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width of the river[edit]

Where does the figure of 2.8 km for the Nile's width come from? Judging by the scale on Google maps, most of the river is well under one kilometer wide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

"Nile" vs. "Nile River"[edit]

I don't see a discussion of why it was decided to not include "River" in the title of this article, which seems standard in others (e.g., River Thames, Amazon River)? Without any rationale for exempting it from what seems to be the standard naming convention, the article should be moved to "Nile River." fishhead64 (talk) 03:33, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea why it is titled the way it is, and I have no objections to having a discussion on the matter. But of course, besides determining if editors think that "River" should be included in the title, you must also determine whether they want "River Nile" or "Nile River". Until consensus for one or the other of these is obtained, I would object to moving this page from Nile. Unschool 07:01, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Surely a simple Google search should answer the question of where to place "River"?

fishhead64 (talk) 01:26, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Rarely does a "simple Google search", by itself, provide the definative answer to the questions debated on these talk pages. But you're welcome to try. Unschool 05:59, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I see no further weighing in on the conversation, so I will make a move to bring it into line with other pages, and see what happens. FWIW, a Google search yielded almost four times as many hits for "Nile River" as "River Nile," so that is far-and-away the best known name for the River. fishhead64 (talk) 01:49, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I strongly object to your move. You brought it up here and got no support for your proposal. I was the only one who commented, and I specifically said that until you obtained consensus for one or the other that I would object to moving this page. You said that you would do a Google search, but did not bring the "results" of your search here before making the move. It appears to me that you have not acted in accordance with WP:CONSENSUS.
If you had waited for others to comment (there was no rush here, as far as I know), or if you had just done a bit more research, you would have realized that this is an extremely common practice. Did it occur to you to look at a few of the other major rivers of the world? Please take a look at the following rivers: Zambezi, Ganges, Euphrates, Tigris, Mekong, Danube, Dniester, Rhine, Elbe, Tagus, Ebro, Rhone, Seine. All of these lack the word "River" in their title. I realize now that I should have listed these before, but I just assumed that you would make a good-faith effort at seeking consensus, and that in that process, you would learn, as I had indicated, that things are not as simple as it may have appeared. Unschool 02:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
As of now, the redirect for Nile is not working. I type in Nile, and I get the redirect page, not Nile River. Sigh. Unschool 02:40, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) For what it's worth, the NGA's GEOnet Names Server gives "Nile River" as the "long form" and "Nile" as the "short form". For comparison, long and short forms for other rivers and places include: Rhine River, Rhine; Indus River, Indus; River Thames, Thames; River Niger, Niger; Columbia River, Columbia; Yukon River, Yukon; Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic. As counter-examples, there is no short form for Rio Grande, Gobi Desert, or Caribbean Sea. The long form of the Volga (river) is just "Volga", with no short form at all. The Sahara has no short form either, although Sahara Desert is listed as a "variant". Anyway, the query page for this stuff is here. I'm not sure how to link to specific result pages. And I'm not trying to say this source is particularly authoritative. It's just a US federal agency after all--setting standards for within the US federal government only. I'm also not arguing for naming this page Nile or Nile River. It doesn't matter to me. Just thought I'd give a source better than just Google search results. Pfly (talk) 03:59, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Moving back[edit]

This should be moved back. The primary use of "Nile" is for the river, and what seems standard is not the same as having an established naming convention. I'm rather concerned that the page move process which any non-admin would have had to go through with this was sidestepped here as well. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 13:06, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Although this unilateral move was, IMHO, not for the best without debate, I think that it may well be the best title. I couldn't find the bit in the WP:MOS about titling of rivers (I think the most common local description is indicated as the best). Given the edit summary [1] it would be handy if fishhead64 could point us to the part of the WP:MOS he found this in. However a look at List of rivers by length indicates many watercourses are titled as;
  • name River.
Again, I think fishhead was rather too WP:BOLD - but that is why we have WP:BRD. There are, of course, plenty of other rivers not titled this way (see the disambig River Itchen) but many on the list referenced above do seem to be. Pedro :  Chat  20:41, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
WP:BRD is not applicable here. BRD only works with a normal edit that an editor can contest by reverting the edit. Is that an option here, when the page has been moved? I have been under the impression that it cannot be done by a normal editor without screwing up the links; had BRD applied, I would already have moved the page back, instead of asking for help. Unschool 05:21, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I've asked User:Fishhead64 to comment here as I'm uncomfortable reverting his actions if he does, per his edit summary, have a WP:MOS link. Pedro :  Chat  07:45, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Why this was not a proper application of either BOLD or BRD[edit]

