile
at Dendera
Dendera
, as seen from the SPOT satellite The Nile's watershed The Nile
Nile
near Beni Suef Composite satellite image of the White Nile

Above Khartoum
Khartoum
, the Nile
Nile
is also known as the White Nile , a term also used in a limited sense to describe the section between Lake No and Khartoum. At Khartoum
Khartoum
the river is joined by the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
. The White Nile starts in equatorial East Africa, and the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
begins in Ethiopia. Both branches are on the western flanks of the East African Rift .

The drainage basin of the Nile
Nile
covers 3,254,555 square kilometers (1,256,591 sq mi), about 10% of the area of Africa. The Nile
Nile
basin is complex, and because of this, the discharge at any given point along the mainstem depends on many factors including weather, diversions, evaporation and evapotranspiration , and groundwater flow.

SOURCES

The source of the Nile
Nile
is sometimes considered to be Lake Victoria , but the lake has feeder rivers of considerable size. The Kagera River , which flows into Lake Victoria near the Tanzanian town of Bukoba , is the longest feeder, although sources do not agree on which is the longest tributary of the Kagera and hence the most distant source of the Nile
Nile
itself. It is either the Ruvyironza , which emerges in Bururi Province , Burundi , or the Nyabarongo , which flows from Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. The two feeder rivers meet near Rusumo Falls on the Rwanda- Tanzania
Tanzania
border. The source of the Nile
Nile
from the underwater spring at the neck of Lake Victoria, Jinja

In 2010, an exploration party went to a place described as the source of the Rukarara tributary, and by hacking a path up steep jungle-choked mountain slopes in the Nyungwe forest found (in the dry season ) an appreciable incoming surface flow for many kilometres upstream, and found a new source, giving the Nile
Nile
a length of 6,758 km (4,199 mi).

Gish Abay
Gish Abay
is reportedly the place where the "holy water" of the first drops of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
develop.

Lost Headwaters

Further information: List of rivers by length

Formerly Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
drained northwards along the African Rift Valley into the White Nile , making the Nile
Nile
about 1,400 kilometers (870 mi) longer, until it was blocked in Miocene
Miocene
times by the bulk of the Virunga Volcanoes .

IN UGANDA

The Nile
Nile
leaves Lake Nyanza (Victoria) at Ripon Falls near Jinja, Uganda
Uganda
, as the Victoria Nile . It flows north for some 130 kilometers (81 mi), to Lake Kyoga . The last part of the approximately 200 kilometers (120 mi) river section starts from the western shores of the lake and flows at first to the west until just south of Masindi Port , where the river turns north, then makes a great half circle to the east and north until Karuma Falls . For the remaining part it flows merely westerly through the Murchison Falls until it reaches the very northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a significant river delta . The lake itself is on the border of DR Congo
DR Congo
, but the Nile
Nile
is not a border river at this point. After leaving Lake Albert, the river continues north through Uganda
Uganda
and is known as the Albert Nile
Albert Nile
.

IN SOUTH SUDAN

The river flows into South Sudan
Sudan
just south of Nimule , where it is known as the Bahr al Jabal ("Mountain River" ). Just south of the town it has the confluence with the Achwa River
River
. The Bahr al Ghazal , itself 716 kilometers (445 mi) long, joins the Bahr al Jabal at a small lagoon called Lake No , after which the Nile
Nile
becomes known as the _Bahr al Abyad_, or the White Nile , from the whitish clay suspended in its waters. When the Nile
Nile
floods it leaves a rich silty deposit which fertilizes the soil. The Nile
Nile
no longer floods in Egypt since the completion of the Aswan
Aswan
Dam in 1970. An anabranch river, the Bahr el Zeraf , flows out of the Nile's Bahr al Jabal section and rejoins the White Nile.

The flow rate of the Bahr al Jabal at Mongalla, South Sudan
Sudan
is almost constant throughout the year and averages 1,048 m3/s (37,000 cu ft/s). After Mongalla, the Bahr Al Jabal enters the enormous swamps of the Sudd
Sudd
region of South Sudan. More than half of the Nile's water is lost in this swamp to evaporation and transpiration . The average flow rate of the White Nile at the tails of the swamps is about 510 m3/s (18,000 cu ft/s). From here it soon meets with the Sobat River
River
at Malakal . On an annual basis, the White Nile upstream of Malakal contributes about fifteen percent of the total outflow of the Nile
Nile
River.

The average flow of the White Nile at Malakal, just below the Sobat River, is 924 m3/s (32,600 cu ft/s); the peak flow is approximately 1,218 m3/s (43,000 cu ft/s) in October and minimum flow is about 609 m3/s (21,500 cu ft/s) in April. This fluctuation is due the substantial variation in the flow of the Sobat, which has a minimum flow of about 99 m3/s (3,500 cu ft/s) in March and a peak flow of over 680 m3/s (24,000 cu ft/s) in October. During the dry season (January to June) the White Nile contributes between 70 percent and 90 percent of the total discharge from the Nile.

IN SUDAN

Below Renk the White Nile enters Sudan, it flows north to Khartoum and meets the Blue Nile.

The course of the Nile
Nile
in Sudan
Sudan
is distinctive. It flows over six groups of cataracts , from the sixth at Sabaloka just north of Khartoum
Khartoum
northward to Abu Hamed . Due to the tectonic uplift of the Nubian Swell , the river is then diverted to flow for over 300 km south-west following the structure of the Central African Shear Zone embracing the Bayuda Desert
Desert
. At Al Dabbah it resumes its northward course towards the first Cataract at Aswan
Aswan
forming the 'S'-shaped Great Bend of the Nile
Nile
already mentioned by Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
.

