01 April 2015

Nile River Natural Wonder of Africa, and the World

The Nile River is highlighted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Besides being the world's longest river, the Nile is host to important resource for plants, animals, and humans alike.

The Journey: Lake Victoria, where the White Nile begins, is located at elevation in the Serengeti - or great plains. Downstream, in Uganda, the Nile traverses through Murchison Falls National Park. This park includes communities of giraffe, elephant, lions, crocodiles, and hippos, among other East African species. As the Nile makes its way through South Sudan swamps and into Sudan, it is an important resource for human communities for agriculture, fishing, and hunting. The White Nile joins the Blue Nile in Khartoum, Sudan. The Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands. There it is an important resource for human agrarian communities as well as for scores of birdlife. The Blue Nile snakes its way through Ethiopia and crosses the border into Sudan's Blue Nile State where countless refugees and locals use the river as a resource for survival. By the time the river crosses into Egypt, it is dammed twice in Sudan, harnessed for electricity and storage water. In Egypt, the Nile is once again dammed for hydroelectric power generation, as well as storage for regulated downstream flow and canal projects to the desert. The Nile Valley is the only green line across a dry desert landscape, the only water resource for local human communities as well as ecosystems. Finally, when the Nile dumps into the Mediterranean, it hosts a rich wetland of fish, plants, and birds.

The climates that the Nile basin includes are varied and diverse. These represent most of all of the climate regimes in East and North Africa. The histories on the river are ancient - the basin includes a host of things from pharonic pyramids, to conquering religious monuments, to sustaining some of the world's oldest and most persistent hunter gatherer communities.

There is no question why the river is indeed, a wonder of the world.