  • The overview for BRD says that it exists to deal with the following "Problem":
Editing a particular page has become tricky, too many people are stuck discussing endlessly, and no progress can be made.
There was no "endless" discussion, there were no tricky editing issues.
  • The overview for BRD says the second step is to
Wait until someone reverts (or modifies) your edit.
Sounds nice, but a) there was no "edit" to modify, and b) the change (a move) was not revertible by anyone but an administrator.
  • BRD says
BRD is not a justification for imposing one's own view.
And fishead offered almost no justification except his own view. The only evidence that he offered was a simple google search. Most of us with any amount of experience have learned that a single, simple Google search is rarely by itself justification for doing much of anything—there are just too many other considerations that have to be taken into account, including cross referencing of web pages—but still, a google search may often can be helpful in moving discussions towards resolution. But wait a minute, has anyone even checked his figures? Of course, he didn't offer any actual figures, but fishead claims to have gotten "almost four times as many hits for 'Nile River' as 'River Nile'. Really? Well, when I did the search just now, I got 1,110,000 hits for "Nile River"[2] and 819,000 hits for "River Nile".[3] So that means that "River Nile" hits were three times more common than Fishhead claimed.
  • Note, 14 hours later: I just now have clicked yet again on the links to "Nile River" and "River Nile" Google searches. "River Nile" now shows only 524,000 hits. (Damn, I should have done a screen capture on that 819,000!) But the point is, doing such a search a single time is a poor way to make decisions on such matters. Unschool 21:00, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't what we write here affect the search results in Google? Just asking. (talk) 03:47, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • BRD says that
It is a way for editors who have a good grasp of a subject to more rapidly engage discussion
Without putting too fine a point on it, it is quite obvious that Fishhead does not have a 'good grasp' on the subject, since he stated that the Nile was "exempted" from standard practice, without recognizing that articles on many of the world's major rivers were likewise titled. Assuming good faith on Fishhead's part, I realize that while he may have been aware of the world's longest river, he perhaps had never heard of the Ganges, the Euphrates, the Rhine, the Danube, the Mekong, and many others. But lacking this fundamental awareness, he should have been even more cautious in making this unilateral move; that is why BRD is recommended for editors with a "good grasp" of the topic.

And I am more than willing to concede that not only do "many" of the world's rivers include the word "River" in their title, the vast majority do (my guess would be that it is well over 95% of the rivers, if not 99%+, do so). But it is the in just such rivers as these, the major rivers of the world, that these exceptions are made. Why? I'm not sure. But that's not the point. The point is that these things are decided not by the personal opinion of a single Wikipedian.

Someone more wired than me might take this as an abuse, by fishead, of his administrative powers, since he made a move which was not revertable by the only person who had commmented on the move, and who had indicated that the move was unacceptable. But I don't think that's what's happened here at all. What I suspect happened was that fishead saw something that seemed pretty obvious to him, and when only one person replied to his post, he figured that it would be okay to go ahead. The problem was that he completely and totally ignored (or at least, failed to take into consideration) the counsel offered by that one poster (moi). This could have been done without causing all this rancor, with just a pinch of courtesy. Anyway, from everything that I see, fishead appears to be a well-intentioned guy, but he fumbled this one. It's okay, I've fumbled too. And when people tell me so, I either acknowledge that I blew it, or else I talk it out until we can see eye-to-eye.

Out of respect for the WP:BRD cycle mentioned by Pedro, I respectfully ask that an administrator move this back to Nile so that this matter can be properly discussed. Unschool 06:20, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


As there's still been no reply from the moving admin, I've raised a request at WP:RM#Uncontroversial requests to get this shifted back. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 18:52, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I've moved the page back to Nile and fixed the resulting double-redirects. I guess we'll see how that goes. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:30, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
If the name of the river is very well known and is overwhelmingly used only for the river, then I see no reason for including "river" in the name of the article. The Nile is I believe generally known just as "the Nile". Same with the Rhine, the Danube, the Zambezi and a number of other rivers. I only see a reason for including "river" if there is a need to disambiguate (eg Mississippi is a river and a state), if "river" is normally used in the name (eg Orange River) or the river isn't particularly well known on a global scale.
This avoids the can of worms of "X River/River X" also, which is useful since otherwise the issue is thorny as both are acceptable according to different standards of English. One can't just do a Google count because articles can use any national standard of English. (talk) 23:58, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
What he said. (talk) 13:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't get it. What's the issue here? (talk) 17:32, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi,, and welcome to Wikipedia! The "issue" was (past tense may be more appropriate here, given that this discussion is a few years old) if it mattered if this article was called "Nile River", or "River Nile", or just "Nile". From my reading of the above, the more intelligent editors advanced the position that just plain "Nile" was acceptable, and probably preferred, though for the life of me, I don't know why--most rivers in the United States (where I live) have the word "River" in their name.
Are we done here, -- (talk) 05:31, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess so. (talk) 19:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Egypt is the gift of the Nile[edit]

What Herodotus [II 5] actually wrote is that: "the Egypt to which the Greeks go in their ships is an acquired country, the gift of the river." The Greeks were only allowed to go to specific trading towns (such as Naucratis) within the delta region. Herodotus is describing the accretion of land at the mouth of the Nile due to the deposit of alluvium. He is giving a physical geographic description of the delta phenomenon. He is not referring to the Nile valley. And he is not attributing the agricultural wealth of Egypt to the waters of the Nile (although that was as true then as now). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Onkel tom (talkcontribs) 10:21, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

I found this a particularly interesting and worthwhile comment. Thanks. FurnaldHall (talk) 22:40, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Slanted wording[edit]

"The Nile was so significant to the lifestyle of the Egyptians, that they created a god dedicated to the welfare of the Nile’s annual inundation."

