Events & Festivals
10 of the Longest Rivers in the World
Rivers are an integral part of the development of any culture. In ancient history, cities and towns were built on the banks of river, providing inhabitants with the resources they needed for survival. So where are some of the longest rivers in the world? Here are 10 of our favorites.
The Parana River is actually the 14th longest river in the world. It flows across the southeast portion of South America and spans more than 2,485 miles between the Paranaiba and Rio Grande. The delta surrounding the Parana River is one of the best places in the world to go bird watching.
Measuring in at 2,590 miles is the Niger, the 11th longest river on the planet and the longest in the western section of Africa. The river provides the country of Niger with its main source of income, as it produces thousands upon thousands of gallons of oil each year. Dozens of irrigation canals have been built from the region to bring water to the delta that would otherwise be dry and arid.
The Mekong River is 2,600 miles long and is considered the largest in Southeast Asia. The river is so long that it actually creates the borders between several countries including between Laos and Burma and also between Laos and Thailand. The river is dangerous to travel on because of its rapid drops and quick rapids.
The Lena River, in Russia, measures more than 2,700 miles long and runs from Lake Baykal out to the Arctic Ocean. For the majority of the year the river is actually solid, only defrosting enough during the warmer months to act as home to a wide variety of terns, geese, cisco, and marine animals.
The Congo is the eighth longest river of the world, measuring 2,914 miles in length. The proximity of the river to the equator means much of the surrounding area is tropical in climate. The area, which gets almost 90 inches of rain every year, is flooded with hippos, water snakes, elephants, fish and, of course, gnats and mosquitoes.
The Ob-Irtysh River in Russia measures 3,354 miles long, beginning where the Biya and Katun Rivers meet and flowing down to the Gulf of Ob. The river is frozen for six months out of every year and used to be popular for fishing before it became polluted by nuclear waste.
The Yenisey River can also be found in Russia and spans a monstrous 3,534 miles long. It starts in the Hangayn Mountains and ends where the Kara Sea and Arctic Ocean meet. This river is also frozen for a good portion of each year but is also used, at points, as a source of hydroelectricity.
3. Chang Jiang (Yangtze)
The Yangtze River, also known as the Chang Jiang, is the third longest river in the world. It measures 3,917 miles long and runs from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in western China to the East China Sea. The river acts as a primary source of transportation and is responsible for the survival of many of Chinaâ€™s earliest civilizations. The river is still an important instrument, used in commerce annually.
2. The Amazon River
The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world, measuring 3,980 miles long, and at points it is also the widest. At one point, the Amazon River measures 6 full miles wide and it is believed that more than 20 percent of the river water pouring into the ocean each year comes from the Amazon. The river is a huge part of South America and is the namesake of the Amazon Rainforest. The river is still used for transportation and agricultural purposes today.
1. The Nile River
The absolute longest river in the world is the Nile, measuring 4,125 miles long. The Nile is unique because it has two sources â€“ one in Uganda and one in Ethiopia. The river is so long it passes through several different climatic regions, including Sudan and Egypt. The Nile River Delta is one of the most fertile in the region, acting as home to a wide variety of animal species, including the spectacular Nile Valley Sunbird. Those who visit the area love cruising down the Nile to see the sites.
The rivers of the world are spectacular and bring life to every region they touch. Keep your eyes peeled during your travels and you might someday have the opportunity to visit one of these incredible gifts from Mother Nature.