In the north of Sudan
Sudan
the river enters Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser
(known in Sudan
Sudan
as Lake Nubia), the larger part of which is in Egypt.

IN EGYPT

Below the Aswan
Aswan
High Dam , at the northern limit of Lake Nasser, the Nile
Nile
resumes its historic course.

North of Cairo
Cairo
, the Nile
Nile
splits into two branches (or distributaries ) that feed the Mediterranean: the Rosetta
Rosetta
Branch to the west and the Damietta to the east, forming the Nile Delta .

TRIBUTARIES

ATBARA RIVER

Below the confluence with the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
the only major tributary is the Atbara River
River
, roughly halfway to the sea, which originates in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
north of Lake Tana , and is around 800 kilometers (500 mi) long. The Atbara flows only while there is rain in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and dries very rapidly. During the dry period of January to June, it typically dries up. It joins the Nile
Nile
approximately 300 kilometers (200 mi) north of Khartoum.

BLUE NILE

Main article: Blue Nile
Blue Nile
The Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Falls fed by Lake Tana near the city of Bahir Dar , Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Nile Delta from space Annotated view of the Nile
Nile
and Red Sea, with a dust storm.

The Blue Nile
Blue Nile
(Ge\'ez ጥቁር ዓባይ _Ṭiqūr ʿĀbbāy_ (Black Abay ) to Ethiopians ; Arabic
Arabic
: النيل الأزرق‎‎; transliterated : AN-NīL AL-AZRAQ) springs from Lake Tana in the Ethiopian Highlands. The Blue Nile
Blue Nile
flows about 1,400 kilometres to Khartoum, where the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
and White Nile join to form the Nile. Ninety percent of the water and ninety-six percent of the transported sediment carried by the Nile
Nile
originates in Ethiopia, with fifty-nine percent of the water from the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
(the rest being from the Tekezé , Atbarah, Sobat , and small tributaries). The erosion and transportation of silt only occurs during the Ethiopian rainy season in the summer, however, when rainfall is especially high on the Ethiopian Plateau ; the rest of the year, the great rivers draining Ethiopia
Ethiopia
into the Nile
Nile
(Sobat, Blue Nile, Tekezé, and Atbarah) have a weaker flow. In harsh and arid seasons and droughts the blue Nile dries out completely.

The flow of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
varies considerably over its yearly cycle and is the main contribution to the large natural variation of the Nile
Nile
flow. During the dry season the natural discharge of the Blue Nile
Nile
can be as low as 113 m3/s (4,000 cu ft/s), although upstream dams regulate the flow of the river. During the wet season the peak flow of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
often exceeds 5,663 m3/s (200,000 cu ft/s) in late August (a difference of a factor of 50).

Before the placement of dams on the river the yearly discharge varied by a factor of 15 at Aswan. Peak flows of over 8,212 m3/s (290,000 cu ft/s) occurred during late August and early September, and minimum flows of about 552 m3/s (19,500 cu ft/s) occurred during late April and early May.

BAHR EL GHAZAL AND SOBAT RIVER

The Bahr al Ghazal and the Sobat River
River
are the two most important tributaries of the White Nile in terms of discharge.

The Bahr al Ghazal's drainage basin is the largest of any of the Nile's sub-basins, measuring 520,000 square kilometers (200,000 sq mi) in size, but it contributes a relatively small amount of water, about 2 m3/s (71 cu ft/s) annually, due to tremendous volumes of water being lost in the Sudd
Sudd
wetlands.

The Sobat River, which joins the Nile
Nile
a short distance below Lake No, drains about half as much land, 225,000 km2 (86,900 sq mi), but contributes 412 cubic meters per second (14,500 cu ft/s) annually to the Nile. When in flood the Sobat carries a large amount of sediment, adding greatly to the White Nile's color.

YELLOW NILE

The Yellow Nile
Nile
is a former tributary that connected the Ouaddaï Highlands of eastern Chad
Chad
to the Nile
Nile
River
River
Valley c. 8000 to c. 1000 BC. Its remains are known as the Wadi Howar
Wadi Howar
. The wadi passes through Gharb Darfur
Gharb Darfur
near the northern border with Chad
Chad
and meets up with the Nile
Nile
near the southern point of the Great Bend.

HISTORY

Further information: Sahara
Sahara
§ Climate history Reconstruction of the Oikoumene (inhabited world), an ancient map based on Herodotus ' description of the world, circa 450 BC

The Nile
Nile
(_iteru_ in Ancient Egyptian ) has been the lifeline of civilization in Egypt
Egypt
since the Stone Age
Stone Age
, with most of the population and all of the cities of Egypt
Egypt
resting along those parts of the Nile
Nile
valley lying north of Aswan. However, the Nile
Nile
used to run much more westerly through what is now Wadi Hamim and Wadi al Maqar in Libya
Libya
and flow into the Gulf of Sidra . As sea level rose at the end of the most recent ice age , the stream which is now the northern Nile pirated the ancestral Nile
Nile
near Asyut
Asyut
, this change in climate also led to the creation of the current Sahara
Sahara
desert, around 3400 BC.