This is pretty silly. The author makes the assumption that deities are created by humans. (talk) 22:14, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Without further evidence to the contrary, in what way is it silly to assume that deities are NOT created by humans? If you have evidence, please share it. (talk) 14:57, 4 May 2014 (UTC)Lance Tyrell

Nile geo-history[edit]

Eonile is one of many periods. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2004.11.008 "The drainage of Africa since the Cretaceous" Andrew S. Goudie . Do you know Nile was ~2x longer?

Pre-Eonile (<6Ma), Eonile (6.0-5.4 Ma), Gulf Phase (5.4-3.3 Ma), Paleonile Phase (3.3-1.8 Ma), Desert Phase (1.8-0.8 Ma), Prenile Phase (0.8-0.4 Ma), Neonile Phase (400,000-12,000 years) and Modern Nile (12,000 years -Present).[4] (talk) 12:35, 23 June 2009 (UTC)rape

THE NILE[edit]

where does the nile river start? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 5 November 2009 (UTC) meadetranan sea!!!!!
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Bridges over the Nile[edit]

The list of bridges over the nile from the Aswan to the med is incomplete. for example, it is missing Kornaish. I'd like to add them all, but can't because the page is protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JamesANGreen (talkcontribs) 05:49, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


citation for "classical Hellenistic and Roman representations of the river as a male god with his face and head obscured in drapery." under the search for the source of the nile —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

This citation refers to a depiction of the River Nile on a fountain sculpted by the sculptor Bernini in 1647-1651. It doesn't give support to the claim of 'classical Hellenistic and Roman representations of the river as a male god with his face and head obscured in drapery.

Bettyh5 (talk) 20:18, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


There is something wrong with the infobox at the top of the article, it spreads across the whole page (including the wiki navigation sidebar).-- (talk) 03:33, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

April 2010[edit]


Misplaced comments[edit]

Please remove the fabricated garbage below above...

"That far-reaching trade has been carried on along the Nile since ancient times can be seen from the Ishango bone, possibly the earliest known indication of Ancient Egyptian multiplication, which was discovered along the headwaters of the Nile (near Lake Edward, in northeastern Congo) and was carbon-dated to 20,000 BC." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 18 May 2010 (UTC)



So find reliable sources and change list of longest rivers. Might want to learn to turn off your capslock key first, though. — LlywelynII 10:19, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

The bible[edit]

Isn't it appropriate to mention the role of the Nile (haYe'or) in the bible? TFighterPilot (talk) 10:57, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Archeological findings[edit]

Did I miss these or should some mention be added. A lot has been found in recent years pertaining to the spread of early Christianity (a special display was on show at British Museum a few years ago). Michael P. Barnett (talk) 21:08, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


The etymology for the word Nile is not explained in that section, only the Coptic and Old Egyptian names. But they don't show any similarity to the English word. The Online Etymology Dictionary states, that Nile is derived from a Semitic root nahal "river". Source at etymonline.comMadden (talk) 15:13, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

OED does not agree: it suggests that the Hebrew is yě'ōr (Hebrew: בת יאור‎) from jtrw [sic] already cited in the article, and not nahal/nachal. I have added a {{cn}} request, for clarification. --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:44, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

old and new[edit]

Re change just made, might it be worth mentioning which are old and new sides of Cairo relative to river? Michael P. Barnett (talk) 10:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Churchill on Soudan from River War The line of communications from Cairo, the permanent base, to the advanced post at Akasha was 825 miles in length. But of this distance only the section lying south of Assuan could be considered as within the theatre of war. The ordinary broad-gauge railway ran from Cairo to Balliana, where a river base was established. From Balliana to Assuan reinforcements and supplies were forwarded by Messrs. Cook's fleet of steamers, by barges towed by small tugs, and by a number of native sailing craft. A stretch of seven miles of railway avoids the First Cataract, and joins Assuan and Shellal. Above Shellal a second flotilla of gunboats, steamers, barges, and Nile boats was collected to ply between Shellal and Halfa. The military railway ran from Halfa to Sarras. South of Sarras supplies were forwarded by camels. To meet the increased demands of transport, 4,500 camels were purchased in Egypt and forwarded in boats to Assuan, whence they marched via Korosko to the front. The British Government had authorised the construction of the military railway to Akasha, and a special railway battalion was collected at Assuan, through which place sleepers and other material at once began to pass to Sarras. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Countries in infobox[edit]


  • The infobox only lists Egypt and Ethiopia as countries the Nile flows through. That obviously needs fixing...

