Ethiopia Administrative Divisions Map
Ethiopia Administrative Divisions Map

Download Ethiopia Map
Ethiopia Political Map
Ethiopia Political Map

Download Political Map
Ethiopia Physical Map
Ethiopia Physical Map

Download Ethiopia Map
Ethiopia Map
Ethiopia Map

Download Ethiopia Map
Ethiopia High Resolution Map
Ethiopia Detailed High Resolution Map

Download High Resolution Map
Ethiopia Outline Map
Ethiopia Outline Map

Download Ethiopia Outline Map
Ethiopia Blank Map
Ethiopia Blank Map

Download Ethiopia Blank Map
    NILE, the longest river of Africa, and second in length of all the rivers of the globe, draining a vast area in north-east Africa, from the East African lake plateau to the shores of the Mediterranean. Although falling short of the length of the Mississippi Missouri (4194 M. according to the estimate of General Tillo'), the Nile is at the head of all rivers as regards the length of its basin, which extends through 35° of latitude or 2450 M. in a direct line, with a waterway of about 4000 M. The Nile proper, i.e. from the outlet at Victoria Nyanza to the sea, is 3473 M. long. The early Egyptians called his river by a name which was probably Ironounced Hap. It seems to be contected with a root meaning " concealed," ` mysterious." This survived as a religious lesignation down to the fall of paganism. he " great river " was also a frequent lame for the main stream, and this ecame the usual name of the Nile in ate times as Ier-'o and continued in use tmongst the Copts. In the Bible the vile is regularly named YeOr CM', IN'), rom the contemporary Egyptian Yor, ` river." The origin of the Greek and oman name NeIXor, Nilus, is quite lnknown. Alyan:7os in the Odyssey is he name of the Nile (masc.) as well as if the country (fern.). The Arabs preerved the classical name of the Nile in he, proper name En-Nil ,).;;:,11, or Nil- Misr ,),,j, the Nile of Misr (Egypt). The same word signifies indigo.' The modern Egyptians commonly call the river El-Bahr, " the sea," a term also applied to the largest rivers, and the inundation " the Nile," En-Nil; and the modern Arabs call the river Bahr-en-Nil, " the river Nile." Basin of the River.—The Nile system is a simple one with three principal divisions: (i) the main stream running south to north, and fed by the great lakes of East Central Africa; (2) the equatorial tributary rivers draining the country north-east of the Congo basin; (3) the Abyssinian affluents. The extent of the basin of the Nile is clearly indicated on the map. Its area is estimated at 1,107,227 sq. m., which compares with the 1,425,000 sq. m. area of the Congo basin. The smaller basin of the longer river is due to its narrowness when passing through the Sahara. South-ward the basin includes the northern part of the plateau between the two, " Rift " valleys which traverse that part of Africa, and also that portion of the Albertine (or western) " Rift " valley which lies north of the Mfumbiro mountains. That part of the plateau within the Nile basin is occupied by the Victoria Nyanza and its affiuents. These affluents drain a comparatively small part of this plateau, which stretches south to Lake Nyasa. The most remote feeder of the Nile in this direction does not extend farther than 30 20' S. West and W.S.W. of Victoria Nyanza, however, the Nile basin reaches 3° 5o' S. (264 M. south of the equator) and 29° 15' E., following the crest of the hills which dominate the north-eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika and the eastern shores of Lake Kivu. Turning north-westward from this point the Nile basin crosses the mountainous region of Mfumbiro and includes that of Ruwenzori. Its limit is marked by the western wall of the 1 "En-Nil is the river (lit. the inundation) of Egypt: Es-Saghani says—' But as to the nil [indigo] with which one dyes, it is an Indian word Arabicized' " (The Misbhh of El-Fayumi): Albertine Rift valley, in which lie the Albert Edward and Albert Nyanzas. For a considerable distance the water-parting between the Congo and the Nile is close to the Albert Nyanza and to the Nile as it flows from that lake, but not far north of Wadelai (2° 46' N.) the hills recede and the Nile basin expands westward, over the wide area drained by the Bahrel-Ghazal and