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The Nile, Arabic النيل, an-Nīl, is Africa's longest river, and by most definitions the longest in the world.

Its drainage basin contains territory of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, and Egypt.

The White Nile springs from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile from Lake Tana in Ethiopia.



Most of the Nile flows in arid climate. In the Saharan desert of Egypt and northern Sudan, the Nile provides most of the available water for farming.

Ancient Egypt is one of the world's oldest civilizations, with its monuments being among the most famous human landmarks along the Nile. Upriver and contemporary with Ancient Egypt, Nubia was a neighbouring kingdom, which left behind equally impressive, if much less visited, monuments. Since the Roman conquest of the Nile delta, the river has been dominated by foreign empires for 2000 years; such as the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Since 1956, Egypt is independent, and the most populous Arab country.



Get in


Khartoum has flights from several airports in the Middle East and Africa. Port Sudan has some flights and has a bus to Khartoum. International trains and buses may also be available, depending on the political situation.

As of 2023, military conflict is ongoing in Sudan, especially Khartoum. There may be ceasefires, but they may or may not be respected. If you want to include Sudan in your journey, you should probably postpone it.

Aswan has an international airport and rail services from the rest of Egypt.



A classic way of sailing down the Egyptian portion of the river is taking a Felucca cruise on the Nile. The itinerary Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus closely follows the river on its northern section.

Khartoum to Aswan

  • 1 Khartoum, Sudan, the meeting of the Blue and White Nile. The confluence of the rivers is reportedly forbidden to photo, as it is considered a strategic point.
  • 2 Aswan, Egypt, the site of the Aswan Dam.

Aswan to Luxor

  • 3 Luxor, Egypt, many fabulous temples and ruins.

Luxor to Cairo

  • 4 Cairo, Egypt, the largest city along the Nile, home to the Pyramids of Giza.

Cairo to Alexandria

  • 5 Alexandria, Egypt, the largest city in the Nile River Delta.

Alexandria to Lake Burullus

  • 6 Lake Burullus, Egypt, the largest freshwater lake in the Nile River Delta

Stay safe


Go next

  • Suez Route — a naval route which connects Europe with the Far East through the nearby Suez Canal and the Red Sea
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