While we're at it, do we actually need the flags? They're a bit cluttered, other articles don't seem to use them if there's more than a couple of countries (examples: Rhine, Danube, Congo River) and I could imagine some edit-warring about what flag goes next to Juba (I should point out that South Sudan is still a long way from actually declaring independence). (talk) 13:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I definitely support removing the flagicons. As for the expanded list of countries, two--Funandtrvl (talk) 01:52, 1 February 2011 (UTC) questions:
  1. Should the infobox list all of the countries that just the "Nile" flows through, or should it also list all of the countries that the Nile's named tributaries (White Nile, Blue Nile, etc.) flow through?
  2. Whichever of the above options we choose, what is the correct and complete list of countries, and where is this verified (I don't want to just guess by looking at the map)?
Qwyrxian (talk) 00:59, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I removed the flag icons as it violated several aspects of MOS:FLAG. -Atmoz (talk) 17:22, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Fixed the countries in the infobox, it looks like the numbering got pretty messed up, so that the countries weren't showing up. --Funandtrvl (talk) 01:52, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Ishango bone[edit]

Why does the subsection "Role in the founding of Egyptian civilization" in the "History" section include a discussion of the Ishango bone? This artifact found on the shores of Lake Edward is irrelevant to the founding of Egyptian civilization. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jstovell (talkcontribs) 17:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

South Sudan[edit]

Needs to be updated for the creation of South Sudan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

"The Nile is an "international" river as its water resources are shared by ten countries" - Update: 11 countries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kings of the Stone Age (talkcontribs) 19:39, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Order of countries[edit]

Is there any rhyme or reason to the order in which the countries in the infobox and in the lede are given? They don't even agree with each other. I would have expected a geographical order, from source to delta. Huon (talk) 21:11, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 19 July 2012[edit]

Add "Spanish" to Jesuit Pedro Páez because alredy it write "British explorer John Hanning Speke" or "Portuguese João Bermudes". The Spanish Jesuit Pedro Páez was the first European to have visited the headwaters. (talk) 07:22, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that's necessary. We give the nationalities of some of the explorers and authors, but not of others such as James Bruce or Athanasius Kirchner. If anything, we should probably remove a few irrelevant nationalities, not add more, and Páez' membership with the Jesuits seems more relevant than his nationality anyway. Huon (talk) 11:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that the nationality of the first european that saw the source of Nilo are not irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 31 July 2012. Add "spanish" to Pedro Páez[edit]

now ... modern writers give the credit to the Jesuit Pedro Páez.

it must say ... modern writers give the credit to the Spanish Jesuit Pedro Páez. (talk) 08:25, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Comment: Does it really matter? FloBo A boat that can float! 10:16, 31 July 2012 (UTC)


am disappointed that a place where we think Nile has got one of the amazing wonders "Murchison falls" you couldn't put a picture of it... not even any picture from Uganda where we all think is the possible right source or at least once was. Its been biased cos most of the images and writings has mainly been about Egypt.22:12, 25 October 2012 (UTC) (talk)

Actually we do have two pictures from Uganda in the Images and media of the Nile section. But you're right, the images are rather Egypt-heavy. Do you know good images of other parts of the Nile that we could use? One of the images in the Murchison Falls article might do. What I'd be really interested in would be an image or two from Sudan and South Sudan; I don't think we have anything at all from those countries. Huon (talk) 22:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I've replaced one of our Cairo images with the Murchison Falls. Huon (talk) 00:05, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Contradictions in percentages given of total Nile flow originating from the Blue Nile Component of the river[edit]

This article states [italics mine]:

"The Blue Nile (Ge'ez ጥቁር ዓባይ Ṭiqūr ʿĀbbāy (Black Abay) to Ethiopians; Arabic: النيل الأزرق‎; transliterated: an-Nīl al-Azraq) springs from Lake Tana in the Ethiopian Highlands. The Blue Nile flows about 1,400 kilometres to Khartoum, where the Blue Nile and White Nile join to form the Nile. Ninety percent of the water and ninety-six percent of the transported sediment carried by the Nile[15] originates in Ethiopia, with fifty-nine percent of the water from the Blue Nile (the rest being from the Tekezé, Atbarah, Sobat, and small tributaries). The erosion and transportation of silt only occurs during the Ethiopian rainy season in the summer, however, when rainfall is especially high on the Ethiopian Plateau; the rest of the year, the great rivers draining Ethiopia into the Nile (Sobat, Blue Nile, Tekezé, and Atbarah) have a weaker flow.
The Blue Nile contributes some eighty to ninety percent of the Nile River discharge. [ This contradicts the above.] The flow of the Blue Nile varies considerably over its yearly cycle and is the main contribution to the large natural variation of the Nile flow. During the wet season the peak flow of the Blue Nile often exceeds 5,663 m3/s (200,000 cu ft/s) in late August (a difference of a factor of 50). During the dry season the natural discharge of the Blue Nile can be as low as 113 m3/s (4,000 cu ft/s), although upstream dams regulate the flow of the river.
Indented line

The two figures are somewhat contradictory and the confusion runs through the Wikipedia entries for the Blue Nile.