its tributaries. In this region there is no well-marked watershed between the Congo and Nile systems, which interlace. Farther north the limit of the valley is marked by the hills of Darfur. Below that point the valley of the Nile extends but a mile or two into the desert. The south-eastern limits of the Nile basin extend nearly to the western escarpment of the eastern Rift valley—the dividing plateau being a narrow one. North of the equator a bend is made westward to Mt. Elgon, which on the north-east sends its water towards Lake Rudolf. From Mt. Elgon the Nile watershed is some distance to the west of that lake, while to its north a turn is made again, the watershed including a great part of the Abyssinian highlands. Beyond 15° N. it follows a line generally parallel to the west shore of the Red Sea, except where diverted to the west by the basin of the Khor Baraka. Sources of the Nile.—The question of the sources of the Nile opens up a time-honoured controversy (see under Story of Discovery below). Victoria Nyanza (q.v.) is the great reservoir whence issues the Nile on its long journey to the Mediterranean. But if the source of the river be considered to be the most remote headstream (measured by the windings of the stream), the distinction belongs to one of the upper branches of the Kagera. Among the feeders of Victoria Nyanza the Kagera is by far the most important, both for length of course and volume of water carried, draining the region of greatest rainfall round Lake Victoria. Three chief branches unite to form the Kagera, and of these the most important for the volume of water carried is said to be the Nyavarongo. The Nyavarongo is formed by the union of various mountain streams, the Rukarara and the Mhogo being the chief. The Rukarara rises in about 2° 20' S., 29° 20' E., at an elevation of some 7000 ft., in a picturesque and bracing region immediately east of the Albertine Rift valley. The Nyavarongo first flows north to about I ° 40' S., then turning in a sharp bend east and south, and on again reaching 2° 20' S., unites with the Akanyaru just west of 30° E. The Akanyaru, which comes from the south-west, has been sometimes considered the larger stream, but according to Dr Richard Kandt it carries decidedly less water, while its course is shorter than that of the Nyavarongo. The combined stream takes an easterly and southerly direction, flowing in a swamp valley and joining a little west of 31° E. the third branch of the Kagera, the Ruvuvu, coming from the south. The source of the Ruvuvu is in about 2° 55' S., 29;° E., but its most southern tributary, and the most distant stream sending its waters towards the Nile, is the Lavironza. The Lavironza rises in about 3° 45' S., 29° 50' E., and flows north-east, joining the Ruvuvu, which has hitherto had an easterly direction, in about 30° 25' E., 3° to' S. From this point the Ruvuvu flows east and north to its junction with the Nyavarongo. From this confluence the combined stream of the Kagera flows north and north-west in a level valley strewn with small lakes until almost 1 ° S., when it turns east, and finally empties itself into Victoria Nyanza just north of I° S., the mouth forming a small projecting delta. Its lower course is navigable by shallow draught steamers. The total length of the Kagera, reckoning from the source of the Nyavarongo, is some 430 M. Its volume is stated to vary between 21,000 and 54,000 cub. ft. per second. All the other feeders of Victoria Nyanza are small and often intermittent rivers, the largest being probably the Nzoia, which enters on the north-east from the plateaus south of Mount Elgon. (The rivers which enter Albert Edward and Albert Nyanzas and, with those lakes, form the western sources of the Nile, are dealt with under ALBERT NYANZA and ALBERT EDWARD NYANZA.) The Victoria or Somerset Nile.