What Country Is The Nile River

The Nile River has been an integral part of the history, culture, and livelihoods of many people through the vast regions it has provided water and sustenance to over thousands of years. But where does this majestic natural wonder come from? What country is the Nile River in? Let’s dive in and explore what this remarkable river provides for us.

The Nile River rises from two main sources, one coming from the Ethiopian Highlands and a second tributary from the mountains of Rwanda. Over its great length of 6,800 km (4,250 miles) the river traverses along several countries as it feeds Lake Victoria into the Mediterranean Sea, allowing life to grow and prosper in downstream nations.

Officially, the country that hosts most of the Nile River is Egypt, with 68.5% of the river’s drainage basin. This ancient land’s history and culture is deeply intertwined with the Nile, with many cultures and dynasties occupying it dating back to the 4th millennium BC. Its yearly cycle of flooding with the seasonal rains allowed ancient civilizations to flourish along its banks, supplying ample amounts of silt ideal for agriculture. The Nile’s water is also a fundamental part in Egypt’s current economic activities, providing around 86.9% of its total water resources.

Sudan comes in second with a sizable portion of the river stretching for a length of almost 900 km, about 13.4% of the overall drainage basin, with 4.2% of the total area of Sudan located in the Nile basin. The abundance of resources from the Nile and its tributaries allowed Sudan to farm the land around them and gave rise to cities such as Khartoum, Omdurman and Jebel Aulia. The Blue and White Niles ultimately meet in Khartoum and become the iconic “Nile Sea”. Sudan also has most of the river’s hydroelectric dams.

Further downstream and to the east, Ethiopia makes up the 3rd largest portion of the Nile besides Egypt and Sudan with a drainage basin of 5.0%. Ethiopia is the source of the Nile’s famous Abay or Blue Nile, with its waters feeding directly into Lake Tana in the north before coursing its way to the central highlands and finally merging with the White Nile in Khartoum. Ethiopia is home to the Blue Nile Gorge, one of the world’s deepest river gorges and longest lavender fields.

Finally, Tanzania is the fourth country with the largest portion of the Nile, making up for 2.4% of their overall outline, located in the south-eastern part of the country Our experts say that the Tanzania’s portion of The Nile is very important since the country is rich in minerals, and more water in The Nile helps the Tanzanian people to properly access it.

The importance of the Nile, shared by many countries in Africa, has been instrumental in the development of numerous civilizations, both past and present. Its staggering length, rich biodiversity and life-sustaining effects makes it one of the most remarkable sites in the world. Its unmistakable power is a testament to our ancestors who were able to harness its potential and make it productive for their development and prosperity.

The Nile’s Environmental Impact

The Nile River is a major source of food and resources to those living near it but it can also be an environmental hazard. The abundant amount of water can sometimes cause unmeasured flooding and the strong current can erode and destabilize the river banks, leading to siltation endangering wildlife.

Scientists and local authorities have been striving to find ways and alternatives to the over-exploitation of the Nile since the 1980s. However, due to the river’s location near various nations, the task of preserving it can be a difficult and political task. Climate change and other environmental changes have also been linked to diminishing water levels and the fate of the Nile is highly dependent on the climate in future years.

Nile River Basin Initiative

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an inter-governmental partnership among the ten Nile basin countries, with the purpose of developing the resources of the Nile through transboundary cooperation. Initiatives such as this are important to promote shared goals, manage natural resources, and plan sustainable development projects among the member states.

The NBI has several programs that promote cooperation in the Nile basin covering aspects such as development, ecology, resources and infrastructure. Its most notable achievements are the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) and the Nile Basin Capacity Development Initiative. Both projects help improve access to reliable data concerning the Nile and its impact on the countries it runs through in order to better manage the river’s resources and plan for its sustainability.

Nile River Tourism

Apart from being an important water resource, the Nile is also a highly esteemed tourist destination in North and East Africa. Its vast length and its beauty attracts many adventurers and religious pilgrims alike, to both its banks and the many archaeological sites it provides.

The most visited sites are near the northern part of the river, the ancient cities of Thebes and Karnak in Egypt, where tourists explore the renowned temples in their natural surrounds. The wildlife around the river is also a sight to appreciate, with numerous mammals, amphibians and birds situated near the banks. There are also numerous cultural centers along the route, such as the ancient Nubian tribal villages and the historical island of Takarkori.

There are also a variety of Nile cruises available in different parts of the Nile offering fabulous views of the river’s entirety. It provides the perfect opportunity to explore the hidden gems of the river’s landscape with hassle free transportation included.

Nile River Pollution

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of many programs and initiatives, the pollution still remains a severe issue in the region, with many unsustainable agricultural practices, sewage systems and industrial dumping contributing to the contamination of the river. According to UNEP, the river’s water quality is regularly compromised in every downstream country, with rural areas bearing the brunt of the chemical burn due to poverty and lack of access to clean water.

In addition, the introduction of new aquatic species such as the infamous invasive water hyacinth have clogged waterways, affected the environment, and blocked water access for the local populations. The increasing water levels have also led to the expansion of water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis, a debilitating infective disease caused by parasitic worms.

Sustainable Solutions for the Nile

Despite the dire conditions of the Nile and its surroundings, considerable amounts of work are being done to promote more sustainable and comprehensive solutions. Comprehensive water resources strategies are being developed to help ease the pollution and preserve the river’s potential of providing clean and accessible water. Various international and local groups are responsible for helping develop a sustainable relationship between local societies and the Nile.

Notably, the Nile Basin states created a unified platform, the Nile Basin Cooperative Fruminati (NBFC), in 2008 in an effort to manage and share the water resources. This organization is responsible for defining the primary objectives related to development and management of the basin, identifying threats to the river, providing opportunities to develop technical projects, and promoting independent research initiatives.

The states have also been making economic contributions to ensure the longevity of the river, for example Uganda has set up a fund for the protection of the water catchment areas, whilst Ethiopia has committed to more sustainable use of the resources available from the Blue Nile. Other measures such as the The Water Resources Management policy, set up by Nile Basin Initiative and Nile Equator Initiative also assist in managing the water resources much more effectively and efficiently.


The Nile River provides vital resources for many African countries and its elongated course stretches through many systems and basins further downstream. With the right attention and policies, the Nile has the potential to foster development, growth, stability and security for those who inhabit near it. It is our responsibility to care and nurture this great resource while expanding and improving the goods and services it can provide.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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