EONILE

The present Nile
Nile
is at least the fifth river that has flowed north from the Ethiopian Highlands. Satellite imagery was used to identify dry watercourses in the desert to the west of the Nile. An Eonile canyon, now filled by surface drift, represents an ancestral Nile called the EONILE that flowed during the later Miocene
Miocene
(23–5.3 million years before present). The Eonile transported clastic sediments to the Mediterranean; several natural gas fields have been discovered within these sediments.

During the late- Miocene
Miocene
Messinian salinity crisis , when the Mediterranean Sea was a closed basin and evaporated to the point of being empty or nearly so, the Nile
Nile
cut its course down to the new base level until it was several hundred metres below world ocean level at Aswan
Aswan
and 2,400 m (7,900 ft) below Cairo. This created a very long and deep canyon which was filled with sediment when the Mediterranean was recreated. At some point the sediments raised the riverbed sufficiently for the river to overflow westward into a depression to create Lake Moeris .

Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
drained northwards into the Nile
Nile
until the Virunga Volcanoes blocked its course in Rwanda. The Nile
Nile
was much longer at that time, with its furthest headwaters in northern Zambia
Zambia
.

INTEGRATED NILE

There are two theories about the age of the integrated Nile. One is that the integrated drainage of the Nile
Nile
is of young age, and that the Nile
Nile
basin was formerly broken into series of separate basins, only the most northerly of which fed a river following the present course of the Nile
Nile
in Egypt
Egypt
and Sudan. Rushdi Said postulated that Egypt itself supplied most of the waters of the Nile
Nile
during the early part of its history.

The other theory is that the drainage from Ethiopia
Ethiopia
via rivers equivalent to the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
and the Atbara and Takazze flowed to the Mediterranean via the Egyptian Nile
Nile
since well back into Tertiary times.

Salama suggested that during the Paleogene
Paleogene
and Neogene Periods (66 million to 2.588 million years ago) a series of separate closed continental basins each occupied one of the major parts of the Sudanese Rift System: Mellut rift
Mellut rift
, White Nile rift , Blue Nile
Blue Nile
rift , Atbara rift and Sag El Naam rift . The Mellut Rift Basin is nearly 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) deep at its central part. This rift is possibly still active, with reported tectonic activity in its northern and southern boundaries. The Sudd
Sudd
swamps which form the central part of the basin may still be subsiding. The White Nile Rift System, although shallower than the Bahr el Arab rift , is about 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) deep. Geophysical exploration of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Rift System estimated the depth of the sediments to be 5–9 kilometers (3.1–5.6 mi). These basins were not interconnected until their subsidence ceased, and the rate of sediment deposition was enough to fill and connect them. The Egyptian Nile
Nile
connected to the Sudanese Nile, which captures the Ethiopian and Equatorial headwaters during the current stages of tectonic activity in the Eastern, Central and Sudanese Rift Systems. The connection of the different Niles occurred during cyclic wet periods. The River
River
Atbara overflowed its closed basin during the wet periods that occurred about 100,000 to 120,000 years ago. The Blue Nile
Nile
connected to the main Nile
Nile
during the 70,000–80,000 years B.P. wet period. The White Nile system in Bahr El Arab and White Nile Rifts remained a closed lake until the connection of the Victoria Nile to the main system some 12,500 years ago.

ROLE IN THE FOUNDING OF EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION

A felucca traversing the Nile
Nile
near Aswan
Aswan

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that " Egypt
Egypt
was the gift of the Nile". An unending source of sustenance, it provided a crucial role in the development of Egyptian civilization. Silt deposits from the Nile made the surrounding land fertile because the river overflowed its banks annually. The Ancient Egyptians cultivated and traded wheat , flax , papyrus and other crops around the Nile. Wheat
Wheat
was a crucial crop in the famine-plagued Middle East. This trading system secured Egypt's diplomatic relationships with other countries, and contributed to economic stability. Far-reaching trade has been carried on along the Nile
Nile
since ancient times.

Water
Water
buffalo were introduced from Asia, and Assyrians introduced camels in the 7th century BC. These animals were killed for meat, and were domesticated and used for ploughing—or in the camels' case, carriage. Water
Water
was vital to both people and livestock. The Nile
Nile
was also a convenient and efficient means of transportation for people and goods. The Nile
Nile
was an important part of ancient Egyptian spiritual life. Hapy was the god of the annual floods, and both he and the pharaoh were thought to control the flooding. The Nile
Nile
was considered to be a causeway from life to death and the afterlife. The east was thought of as a place of birth and growth, and the west was considered the place of death, as the god Ra , the Sun, underwent birth, death, and resurrection each day as he crossed the sky. Thus, all tombs were west of the Nile, because the Egyptians believed that in order to enter the afterlife, they had to be buried on the side that symbolized death.

As the Nile
Nile
was such an important factor in Egyptian life, the ancient calendar was even based on the 3 cycles of the Nile. These seasons, each consisting of four months of thirty days each, were called Akhet , Peret , and Shemu . Akhet, which means inundation, was the time of the year when the Nile
Nile
flooded, leaving several layers of fertile soil behind, aiding in agricultural growth. Peret was the growing season, and Shemu, the last season, was the harvest season when there were no rains.

SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE OF THE NILE

John Hanning Speke c. 1863. Speke was the Victorian explorer who first reached Lake Victoria in 1858, returning to establish it as the source of the Nile
Nile
by 1862. Henry Morton Stanley in 1872. Stanley circumnavigated the lake and confirmed Speke's observations in 1875.