—The ridge of high land which forms the northern shore of Victoria Nyanza is broken at its narrowest part, where the pent-up waters of the lake—through which a drift from the Kagera inlet to the Nile outlet is just perceptible—have forced a passage at the northern end of a beautiful bay named Napoleon Gulf. At this spot, 30 M. north of the equator, at an altitude of 3704 ft., the Nile issues from the lake between cliffs 200 and more ft. high with a breadth of some 500 yds. The scene is one of much grandeur. The escaping water precipitates itself over a rocky ledge with a clear fall of 161 ft. The falls, some 300 yds. across, and divided into three channels by two small wooded islands, are named the Ripon Falls, after Earl de Grey and Ripon (afterwards 1st marquess of Ripon), president of the Royal Geographical Society in 1859. The Victoria or Somerset Nile, as this section is called, has at first the character of a mountain stream, racing swiftly through a rocky channel often walled in by cliffs (at times 18o ft. high) and broken by picturesque islands and countless rapids. It receives the waters of several streams, which, rising within a few miles of the Victoria Nyanza, flow north. For 133 M. its course is N.N.W.,when, on being joined by the river Kafu (on which Fort Mruli stands), about 1° 39' N., 32° 20' E., it takes the north-east direction of that channel, and it is not till 2° N. that the river again turns westward towards the Albert Nyanza. Seventy miles below the Ripon Falls the Nile enters a marshy lake of irregular outline, running mainly east and west, and known as Kioga (or Choga). The current of the Nile is clearly discernible along the western shore of this lake, which is 3514 ft. above the sea. Eastwards the lake breaks into several long arms, which receive the waters of other lakes lying on the plain west of Mount Elgon. One of these, named Lake Salisbury, lies in 1 ° 40' N. and 34° E.; east of this lake and connected with it is Lake Gedge. Lake Kioga also receives the Mpologoma, a river which rises in the foothills of Elgon and flows east and north, attaining a width of 11 m.; and from the south (west of the Nile) a broad lacustrine river, the Seziwa. The Kioga lake system, lying north of the ridge which separates it from Victoria Nyanza, owes its formation in part to the waters pouring down from the Nyanza, and is in the nature of a huge Nile backwater. The lake itself is rarely more than 20 ft. deep; its greatest length is 85 m.; its greatest width to m. Below Mruli, the fall in the bed levels of the Nile, which up to this point has been comparatively gradual, increases considerably. At Karuma, where the western bend to the Albert Nyanza is made, the river falls over a wall-like ledge of rock, 5 ft. high, which extends across its bed. But the great feature of the Victoria Nile are the Murchison Falls (named by Sir Samuel Baker, their discoverer, after Sir Roderick Murchison, the geologist), situated in 2° 18' N. and 310 50' E. At this point the river rages furiously through a rock-bound pass, and, plunging through a cleft less than 18 ft. wide, leaps about 130 ft. into a spray-covered abyss. Downstream from these falls the river flows for some 14 M. between steep forest-covered hills, a wide and noble stream with a current so slow and steady that, at certain seasons, it is only from the scarcely perceptible drifting of the green water-plants called Pistia Stratiotes that it can be observed. About 24 M. below the Murchison Falls and 254 M. from the Victoria Nyanza the river enters, through a wide delta, and across a formidable bar, the N.E. end of Albert Nyanza. In its passages from the one lake to the other the Nile falls altogether about 1400 ft. Taking its name from a fort which once existed there, the delta district is known as Magungo. From Albert Nyanza to the Plains.—Issuing from the north-west corner of Albert Nyanza some 5 m. from the spot where it entered that lake, the Nile, which is now known as the Bahr-el-Jebel, or Mountain river, flows in a generally northerly direction. As far as Dufile, 130 M. below Magungo, it has a gentle slope, a deep channel and a current generally slight. It forms a series of lake-like reaches often studded with reedy islands. Immediately below Dufile the Kuku mountains on the west and the Arju range on the east close in upon the river, which, from an average width of 700 yds., narrows to 230 yds. Here the hills cause the stream to make a sharp bend from the north-east to the north-west. Four or five miles lower down the river widens to 400 yds., and a large island divides the stream, the eastern channel carrying the main volume of water. This