Where does Niger River begins? Why does it flow from the ocean, but not towards it, like many other rivers? Read the information below to learn more facts about one of the largest rivers in Africa.
Niger River Africa
In the Western Africa the well-known Niger River flows. Its length is 4180 kilometers. It means that it takes the fourteenth place in the world on this parameter. In the territory of Africa Niger is on the third place after Congo and Nile. At the same time Niger River basin has the area over two million square kilometers. In Guinean uplands, which are located in the southeast of Guinea, a water stream of Niger begins the way. Its end is situated in Gulf of Guinea that is in the Atlantic Ocean.
This African river deserves attention to its unique waterway. In particular, it differs with boomerang form. Therefore, within more than two millennia it confused cards to all geographers. The source of the river Niger is at distance of 240 kilometers from the Atlantic coast. Of course, originally it seems that the water stream has to go to a salty reservoir, because all rivers in the world act this way. Only the river Niger contradicts these standard norms of geology. It flows to the opposite side from the ocean, but not towards it.
Niger River history
Water of river Niger goes to the northeast party to Sahara. From there it turns in twenty kilometers from the ancient city Timbuktu on the southeast. Only after such travel, Niger directs to the Atlantic coast. According to opinion of experts, in the ancient time, when there was no Sahara Desert, in this territory two rivers flowed. They flew into large lakes, near the Timbuktu city. Only one stream, bringing water to the Gulf of Guinea, followed from there. This place is conditional called Lower Niger. About five thousand years ago, the Sahara has begun to be formed. For this reason, rivers with their sources were gone. Also the lake has disappeared.
However, the new river, which consisted of the small rivers including reservoirs of the Western Africa, was formed. From here Lower Niger, which source was on the bank of Atlantic, has begun to exist. In other words, the great Sahara Desert has cardinally changed geographical features of the Central and North Africa. The river Niger originates in Guinea. On its territory, it is possible to see a plateau Fouta Djallon, province Labah. The river is formed thanks to association of several streams. This river rushes on the narrow valley on the northeast, at the same time from two parts, it is clamped with mountains. Slightly further the river creates frontier between Benin and Niger, and from there it goes to Nigeria. It is quite difficult to list all ways of River Niger, but it is really unique. Experts couldn't explain this phenomenon up to the end. However, it doesn't prevent travelers, who are eager for adventures to come here.
Niger River facts
The name of the river was formed from the tuareg language and means 'river' or 'flowing water'. One hypothesis claims that the name of the river has appeared from words, which are translated as the greatest river. Also other people, who lived on coast of Niger, called it so. Of course, there are many assumptions. However, there is no exact information from where the name has appeared.
By the way, on the bank of Niger, there is a large number of different tribes, which adhere to ancient traditions and breed animals. On the river, people have constructed many water-engineering systems and dams. However, only in some places of the river navigation is developed. It especially concerns the region of the Niamey city.
In winter the river Niger freezes. Different types of fishes live in its waters. For this reason in this territory fishery is well developed. Generally, locals catch perches and carps. On riverbanks, there is very different and beautiful vegetation. Along coast the real oasis is formed. Every year thousands of tourists visit river Niger. Travel isn't simple, and travelers are trapped here by dangers continually.
Thanks to the summer, Monsoons River Niger fills up the water supplies. In June floods, which continue till September or October, begin. Filling of the river is interestingly distributed along a current. Lower and headwaters are located in regions with a solid amount of precipitation. The climate here is mainly arid. The main inflows of Niger are: Benue, Kaduna, Sokoto, Bani and Milo. In Niger River delta, the large amount of oil is revealed, and it is under protection of military. Most of locals throughout all life are engaged in fishery. This sphere is very developed in this region. The African flow is rather clean. In comparison with Nile, Niger fills up the ocean with a smaller amount of water. It is because of rocks, which give minimum silt. Also it is necessary to say that for the Western Africa Niger has important economic value.
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