Here's the section from the separate article on the Blue Nile: [[5]]

Water flow
The flow of the Blue Nile reaches maximum volume in the rainy season (from June to September), when it supplies about two thirds of the water of the Nile proper. The Blue Nile, along with that of the Atbara River to the north, which also flows out of the Ethiopian Highlands, were responsible for the annual Nile floods that contributed to the fertility of the Nile Valley and the consequent rise of ancient Egyptian civilization and Egyptian Mythology. With the completion in 1970 of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, the Nile floods ended.
The Blue Nile is vital to the livelihood of Egypt. Though shorter than the White Nile, 59% of the water that reaches Egypt originates from the Blue Nile branch of the great river; when combined with the Atbara River, which also has its source in the Ethiopian Highlands, the figure rises to 90% of the water and 96% of transported sediment. The river is also an important resource for Sudan, where the Roseires and Sennar dams produce 80% of the country's power. These dams also help irrigate the Gezira Plain, which is most famous for its high quality cotton. The region also produces wheat and animal feed crops.
Indented line

Another source, the author of which appears knowledgeable, is to be found at It states:

The Nile River
Nile River Basin -- Statistics and Background Information
Area: 3.3 million km ² more than 81,500 km² are lakes and 70,000 km² are swamps. There are ten riparian countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Total rainfall and flow: The mean annual rainfall over the entire basin is about 2,000 billion cubic meters. The average annual flow at Aswan is about 84 billion cubic meters.
Irrigated agriculture: In Egypt and Sudan, irrigated agriculture is the dominating sector. Over 5.5 million ha are under irrigation, with plans to expand an area of over 4.9 million ha. The present irrigation in the upper White Nile riparian areas is very small and there are plans for a future expansion over an area of 387,000 ha in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. In Ethiopia, the potential identified in the Blue Nile basin includes 100,000 ha of perennial irrigation and 165,000 ha of small-scale seasonal irrigation. The other riparian countries have no potential for irrigation in the basin and depend almost completely on rain-fed agriculture.
Population: The present 280 million is expected to grow to 591 million by 2025 at an average rate of 2.5-3.0%, with an average population density of 955/1,000 ha. Poverty indicators: GINI Index (> 50%); Half the population is below the international poverty line at $1 a day.
The History of the Nile River
--text cut out--
The Nile is formed by three tributaries, the Blue Nile, the White Nile, and the Atbara. The White Nile rises from its source in Burundi, passes through Lake Victoria, and flows into southern Sudan. There, near the capital city of Khartoum, the White Nile meets up with the Blue Nile which has its source in the Ethiopian highlands, near Lake Tana. Over 53% of the Nile's waters come from the Blue Nile. The two flow together to just north of Khartoum, where they are joined by the waters of the Atbara, whose source is also located in the Ethiopian highlands.
The river then flows north through Lake Nasser, the second largest man-made lake in the world, and the Aswan Dam before splitting into two major distributaries just north of Cairo. The two distributaries are the Rosetta branch to the west and the Dameita to the east. In ancient times, the number of distributaries was much greater, but slow water flow, human interference, and the accumulation of silt had led to the disappearance of all the other major distributaries. This has effectively led to the desertification of large stretches of Egyptian land. --more--
Lowell N. Lewis © 2009
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Overall it looks as if about 85%+ of the annual flow of the Nile in Egypt may originate in the Ethiopian highlands, though not all of this comes from the Blue Nile proper, but I am not able to determine if this is really correct.

The issue of utilization of the Nile Waters by the various riparian countries is becoming a highly contentious political issue ( see: [[6]] ), and is no longer of mere academic interest. Because of this emergent politics, I think Wikipedia should devote some effort now to the narrow question of investigating and improving the figures for flow from the various tributary branches into the main Nile system, and more broadly, actively encourage additional information and articles on the related Nile Basin water sharing problem generally. Additionally, other matters like the future of costs and methods of desalinization of seawater for agricultural use in the Middle East and North Africa, and the likely regional effects of geoengineering initiatives are likely to be relevant to this wider issue. FurnaldHall (talk) 22:30, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

I've removed the second claim, "80% to 90% from the Blue Nile". It was unsourced and contradicted sourced information. Huon (talk) 03:23, 30 December 2012 (UTC)


"The Nile River, the longest river in the world [4], is an "international" river as its water resources is shared by ten countries, namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eretria, Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt [5]."

