What would it be like to take a cruise up the Nile River? You’ll have to imagine it. You see, the Nile is not navigable. You can’t take a boat all the way up it like you could on, say, the Mississippi River.
The Nile Delta—You start in this 8,500-square-mile area. There are plenty of waterways as the Nile fans out and empties into the sea.
Cairo—Raise the sail. This section of the Nile is wide and calm. The river creates a swath of green through the dry, tan Sahara Desert.
Aswan Dam—This is our first barrier. It was built to control the Nile. In ancient times, annual flooding made farming possible. But an overflowing river isn’t good for modern agriculture.
The Great Bend—It almost seems like the river must be flowing back up hill as it goes in the opposite direction for such a large loop.
Cataracts—In six places, the Nile is shallow and rocky. Through history, these rapids have caused headaches for explorers and conquering armies.
Confluence—Khartoum, Sudan, marks the point where the White and Blue Nile join.
Blue Nile—This river rises into high lands more quickly than the White Nile. Yearly monsoon rains in the mountains of Ethiopia fill the river, causing the Nile’s famous yearly flooding.
The Sudd—South Sudan is mostly flat. The White Nile spreads out and slows down, creating the world’s largest freshwater swamp. Here, half the Nile’s water evaporates.
Lake Victoria—Most people say this is the start of the Nile. Others say the source is beyond. But it would be pretty hard to figure out. After all, Lake Victoria is fed by hundreds of streams from three different countries.