Owing to their failure to penetrate the sudd wetlands of South Sudan , the upper reaches of the Nile
Nile
remained largely unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans . Various expeditions failed to determine the river's source . Agatharcides records that in the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus , a military expedition had penetrated far enough along the course of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
to determine that the summer floods were caused by heavy seasonal rainstorms in the Ethiopian Highlands , but no European of antiquity is known to have reached Lake Tana .

The Tabula Rogeriana
Tabula Rogeriana
depicted the source as three lakes in 1154.

Europeans began to learn about the origins of the Nile
Nile
in the 15th and 16th centuries, when travelers to Ethiopia
Ethiopia
visited Lake Tana and the source of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
in the mountains south of the lake. Although James Bruce
James Bruce
claimed to be the first European to have visited the headwaters, modern writers give the credit to the Jesuit
Jesuit
Pedro Páez . Páez's account of the source of the Nile
Nile
is a long and vivid account of Ethiopia. It was published in full only in the early 20th century, although it was featured in works of Páez's contemporaries, including Baltazar Téllez, Athanasius Kircher and by Johann Michael Vansleb .

Europeans had been resident in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
since the late 15th century, and one of them may have visited the headwaters even earlier without leaving a written trace. The Portuguese João Bermudes published the first description of the Tis Issat Falls in his 1565 memoirs, compared them to the Nile
Nile
Falls alluded to in Cicero
Cicero
's _De Republica_. Jerónimo Lobo describes the source of the Blue Nile, visiting shortly after Pedro Páez. Telles also used his account.

The White Nile was even less understood. The ancients mistakenly believed that the Niger River
River
represented the upper reaches of the White Nile. For example, Pliny the Elder wrote that the Nile
Nile
had its origins "in a mountain of lower Mauretania ", flowed above ground for "many days" distance, then went underground, reappeared as a large lake in the territories of the Masaesyli , then sank again below the desert to flow underground "for a distance of 20 days' journey till it reaches the nearest Ethiopians." A merchant named Diogenes reported that the Nile's water attracted game such as buffalo. A map of the Nile
Nile
c. 1911, a time when its entire primary course ran through British occupations, condominiums, colonies, and protectorates.

Lake Victoria was first sighted by Europeans in 1858 when the British explorer John Hanning Speke reached its southern shore while traveling with Richard Francis Burton to explore central Africa and locate the great lakes. Believing he had found the source of the Nile
Nile
on seeing this "vast expanse of open water" for the first time, Speke named the lake after the then Queen of the United Kingdom . Burton, recovering from illness and resting further south on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, was outraged that Speke claimed to have proved his discovery to be the true source of the Nile
Nile
when Burton regarded this as still unsettled. A very public quarrel ensued, which sparked a great deal of intense debate within the scientific community and interest by other explorers keen to either confirm or refute Speke's discovery. British explorer and missionary David Livingstone
David Livingstone
pushed too far west and entered the Congo River
River
system instead. It was ultimately Welsh-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley who confirmed Speke's discovery, circumnavigating Lake Victoria and reporting the great outflow at Ripon Falls on the Lake's northern shore.

European involvement in Egypt
Egypt
goes back to the time of Napoleon
Napoleon
. Laird Shipyard
Laird Shipyard
of Liverpool
Liverpool
sent an iron steamer to the Nile
Nile
in the 1830s. With the completion of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
and the British takeover of Egypt
Egypt
in the 1870s, more British river steamers followed.

The Nile
Nile
is the area's natural navigation channel, giving access to Khartoum
Khartoum
and Sudan
Sudan
by steamer. The Siege of Khartoum
Khartoum
was broken with purpose-built sternwheelers shipped from England and steamed up the river to retake the city. After this came regular steam navigation of the river. With British Forces in Egypt
Egypt
in the First World War and the inter-war years, river steamers provided both security and sightseeing to the Pyramids and Thebes . Steam navigation remained integral to the two countries as late as 1962. Sudan
Sudan
steamer traffic was a lifeline as few railways or roads were built in that country. Most paddle steamers have been retired to shorefront service, but modern diesel tourist boats remain on the river. Village on the Nile, 1891

SINCE 1950

The confluence of the Kagera and Ruvubu rivers near Rusumo Falls , part of the Nile's upper reaches Dhows on the Nile
Nile
The Nile
Nile
passes through Cairo, Egypt's capital city

The Nile
Nile
has long been used to transport goods along its length. Winter winds blow south, up river, so ships could sail up river, and down river using the flow of the river. While most Egyptians still live in the Nile
Nile
valley, the 1970 completion of the Aswan
Aswan
High Dam ended the summer floods and their renewal of the fertile soil, fundamentally changing farming practices. The Nile
Nile
supports much of the population living along its banks, enabling Egyptians to live in otherwise inhospitable regions of the Sahara. The rivers's flow is disturbed at several points by the Cataracts of the Nile , which are sections of faster-flowing water with many small islands, shallow water, and rocks, which form an obstacle to navigation by boats. The Sudd
Sudd
wetlands in Sudan
Sudan
also forms a formidable navigation obstacle and impede water flow, to the extent that Sudan
Sudan
had once attempted to canalize (the Jonglei Canal
Jonglei Canal
) to bypass the swamps.

