Seniors Travel to The Nile River

Jun 27th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

An adventure to add to your senior citizen travel checklist… the Nile.  The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world stretching north for approximately 4,135 miles from East Africa to the Mediterranean.

Studies have shown that the River (Iteru, meaning, simply, river, as the Egyptians called it) gradually changed its location and size over millions of years.  The Nile flows from the mountains in the south to the Mediterranean in the north.  Egyptians traveling to other lands would comment on the “wrong” flow of other rivers.  For example, a text of Tuthmosis I in Nubia describes the great Euphrates river as the “inverted water that goes downstream in going upstream.” It runs through the nine countries of Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.

The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The latter is the source of most of the water and fertile soil.  The former is the longer.  The White Nile rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source being as-yet undetermined, and located in either Rwanda or Burundi.  It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and southern Sudan.

The Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast.  The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Up for a little river rafting?  Try this and enjoy the extreme river rafting challenge. You will also want to check out the Aswan Dam and do some sailing.

The Nile and its tributaries flow though nine countries.  Zaire, Kenya, Tanzanian, Rwanda, and Burundi all have tributaries, which flow into the Nile or into lake Victoria Nyanes. The major dams on the Nile are Roseires Dam, Sennar Dam, Aswan High Dam, and Owen Falls Dam.
The major cities that are located on the edge of the Nile and White Nile are: Cairo, Gondokoro, Khartoum, Aswan, Thebes/Luxor, Karnak, and the town of Alexandria lies near the Rozeta branch.

How did the ancient Egyptians use the Nile River?  The Nile River has played an extremely important role in the civilization, life and history of the Egyptian nation.  One of the most well known river Nile facts is the river’s ability to produce extremely fertile soil, which made it easy for cities and civilizations to spring up alongside the banks of the Nile.  The fertile soil is attributed to the annual spring floods, when the Nile River overflows onto the banks.

The Nile River Delta is home to many species of animals, including crocodiles, turtles, baboons, wildebeest, and more than 300 species of birds, including fishing eagles, ibis, and the Nile Valley Sunbird.

The people who lived along the Nile in ancient times used the river for agriculture and transportation.  That hasn’t changed, although the methods of agriculture and transportation have.  Steam ships are still used in Egypt and Sudan, to transport goods.  The river itself is, in a sense, the gift of man.  ’Help yourself,’ runs an Egyptian proverb, ‘and the Nile will help you.’  The Nile as we see it today is the product of peoples who have been helping themselves for the past 5000 years.

Frommers will tell you what you can expect on a Nile River Cruise.  They highlight the fact that a Nile cruise is one of those journeys you feel it imperative to take, at least once in a lifetime.  Easy to say, but how to choose among the some 240 riverboats said to ply these waters, nearly all of them in just the 124-mile stretch between Luxor and Aswan?  Trips generally run for three, five, or eight days, with long periods spent tied up at night or at the ports of Luxor and Aswan, as well as at one or more of the temples lying between those cities. This should be a great trip, seniors.  Enjoy.  jeb



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