island marks the beginning of the Fola Rapids. At its southern end the water falls some 20 ft., and then, like a gigantic mill-race, rushes through a gorge 330 ft. long and nowhere more than 52 ft. wide, to leap Into a deep cavity not more than 40 ft. across. Escaping from this " cauldron " the waters thunder on in a succession of rapids, which extend beyond the northern end of the island. do all the Fola Rapids are nearly 2 M. long. For the next 8o m. the Nile, save for the great volume of water, resembles a mountain torrent, its course interrupted by continual rapids. The last of these occurs at Bedden, where the river breaks through a line of low hills running athwart its channel. One of these hills forms an island in mid-stream. Below Bedden various stations are established upon the river. Fort Berkeley, in 4° 40' N. (on the right bank), is the nearest to the rapids. Then follow Rejaf (left bank), Gondokoro (right bank) and Lado (left bank), all within 30 M. of one another. A striking feature of the scenery at Rejaf is a cone-shaped hill, about 370 ft. high, crowned by rocks which have the appearance of the ruins of an ancient castle. At Gondokoro the Nile is clear of the hill country, and enters a vast swamp-like expanse through which it flows with a very low slope and a very tortuous channel. Between Albert Nyanza and the swamp region the Bahr-el-Jebel is joined by many streams. The most important of these affluents is the Asua (nearly 200 M. long), which enters the main stream from the east in 3° 50' N. (19 M. N. of Dufile), but has little water in the dry season. The Asua and its subsidiary streams rise on the western versant of the Karamojo plateau and among the mountain ranges which run off from that plateau to the north-went, the most remote head-stream running originally due south. The Region of Swamps.—The wide valley which the Nile enters at Gondokoro slopes so gradually towards the north that the river falls only some 182 ft. in a stretch of 475 m. Through this valley the river winds in an extremely tortuous course. Its channel has no banks, and the overflow has caused extensive swamps which are covered by a mass of papyrus and tall reeds, and are traversed by numerous shallow lagoons or " mayyas." The shape of these lagoons is constantly altering, as also is that of the channels connecting them with the river. About 8 m. below Bor, many of the eastern " spills " unite and form a stream of considerable breadth, with a strong current. This stream, which is known to the Dinkas as the Atem, of the Abai the majority join it on its left bank. The Bashilo, Jamma follows a course generally parallel to the Jebel, being bounded east- ward by forest land. Opposite Kanisa (6° 46' N.), on the main river, the Atem divides into two channels, marshy land extending at this point a great distance to the east. The western branch, or Awai, rejoins the Jebel near Shambe 7° 6' N. The eastern branch or Myding continues through the marshes, eventually joining the Bahrel-Zeraf (see below) in its lower course. Except for the Atem divergence the Nile, despite the swamps through which it passes, maintains a fairly definite course, with a considerable depth of water as far as Shambe, where, to the west, is a large lagoon. Five miles lower down the river splits into two great channels. That to the left, the main stream, continues to be known as Bahr-el-Jebel, but is sometimes called by its Dinka name Kir. The right branch, or Bahr-el-Zeraf (Giraffe river), has a more easterly direction, and does not rejoin the main river until 5o m. below its confluence with the Bahr-el-Ghazal (q.v.). From the point of bifurcation the Bahr-el-Jebel flows for 230 M. in a general north-westerly direction until it is joined by the Bahr-el-Ghazal coming from the south-west. The whole region is a vast expanse of low land• crossed by secondary channels, and flooded for many miles in the rainy season. At the junction of the Bahr-el-Ghazal and the Bahrel-Jebel in 9° 29' N. the permanently submerged area is usually named Lake No, but the Arabs call it Moghren-el-Bohur (meeting of the rivers). Lake No in the rains covers about 5o sq. m. In the Bahr-el-Jehel occur the great accumulations of " Budd " (q.v.), masses of floating vegetation