Nile
Nile
cities include Khartoum, Aswan, Luxor
Luxor
(Thebes ), and the Giza – Cairo
Cairo
conurbation. The first cataract, the closest to the mouth of the river, is at Aswan, north of the Aswan
Aswan
Dam. This part of the river is a regular tourist route, with cruise ships and traditional wooden sailing boats known as feluccas . Many cruise ships ply the route between Luxor
Luxor
and Aswan, stopping at Edfu and Kom Ombo along the way. Security concerns have limited cruising on the northernmost portion for many years.

A computer simulation study to plan the economic development of the Nile
Nile
was directed by H. A. W. Morrice and W. N. Allan, for the Ministry of Hydro-power of the Republic of the Sudan, during 1955–1957 Morrice was their Hydrological Adviser, and Allan his predecessor. M.P. Barnett directed the software development and computer operations. The calculations were enabled by accurate monthly inflow data collected for 50 years. The underlying principle was the use of over-year storage, to conserve water from rainy years for use in dry years. Irrigation, navigation and other needs were considered. Each computer run postulated a set of reservoirs and operating equations for the release of water as a function of the month and the levels upstream. The behavior that would have resulted given the inflow data was modeled. Over 600 models were run. Recommendations were made to the Sudanese authorities. The calculations were run on an IBM 650 computer. Simulation studies to design water resources are discussed further in the article on hydrology transport models , that have been used since the 1980s to analyze water quality.

Despite the development of many reservoirs, drought during the 1980s led to widespread starvation in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and Sudan, but Egypt
Egypt
was nourished by water impounded in Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser
. Drought has proven to be a major cause of fatality in the Nile
Nile
River
River
basin. According to a report by the Strategic Foresight Group around 170 million people have been affected by droughts in the last century with half a million lives lost. From the 70 incidents of drought which took place between 1900 and 2012, 55 incidents took place in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya
Kenya
and Tanzania.

WATER SHARING DISPUTE

The Nile's water has affected the politics of East Africa and the Horn of Africa for many decades. Countries including Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and Kenya
Kenya
have complained about Egyptian domination of its water resources. The Nile Basin Initiative promotes a peaceful cooperation among those states.

Several attempts have been made to establish agreements between the countries sharing the Nile
Nile
waters. It is very difficult to have all these countries agree with each other given the self-interest of each country and their political, strategic, and social differences. On 14 May 2010 at Entebbe , Ethiopia
Ethiopia
, Rwanda
Rwanda
, Tanzania
Tanzania
and Uganda
Uganda
signed a new agreement on sharing the Nile
Nile
water even though this agreement raised strong opposition from Egypt
Egypt
and Sudan. Ideally, such international agreements should promote equitable and efficient usage of the Nile
Nile
basin's water resources. Without a better understanding about the availability of the future water resources of the Nile River, it is possible that conflicts could arise between these countries relying on the Nile
Nile
for their water supply, economic and social developments.

MODERN ACHIEVEMENTS AND EXPLORATION

The White Nile Expedition, led by South African national Hendrik Coetzee , became the first to navigate the White Nile's entire length of approximately 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi). The expedition began at the White Nile's source, Lake Victoria in Uganda
Uganda
, on January 17, 2004 and arrived safely at the Mediterranean in Rosetta
Rosetta
, four and a half months later.

The Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Expedition, led by geologist Pasquale Scaturro and his partner, kayaker and documentary filmmaker Gordon Brown became the first people to descend the entire Blue Nile, from Lake Tana in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
to the beaches of Alexandria on the Mediterranean. Their approximately 5,230 kilometres (3,250 mi) journey took 114 days: from December 25, 2003 to April 28, 2004. Though their expedition included others, Brown and Scaturro were the only ones to complete the entire journey. Although they descended whitewater manually the team used outboard motors for much of their journey.

On January 29, 2005 Canadian Les Jickling and New Zealander Mark Tanner completed the first human powered transit of Ethiopia's Blue Nile. Their journey of over 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi) took five months. They recount that they paddled through two war zones, regions notorious for bandits, and were arrested at gunpoint.

On April 30, 2005 a team led by South Africans Peter Meredith and Hendrik Coetzee became the first to navigate the major remote source of the White Nile, the Akagera river that starts as the Ruvyironza in Bururi Province , Burundi, and ends at Lake Victoria, Uganda.

CROSSINGS

CROSSINGS FROM KHARTOUM TO THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

The following bridges cross the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
and connect Khartoum
Khartoum
to Khartoum
Khartoum
North:

* Mac Nimir Bridge * Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Road "> * Omhuraz Bridge (proposed)

the following bridges cross from Omdurman: to Khartoum
Khartoum
North:

* Shambat Bridge * Halfia Bridge

The following bridges cross to Tuti from Khartoum
Khartoum
states three cities

* Khartoum-tuti Bridge * Omdurman-Tuti Suspension Bridge (proposed) * Khartoum
Khartoum
North-tuti Bridge (proposed)

Other bridges

* Shandi Bridge, Shendi * Atbarah Bridge, Atbarah * Merowe Dam , Merowe * Merowe Bridge, Merowe * Aswan
Aswan
Bridge, Aswan
Aswan
* Luxor
Luxor
Bridge, Luxor
Luxor
* Suhag Bridge, Suhag * Assiut Bridge, Assiut * Al Minya Bridge, Minya * Al Marazeek Bridge, Helwan * First Ring Road Bridge (Moneeb Crossing), Cairo
Cairo
* Abbas Bridge, Cairo * University Bridge, Cairo * Qasr al-Nil Bridge , Cairo * 6th October Bridge , Cairo * Abu El Ela Bridge , Cairo
Cairo
(removed in 1998) * New Abu El Ela Bridge, Cairo * Imbaba Bridge , Cairo * Rod Elfarag Bridge, Cairo * Second Ring Road Bridge, Cairo * Banha Bridge, Banha * Samanoud Bridge, Samanoud * Mansoura 2 Bridges, Mansoura * Talkha Bridge, Talkha * Shirbine high Bridge * Shirbine Bridge * Kafr Sad - Farscor Bridge * International Coastal Road Bridge * Damietta high Bridge, Damietta * Damietta Bridge, Damietta * Kafr El Zayat Bridges, Kafr El Zayat * Zefta Bridge, Zefta

This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it .