Based on this sentence in the intro, I had to verify that I hadn't been spelling the country of Eritrea wrong all my life. It turns out I hadn't! It turns out Eretria is a place in Greece, and I could take an educated guess that although some of the Nile may reach Eretria after navigating the Mediterranean, I assume that it is the country of Eritrea that is supposed to be referenced in this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mateo565 (talkcontribs) 18:58, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Well spotted, I've fixed it although you could have done it, I hope you start editing articles. Dougweller (talk) 20:45, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Etymology Neilos < Nahal ?[edit]

Possible etymologies include the Semitic Nahal meaning "river" from which the Hebrew nachal (Hebrew: נחל) is derived.[citation needed] / I found: It says: Nile: one of the world's oldest surviving place names, from a Semitic root nahal "river." Unnamed in Old Testament, it is always merely "the river" (Hebrew yeor). / so Nahal > Neilos > Nile Böri (talk) 14:54, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I've added the source for the Semitic etymology and removed the apparently unrelated Hebrew. Thanks! Huon (talk) 15:06, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 3 March 2013[edit]

This needs changing because there is a lot of unescessary information. I hope you will let me. Ryan27jo (talk) 09:08, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Could you be a little more specific? What exactly do you consider unnecessary? Huon (talk) 13:33, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 10 March 2013[edit]

Source of river Nile; recent exploration in 2012 yet displayed in 2013 on the BBC television programme Top Gear suggests that the actual source of the Nile is South West of Lake Victoria, where the source of the Nile was thought to be by Victorian explorers, on a tributary leading into the Serengeti called the Grummeti on the opposite side of Lake Victoria to where Dr. Burkhart Waldecker thought the source was in Burundi and where Johanna Lumley thought the source was in Rwanda. BBC Top Gear found the source in a rocky terrain in the Serengeti in Northern Tanzania where the three presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, held a race where the first to find the source would be thought of as the discoverer of the source of the River Nile. eventually the source was discovered by,"James May and two other blokes," as it said on the closing subtitles of the Top Gear episode. However this has not been proven although evidence suggests that this is highly likely. This is by taking into account that the mouth of a river has to flow into a tidal area. The Nile mouth is said to be at Alexandria however this leads out into the Mediterranean Sea which is not tidal meaning that the actual moth of the Nile is at the Straight of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. Also the Source of a river should be as far away from the mouth as possible. This evidence suggests that the theorem of Dr. Burkhart Waldecker and Johanna Lumley are incorrect and the theory of BBC Top Gear is correct. Though these theorem could all be incorrect as the Top Gear theory has not been proven as the source is the River Nile is still disputed to the present day. (talk) 21:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I am fairly certain the reference to Joanna Lumley was a joke... (talk) 23:43, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Reference to her was because of her journey from sea to source in ITV's Joanna Lumley's Nile (talk) 14:35, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

I removed all mention of Top Gear. - Camyoung54 talk 20:05, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 March 2013[edit]

Can the whole "Top Gear" part of the article be removed? Top Gear is an entertainment show. It shouldn't be used as a source. The whole edit has no citations whatsoever, and is factually wrong on several occasions - most notably the whole "has to flow into a tidal area" part. The Mediterranean Sea is DEFINITELY tidal and the mouth of the Nile is DEFINITELY in Egypt, not Gibraltar.

Santesteband (talk) 00:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

-Also, it's grammatically incorrect ('it's' instead of 'its'). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

"The Mediterranean Sea is DEFINITELY tidal and the mouth of the Nile is DEFINITELY in Egypt, not Gibraltar." Where is your proof of that? Who are you to say whats tidal and whats not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:00, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
The Mediterranean is tidal. See the article on tides for information on its relatively small tide. Besides, even if we accept (which no one does) the peculiar assertion that the Mediterranean Sea is another name for the River Nile, it makes no difference because the source of a river is the maximum length along the course of the river and not in a straight line. --Lo2u (TC) 19:00, 14 March 2013 (UTC)