which obstruct and, if not removed, prevent navigation. The aspect of the river throughout the sudd region is monotonous and depressing. On all sides stretch reaches of the reed known as urn suf or mother of wool (Vossia procera), ambach, Bus and papyrus. These grasses rise 15 to 20 ft. above the water, so as often to close the view like a thick hedge. The level of the flat expanse is broken only at intervals by mounds of earth, erected by the white ants and covered with a clump of brushwood or trees; the moisture in the air is excessive; mosquitoes and other swamp flies swarm in myriads. And yet touches of beauty are not wanting. Water-lilies (Nymphaea stellata and Nymphaea Lotus)—white, blue and crimson—often adorn the surface of the stream. Occasionally the rare and odd-looking whale-headed stork or Balaeniceps rex is met with among the reeds, and at night the scene is lit up by innumerable fire-flies. The White Nile.—From the confluence with the Bahr-el-Ghazal at Lake No, the main stream, which here takes the name of Bahr-el-Abiad, or White river, adopts the easterly course of the tributary stream. Forty miles below the point where the Bahr-el-Zeraf reunites with the main branch, the Nile receives its first great eastern affluent—the Sobat (q.v.), whose head-streams rise in the mountains of south-west Abyssinia and the region north of Lake Rudolf. Just above the Sobat junction the Nile resumes its northern course. It passes through a great alluvial plain, stretching from the spurs of the Abyssinian highlands in the east, to the hilly districts of Kordofan in the west, and covered with high grass and scattered bush. The swamps still bound it on either hank, but the river again flows in a well-marked channel with defined banks. About 56 m. below the Sobat mouth, in 9° 55' N., lies (on the left bank) Fashoda (re-named in 1904 Kodok), an Egyptian town founded in 1867 on the site of Denab, the old " capital " of the Shilluks, and famous for the crisis between England and France in 1898 through its occupation by the French officer Marchand. For the next 270 M. the scenery is very monotonous. The river flows in a wide channel between broad swamps bordered by a belt of forest on either bank. At Abu Zeid (about 13° 5' N.) for a distance of nearly 4 M. the river is extremely broad and shallow, being fordable at low water. Fifteen miles lower down, at Goz Abu Gorna—which is the northern limit of the sudd vegetation—the river is divided into two channels by Abba Island, wooded, narrow and 28 m. long. On Abba Island lived, for some years before 1881, Mahommed Ahmed, the Mandi. The Blue Nile.—Five hundred and twenty miles below the Sobat mouth and 1652 m. from Ripon Falls, in 15i' 37' N., the White Nile is joined by its greatest eastern confluent the Bahr-el-Azrak or Blue Nile. In the fork of the two rivers stands Khartum,' the capital of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, whilst on the western bank of the White Nile is Omdurman, the former Mandist capital. The Blue Nile, or Abai as it is called in Abyssinia, rises in the Gojam highlands in i t ° N. and 37 ° E., and flowing northwards 70 M. enters Lake Tsana (q.v.) near its south-west corner, to issue again at the south-east end. The Abai and its tributaries drain a great part of the Abyssinian plateau. The complicated river system is best understood by a study of the map. The. Abai itself on leaving Lake Tsana makes a great semicircular sweep S.E. to N.W., from the highlands of Ethiopia to the plains of Sennar. In this section of its course its swirling waters rush over a long series of cataracts and rapids, descending from a height of 5770 ft. at the outlet to about 1400 ft. at Fazokl or Famaka (11° 17' N., 35° 10' E.), where it crosses the Abyssinian frontier, and flows through the plains of Sennar to its confluence with the White Nile at Khartum, 1300 ft. above sea-level. Of the tributaries At Khartum the water of the one river is of a greenish-grey colour, that of the other is clear and blue, except when in flood, when it gains a chocolate brown from its alluvial burden. and Muger, which reach the Abai in the order named, drain the country east of the main stream between the basins of the Takazze and the Hawash.

    More Facts