CROSSINGS FROM RWANDA TO KHARTOUM

* Nalubaale Bridge, Jinja, Uganda
Uganda
(Formerly Owen Falls Bridge ) * Karuma Bridge, Karuma , Uganda * Pakwach Bridge, Uganda

This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it .

IMAGES AND MEDIA OF THE NILE

*

Riverboat on the Nile, Egypt
Egypt
1900 *

Marsh along the Nile
Nile
*

A river boat crossing the Nile
Nile
in Uganda
Uganda
*

Murchison Falls in Uganda, between Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga *

The Nile
Nile
in Luxor
Luxor
*

The river Nile
Nile
flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

The following is an annotated bibliography of key written documents for the Western exploration of the Nile.

17TH CENTURY

* _Historia da Ethiopia_, Pedro Páez (aka Pero Pais), Portugal, 1620

A Jesuit
Jesuit
missionary who was sent from Goa
Goa
to Ethiopia
Ethiopia
in 1589 and remained in the area until his death in 1622. Credited with being the first European to view the source of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
which he describes in this volume.

* _Voyage historique d'Abissinie_, Jerónimo Lobo (aka Girolamo Lobo), Piero Matini, Firenze; 1693

One of the most important and earliest sources on Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and the Nile. Jerónimo Lobo (1595-1687), a Jesuit
Jesuit
priest, stayed in Ethiopia, mostly in Tigre , for 9 years and travelled to Lake Tana and the Blue Nile, reaching the province of Damot . When the Jesuits were expelled from the country, he too had to leave and did so via Massaua and Suakin . "He was the best expert on Ethiopian matters. After Pais, Lobo is the second European to describe the sources of the Blue Nile and he did so more exactly than Bruce" (transl. from Henze).

18TH CENTURY

* _ Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile
Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile
in the Years – 1768, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 _, James Bruce
James Bruce
of Kinnaird. J. Ruthven for G. GJ. and J. Robinson et al., Edinburgh, 1790 (5 Volumes)

With time on his hands and at the urging of a friend, Bruce composed this account of his travels on the African continent, including comments on the history and religion of Egypt, an account of Indian trade, a history of Abyssinia , and other material. Although Bruce would not be confused with "a great scholar or a judicious critic, few books of equal compass are equally entertaining; and few such monuments exist of the energy and enterprise of a single traveller" (DNB). "The result of his travels was a very great enrichment of the knowledge of geography and ethnography" (Cox II, p. 389.) Bruce was one of the earliest westerners to search for the source of the Nile. In November 1770 he reached the source of the Blue Nile, and though he acknowledged that the White Nile was the larger stream, he claimed that the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
was the Nile
Nile
of the ancients and that he was thus the discoverer of its source. The account of his travels was written twelve years after his journey and without reference to his journals, which gave critics grounds for disbelief, but the substantial accuracy of the book has since been amply demonstrated.

1800–1850

* _ Egypt
Egypt
And Mohammed Ali, Or Travels In The Valley of The Nile_, James Augustus St. John , Longman, London, 1834

St. John traveled extensively in Egypt
Egypt
and Nubia
Nubia
in 1832–33, mainly on foot. He gives a very interesting picture of Egyptian life and politics under Mohammed Ali , a large part of volume II deals with the Egyptian campaign in Syria
Syria
.

* _Travels in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Above the Second Cateract of the Nile; Exhibiting the State of That Country and Its Various Inhabitants Under the Dominion of Mohammed Ali ; and Illustrating the Antiquities, Arts, and History of the Ancient Kingdom of Meroe_, G. A.Hoskins. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, 1835. * _Modern Egypt
Egypt
and Thebes: Being a Description of Egypt; Including Information Required for Travelers in That Country_, Sir Gardner Wilkinson, John Murray, London, 1843

The first known English travelers guide to the Lower Nile
Nile
Basin.

1850–1900

* _Lake Regions of Central Equatorial Africa, with Notices of The Lunar Mountains and the Sources of the White Nile; being The Results of an Expedition Undertaken under the Patronage of Her Majesty's Government and the Royal Geographical Society of London, In the Years 1857–1859_, Sir Richard Burton
Sir Richard Burton
. W. Clowes , London; 1860

Sir Richard Burton's presentation of his expedition with John Speke . Ultimately, Burton's view of the sources of the Nile
Nile
failed and Speke's prevailed.