What-ho chaps, Just watched the Top Gear special where they find the source of the Nile. Felt it should be included in the old Wikipedia article, what? (talk) 19:56, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd say there's a rather strong consensus that Top Gear is not a reliable source on geography and that we should ignore it as irrelevant. Huon (talk) 20:17, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you have a link to this consensus you speak of? I fail to see why a publicly funded "factual television programme" created by the BBC (which does comply with WP:RS) is considered unworthy of inclusion in the article compared to other speculated (and, in my opinion, less reliable) sources. --Jasca Ducato (talk) 21:10, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
You need to distinguish tongue in cheek irony from a "factual television programme". Had Top Gear wished to be taken seriously, they would not have claimed the source was discovered by "James May and three other blokes". A few points: 1. The idea that this is the true source relies on the assertion that the Mediterranean is "not tidal" and therefore part of the River Nile. This is obviously ridiculous. The Mediterranean actually evaporates more water than it receives so water flows in, not out, at the Strait of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean is not a river and it is tidal. 2. Even were the claim not ridiculous, it's irrelevant because where a river begins isn't affected by where it ends. The Top Gear producers believe a river's source is measured in a straight line and not along the course of the river. Nobody else does. Top Gear is a very funny, extremely ironic, piece of entertainment; I'm absolutely astonished that the humour was lost on some people and they actually take it seriously. --Lo2u (TC) 06:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Our guidance on sources is more granular than Jasca suggests. Not TV program the BBC produces can be considered a RS, and even a program that may be an RS for some things (eg cars) isn't automatically an RS for material outside its remit. Looking at a map and then saying you've found the source of the Nile, even if on TV by a celebrity, doesn't belong here. Dougweller (talk) 07:56, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
To quote the section 'Modern achievements and exploration': "A team led by South Africans Peter Meredith and Hendrik Coetzee on April 30, 2005, became the first to navigate the major remote source of the Nile, the Akagera river, which starts as the Ruvyironza in Bururi Province, Burundi." Who is this Peter Meredith, or Hendrik Coetzee exactly? Why are they considered more reliable that the aforementioned factual television programme (which, I should point out was quoted from Wikipedia).
Now, ignoring the fact that that statement is unsourced; it basically boils down to the fact that the show Top Gear has made the assertion that they have discovered the source of the Nile; whether of not the Mediterranean is or isn't tidal (I personally cannot verifiy, but my understanding is that the Sea's tidal change is so minimal in relation to it's size, it's negligible), or whether their logic on how a river flows is flawed or not, the assertion is still there. This also begs the question, why is Top Gear's assertion "ridiculous" compared to any other? --Jasca Ducato (talk) 09:24, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Those were recognized achievements. The unsourced one needs sources showing it was significant. I'm not seeing anything serious about this one. So far as I know, those sources were recognised as sources. This spring isn't. Dougweller (talk) 13:28, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Jasca, firstly the source is self-published and not backed by any authoritative secondary or tertiary sources. See WP:SPS. Secondly you need to learn to distinguish the ironic from the serious. Thirdly, as I've explained already, common sense shows the claim is untrue and unreliable. --Lo2u (TC) 13:58, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Firstly, I would suggest learning what 'irony' means, before making a comment like that in future. There was nothing 'ironic' about the show whatsoever. Furthermore, whilst you may believe it to be 'common sense', I am arguing against that, so simply repeating that statement again is a redundancy. If you wanted to provide a reason as to why the information shouldn't be on the article then you should have stopped after saying it was not backed up by a secondary source, rather than start to be insulting and disrespectful. --Jasca Ducato (talk) 15:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
No disrespect was intended. The programme was ironic and has led to a number of unhelpful edits from editors who seem not to understand this. It needs to be pointed out. If I understand correctly, you don't understand the arguments about the source of the Nile. Could I please ask that before you take this further, you make an effort to inform yourself and to try to understand? Also Wikipedia policies on pseudoscience and WP:FRINGE theories undoubtedly apply to an assertion that depends on the idea that the River Nile ends somewhere south of Spain. These specifically require editors to judge what is "obvious" and to apply "common sense". They also prohibit the inclusion of theories based only on primary sources. --Lo2u (TC) 17:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

For those people saying that Top Gear is not a Fact based show. Top Gear has won Most Popular Factual Programme at the 12th National Television Awards, 13th National Television Awards, 14th National Television Awards and 16th National Television Awards and been nominated for the same award at the 10th National Television Awards, 11th National Television Awards, 15th National Television Awards, 17th National Television Awards and 18th National Television Awards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Hendrik Coetzee has a wikipedia page[edit]

Please link his page to his name in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Done, thanks. Huon (talk) 22:57, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 31 March 2013[edit]

In the Nile article, the 'unknown' nature of the source of the nile is incorrect; James May found the source of the Nile in season 19 episode 07 of Top Gear. He, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson found the surce and recorded it on television, providing visual proof. Pleae change as previous statement is mis=leading and incorrect! (talk) 10:44, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

This has been discussed in detail. Top Gear did not discover the source of the Nile. What was possibly discovered was the point on the river that is furthest in a straight line from southern Spain. No authoritative source will ever recognize this "discovery".--Lo2u (TC) 14:57, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Course of Nile and countries it flows through[edit]

This article indicates that the Nile river flows through Kenya which is incorrect. Graham Leslie: (talk) 17:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Longest River[edit]

I think this article should be edited in order to leave out confusion so it does not state being known as the longest river in the World, because though it might be known as the largest it may confuse people reading the article and they may think that it IS the longest. It being known as the largest isn't a crucial fact to the article and leaving it out would likely help more people understand it as not being the largest. Instead I think it should be listed as it being the 2nd largest river. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Except that the Nile effectively is the longest river. See List of rivers by length, or see the Encyclopedia Britannica article given as a source for that statement. "Largest" is much more debatable; the Amazon, for example, carries far more water. Huon (talk) 18:32, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

image - South Sudan[edit]

The watershed map image needs to have the Sudan - South Sudan border added to it. --Money money tickle parsnip (talk) 23:31, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

That map was created before South Sudan gained full independence and the user who created it has been inactive here since 2007. So someone who knows how to update the file or create a new one would have to step in, or we could maybe find an existing new one from somewhere. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 00:13, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

hellooo how are you going — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Water flows uphill ?[edit]

"Formerly Lake Tanganyika drained northwards along the African Rift Valley into the White Nile, making the Nile about 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) longer, until it was blocked in Miocene times by the bulk of the Virunga Volcanoes."

