“Life begins where the river flows.”- African Adage
Millions of people often rely on rivers for freshwater, food, and transport and Africa is one of the continents immensely blessed with rivers all over its territory.
These great rivers of Africa, among others, have brought explorers and missionaries into the continent’s heartlands and to this day are a source of fascination for anyone interested in the continent’s history and geography.
This article provides information on seven of the major rivers of Africa…
Not only is this river the longest in Africa, but is considered to be the longest river in the world which stretches from Egypt to Burundi in the east. This status has been challenged by the Amazon River in South America. The Nile River is the subject of historical accounts. It is where the earliest civilization began. Luxury cruises are offered on the Nile, where you can see tombs, temples, and pyramids.
Congo, on the other side, is the second-longest river in Africa with a depth of 720 feet, that flows out of the equatorial zones starting from Eastern Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Since it is rated the second-longest river, it flows through the Republic of Congo up to Angola. The Congo River is also the only major river that crosses the equator twice. 13 per cent of the world’s hydropower potential is accounted to the Congo River. The river is often mystified, and famous myths and legends are often associated with the Congo. It was once called the “heart of darkness” due to its history of the slave, ivory trade, and tribal warfare.
The Zambezi is home to the famous Victoria falls but compared to Niger, it is way shorter, yet, it is the largest river on the continent that flows directly to the Indian Ocean. Zambesi River is an important water source for countries in Africa such as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola which heavily depends on the water from the Zambezi.
Niger is the third-longest river with its water more transparent than the Nile River. It carries only a tenth of the sediment compared to the Nile and has one of the most unusual routes of any major river in the globe. Its primary source is merely 240km inland from the Atlantic Ocean. The northern part of the river is a crucial body of water, especially to the Sahara Desert, owing to the fact that Niger is an important area of trade across the western Sahara and Sahelian regions. It is also the lifeline of the Sahelian Region because it provides water for agriculture. Major dams and irrigation to cultivate and sustain life.
The Senegal River is the convergence of two rivers (Semefe and Bafing). The river flows from the west to the north and runs for about 1,790 kilometres. The river has a colourful history as a point where trade was established between the Mali Empire and traders from the Sahara. The river was called Senegal because immense deposits of gold can be found on its riverbed.
Another major river located in South Africa is the 1,600 km long Limpopo River. It is the second-largest in the country, and an essential body of water on the continent because it serves as a border, separating South Africa from Zimbabwe and Botswana. This river which is connected to the Indian Ocean empties itself into the ocean and flows around several countries in Africa. It is also a great source of water supply to nearby villages in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
This river is found in South Africa with the Augrabies Falls National Park and Richtersveld National Park flanking it. It has a colonial past as it is named after the Prince of Orange in 1779. In the country of South Africa, it is considered the longest river. It is one of the most sought-after destinations in the country. It has beautiful scenery, a tolerable climate, and a serene landscape.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the seven major rivers in Africa.
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