* _Travels, researches, and missionary labours, during eighteen years' residence in eastern Africa. Together with journeys to Jagga, Usambara, Ukambani, Shoa, Abessinia, and Khartum; and a coasting voyage from Mombaz to Cape Delgado. With an appendix respecting the snow-capped mountains of eastern Africa; the sources of the Nile; the languages and literature of Abessinia And eastern Africa, etc. etc._, Rev Dr. J. Krapf , Trubner and Co, London; 1860; Ticknor and Fields
Ticknor and Fields
, Boston; 1860

Krapf went to East Africa in the service of the English Church Missionary Society, arriving at Mombasa
Mombasa
, Kenya
Kenya
in 1844 and staying in East Africa until 1853. While stationed there he was the first to report the existence of Lake Baringo and a sighting of the snow-clad Kilimanjaro . Krapf, during his travels, collected information from the Arab traders operating inland from the coast. From the traders Krapf and his companions learned of great lakes and snow-capped mountains, which Krapf claimed to have seen for himself, much to the ridicule of English explorers who could not believe the idea of snow on the equator. However, Krapf was correct and had seen Mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya, the first European to do so.

* _Egypt, Soudan and Central Africa: With Explorations From Khartoum on the White Nile to the Regions of the Equator, Being Sketches from Sixteen Years' Travel_, John Petherick . William Blackwood
William Blackwood
, Edinburgh; 1861

Petherick was a well known Welsh traveler in East Central Africa where he had adopted the profession of mining engineer. This work describes sixteen years of his travel throughout Africa. In 1845, he entered the service of Mehemet Ali, and was employed in examining Upper Egypt, Nubia, the Red Sea
Red Sea
coast and Kordofan in an unsuccessful search for coal. In 1848, he left the Egyptian service and established himself at El Obeid as a trader and was, at the same time made British Consul for the Sudan. In 1853, he removed to Khartoum
Khartoum
and became an ivory trader. He traveled extensively in the Bahr-el- Ghazal region, then almost unknown, exploring the Jur , Yalo
Yalo
and other affluents of the Ghazal and in 1858 he penetrated the Niam-Niam country. Petherick's additions to the knowledge of natural history were considerable, being responsible for the discovery of a number of new species. In 1859, he returned to England where he became acquainted with John Speke
John Speke
, then arranging for an expedition to discover the source of the Nile. While in England, Petherick married and published this account of his travels. He got the idea to join Speke in his travels, and in this volume is an actual subscription and list of subscribers to raise money to send Petherick to join Speke. His subsequent adventures as a consul in Africa were published in a later work.

* _Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile_, John Hanning Speke . William Blackwood
William Blackwood
, Edinburgh, 1863; Harper 1864

Speke had previously made an expedition with Sir Richard Burton under the auspices of the Indian government, during which Speke was convinced that he had discovered the source of the Nile. Burton, however, disagreed and ridiculed Speke's account. Speke set off on another expedition, recounted here, in the company of Captain Grant. During the course of this expedition he not only produced further evidence for his discoveries but he also met (later Sir) Samuel and Florence Baker . Speke and Burton provided them with essential information which helped Baker in the discovery of the Albert Nyanza
Albert Nyanza
. The importance of Speke's discoveries can hardly be overestimated. In discovering the source reservoir of the Nile
Nile
he succeeded in solving the problem of all ages; he and Grant were the first Europeans to cross Equatorial Eastern Africa and gained for the world a knowledge of about 800 km (500 mi) of a portion of Eastern Africa previously totally unknown.

SEE ALSO

* Africa portal * Geography portal

* Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station * Egyptian Public Works * Kiira Hydroelectric Power Station
Kiira Hydroelectric Power Station
* Water
Water
politics in the Nile
Nile
Basin * Merowe Dam * Nalubaale Hydroelectric Power Station * Orders of magnitude * Vid Flumina , a river of liquid methane and ethane on Saturn's moon Titan

REFERENCES

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Nile
River
River
at GEOnet Names Server * ^ " Nile
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River". _ Encyclopædia Britannica
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Nile
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Water
Conflicts: A Case for Eritrea" (PDF). _African Sociological Review_. 11 (1). Retrieved 25 July 2011. * ^ _A_ _B_ Mohamed Helmy Mahmoud Moustafa Elsanabary"Teleconnection, Modeling, Climate Anomalies Impact and Forecasting of Rainfall and Streamflow of the Upper Blue Nile
Blue Nile
River Basin". Canada
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: University of Alberta
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Blue Nile
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Oxford University Press
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Nile
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Nile
River". Nile
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Portal
Archived 27 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ McLeay, Cam (July 2, 2006). "The Truth About the Source of R. Nile". _ New Vision _. Retrieved August 31, 2011. * ^ " Nile
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and the Nile * ^ Arabic
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_bahr_ can refer to either seas or large rivers. * ^ Hurst H.E.; et al. (2011). "The Nile
Nile
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Blue Nile
and Akbara and the Main Nile
Nile
to Aswan, with some Reference to the Projects Nile
Nile
control Dept. paper 12" (PDF). Cairo: Government Printing office. * ^ J. V. Sutcliffe ">(PDF). IAHS Special
Special
Publication no. 5. p. 161. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2010. * ^ Robert J. Stern, Mohamed Gamal Abdelsalam: The Origin of the Great Bend of the Nile
Nile
from SIR-C/X-SAR Imaginary. In: Science, New Series, Vol.274, Issue 5293 (Dec.6,1996), pp.1696-1698 * ^ as per Strabos Geographika book XVII * ^ Egyptian Dust Plume, Red Sea * ^ " Blue Nile
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river, Africa". _Encyclopedia Britannica_. Retrieved 2017-07-31. * ^ Marshall et al., "Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental and climatic change from Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile" (PDF). (247 KB), 2006 * ^ "Two Niles Meet : Image of the Day". _earthobservatory.nasa.gov_. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2017-07-31. * ^ Shahin, Mamdouh (2002). _Hydrology and Water
Water
Resources of Africa_. Springer. pp. 276, 287–288. ISBN 1-4020-0866-X . ; online at Google Books * ^ "Sobat River". _ Encyclopædia Britannica
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. Retrieved January 21, 2008. * ^ Keding, Birgit (2000). "New Data on the Holocene Occupation of the Wadi Howar
Wadi Howar
Region (Eastern Sahara/Sudan)". _Studies in African Archaeology_. 7: 89–104. * ^ Carmignani, Luigi; Salvini, Riccardo; Bonciani, Filippo (2009). "Did the Nile
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flow to the Gulf of Sirt during the late Miocene?" (PDF). _Bollettino della Societa Geologica Italiana (Italian Journal of Geoscience)_. 128 (2): 403–408. doi :10.3301/IJG.2009.128.2.403 .