Lake Tanganyika has a surface elevation 150 metres below that of Lake Edward. How does the water flow uphill, to Lake Edward and then to Lake Albert and the Nile River ?? The wacky theories should be left back in the eighteenth century where they belong.Tallewang (talk) 11:46, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

There were major changes in the geology over millions of years - I see mention of a Miocene uplifting and other revents, see [7] and [8].
Then there's this book[9] which says "Hypothetical connections between Tanganyika and the Nile# (p111)

Hypothetical connections with the ancicnt Nile system have also been discussed in detail and a review is given by Coulter (1991a). There arc in fact analogies between the Tanganyika and Nile ichthyofaunas: the majority of fish families arc common to the two provinces, as well as many genera. Different routes have been postulated by which Nilotic species may have reached I-akc Tangan- yika, but 'there is no reason to believe from the evidence available that the Tanganyika fish fauna has been influ- enced by direct connections between the lake and the Nile. A few species may have immigrated by passing over the intervening divide with Lake Victoria. It is more likely rather, that affinities at generic and higher taxo- numic levels originate from a time before the formation of the lake when widespread ancicnt stocks were shared by both regions. Evidence from the palaeontology and modem distributions of some molluscs supports this conclusion' (Coulter, 1991a Coulter G. W. & Spigel R. H, 1991. Hydrodynamics In Coulter G.W (cd), Lake Tanganyika and its Life. pp, 49-75. Natural History Museum Publications. Oxford University Press, Oxford.). Our article on Lake Tanganyika is pretty lacking, which is a shame. But probably the section should go. Dougweller (talk) 13:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 December 2013[edit]

Hello. I just saw one minor grammar error - it's in the Crossings subheader, and it's the first image captionedd "The Nile passes through Cairo, Egypt's, capital city" and it should be "The Nile passes through Cairo, Egypt's capital city" Thank you. (talk) 17:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)J

Done - thanks! --ElHef (Meep?) 18:29, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Modern Achievements and Exploration section[edit]

Could Levinson Wood's attempt to walk the length of the Nile please be added here? He's attempting to leave on the expedition, or may have even already left. Here is the link from Outside Magazine: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 6 January 2014 (UTC)


I could see an argument being made that the Nile is a British 'special case'. That said, to date, it hasn't been made; most of the page already uses American English; and the page began with American English. [That 2001 edit somehow links backwards to a 2010 one (Merge snafu?) but still seems oldest per the page history.] Accordingly, I've adjusted all of the {{convert}} to display the American kilometer pending a new consensus to the contrary. — LlywelynII 14:45, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

I've given it a start: untangled the mess in the language section (particularly, 1 included the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation—ignore the Standard pronunciation if we're only keeping one; 2 Ethiopian (Amharic) name is only relevant—and traditionally only even applied—to the Blue Nile; 3 they are Egyptians and their language is (very late) Egyptian but the common English name of their language is just Coptic) and fixed some minor errors in the phrasing and statements of the etymology section, but this article still needs some work. Some things that jump out at once:

  • There is no source provided for the length of the river in the lead
  • The description of the river equivocates and claims Lake Victoria's affluents are the Nile and it's unknown which one is the proper 'source'; we should clearly state that the Nile itself begins at the Lake or explain very fully and slowly why we're going off on our own here (and provide much vaguer "lengths" in the rest of the article)
  • The page calls the White Nile a "tributary" - it isn't (if it is, the Nile itself is much shorter, running only from Khartoum, and that needs to be explained throughout the article and the lengths changed)
  • We need at least one map that shows the Darfur headwaters the White Nile joins. I added file:1911Nile.png to the history section, but really we should just have a modern map with that same info.
  • Similarly, more treatment of Bahr al Ghazal, particularly.
  • More alt names. At least in the EB, they claim the common Egyptian name was none of these but el-Barh. Various stretches have other local names like the Abay (Don't put these other names in the lead, though: Rename the etymology section.)

 — LlywelynII 14:37, 28 February 2014 (UTC)


Flora and fauna of the Nile should be discussed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 May 2014[edit]

The page has two links to the Bahr al Ghazal, both talking about the river, but they go to different places. Please leave alone [[Bahr el Ghazal (river)|Bahr al Ghazal]], but please change [[Bahr al Ghazal]] so that it also pipes to the river. The bahr al Ghazal article is about a region, not the river. 2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:CB89 (talk) 16:49, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Anupmehra -Let's talk! 01:34, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Anupmehra, what were you thinking? The request said "please change [[Bahr al Ghazal]] so that it also pipes to the river". What's ambiguous about that? The river article got mentioned in the same link. Nyttend (talk) 01:20, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Were people in ancient times able to sail southward?[edit]

This is something that is not discussed in the history section, but how lucrative was the nile as a two-way transportation system before the steam engine by going southward against the current? 2602:306:36A6:E080:1C2E:4480:5D12:D10C (talk) 06:18, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 July 2014[edit]

Please change "Stanely" to "Stanley" in caption of photograph as the name is misspelled (talk) 14:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for pointing that out - Arjayay (talk) 15:09, 10 July 2014 (UTC)