* ^ Salvini, Riccardo; Carmignani, Luigi; Francionib, Mirko; Casazzaa, Paolo (2015). "Elevation modelling and palaeo-environmental interpretation in the Siwa area (Egypt): Application of SAR interferometry and radargrammetry to COSMO-SkyMed imagery". _Catena_. 129: 46–62. doi :10.1016/j.catena.2015.02.017 . * ^ Although the ancestral Sahara
Sahara
Desert
Desert
initially developed at least 7 million years ago, it grew during interglacial periods and shrank during glacial ones. The growth of the current Sahara
Sahara
began about 6,000 years ago . Schuster, Mathieu; et al. (2006). "The age of the Sahara
Sahara
desert" (PDF). _Science_. 311 (5762): 821–821. doi :10.1126/science.1120161 . * ^ Warren, John (2006). _Evaporites:Sediments, Resources and Hydrocarbons_. Berlin: Springer. p. 352. ISBN 3-540-26011-0 . * ^ Said, R. (1981). _The geological evolution of the River
River
Nile_. Springer Verlag . * ^ Williams, M.A.J.; Williams, F. (1980). _Evolution of Nile Basin_. In M.A.J. Williams and H. Faure (eds). _The Sahara
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and the Nile_. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 207–224. * ^ Salama, R.B. (1987). "The evolution of the River
River
Nile, The buried saline rift lakes in Sudan". _J. African Earth Sciences_. 6 (6): 899–913. doi :10.1016/0899-5362(87)90049-2 . * ^ Salama, R.B. (1997). _Rift Basins of Sudan. African Basins, Sedimentary Basins of the World. 3._ Edited by R.C. Selley (Series Editor K.J. Hsu) pp. 105–149. ElSevier, Amsterdam. * ^ _A_ _B_ Springer, Lisa; Neil Morris (15 January 2010). _Art and Culture of Ancient Egypt_. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4358-3589-4 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Chisholm 1911 , p. 698. * ^ Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile
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* ^ _History of Ethiopia_, circa 1622 * ^ _Historia geral da Ethiopia
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a Alta_, 1660 * ^ _Mundus Subterraneus_, 1664 * ^ _The Present State of Egypt_, 1678. * ^ S. Whiteway, editor and translator, _The Portuguese Expedition to Abyssinia in 1441–1543_, 1902. (Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1967), p. 241. * ^ _Natural History _, 5.10 * ^ Chisholm 1911 , p. 693. * ^ Shahin, Mamdouh (2002). _Hydrology and Water
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Resources of Africa_. Springer. pp. 286–287. ISBN 1-4020-0866-X . ; online at Google Books * ^ "Big Canal To Change Course of Nile
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River". October 1933. _ Popular Science
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_ (short article on top-right of page with map). * ^ H. A. W. Morrice and W. N. Allan, _Planning for the ultimate hydraulic development of the Nile
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Valley_, Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 14, 101, 1959. doi :10.1680/iicep.1959.11963 * ^ M. P. Barnett, _Comment on the Nile
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Valley Calculations_, _ Journal of the Royal Statistical Society _, Series B, vol. 19, 223, 1957. JSTOR 2983815 * ^ D. F. Manzer and M. P. Barnett, _Analysis by Simulation: Programming Techniques for a High-Speed Digital Computer_, in Arthur Maas _et al_, _Design of Water
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Resource Systems_, pp. 324–390, Harvard University Press , Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1962. * ^ _A_ _B_ Blue Peace for the Nile, 2009 Archived 8 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine .; Report by Strategic Foresight Group * ^ The Nile Basin Initiative Archived 27 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Cambanis, Thanassis (25 September 2010). " Egypt
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and Thirsty Neighbors Are at Odds Over Nile". New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2010. * ^ National Geographic released a feature film about the expedition in late 2005 entitled _The Longest River_. * ^ They chronicled their adventure with an IMAX
IMAX
camera and two handheld video cams, sharing their story in the IMAX
IMAX
film _Mystery of the Nile
Nile
_ released in 2005, and in a book of the same title. * ^ Mark Tanner, Paddling the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
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FURTHER READING

* Jeal, Tim (2011). _Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure_. ISBN 978-0-300-14935-7 * Tvedt, Terje, ed. _The River
River
Nile
Nile
in the Post-Colonial Age: Conflict and Cooperation Among the Nile
Nile
Basin Countries_ (I.B. Tauris, 2010) 293 pages; studies of the river's finite resources as shared by multiple nations in the post-colonial era; includes research by scholars from Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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