One of Africa’s largest rivers, the Niger is of vital importance to hundreds of millions of people. Perhaps it is no less important than the mighty Nile, which rolls its waters in another part of this continent. Nevertheless, only Niger saves the already arid lands of West Africa from final drying up and turning into deserts, and millions of hectares of fields are irrigated from it.
Interesting facts about the Niger River
- Its length is only slightly short of 4200 kilometers.
- The Niger flows through five countries.
- No one still knows for sure where the name of this river came from.
- Among all the rivers of the world, the Niger ranks 14th in length (interesting facts about the rivers).
- The inhabitants of the lands through which the Niger flows call it differently – Cuarra, Joliba, Izo and a good dozen other names. They all have one thing in common – all of them in translation mean either simply “river” or “big river”.
- There are rich oil fields in the Niger Delta. It produces more than 2 million barrels of “black gold” per year.
- Despite its impressive scale, this river is quite young. Judging by the statements of geologists and hydrologists, its age does not exceed 4-5 thousand years. Niger appeared when two other smaller rivers merged into one.
- Since its shores are very fertile, a significant proportion of the population of the surrounding countries is concentrated around them. More than 30 million people live in the river delta alone.
- The total basin of the Niger River exceeds 2 million kilometers in area.
- On average, more than 8,600 cubic meters of water pours out of the Niger every second into the ocean, in the rainy season this figure rises to 35,000 cubic meters. For comparison, from 2800 to 5700 cubic meters of water per second passes through the famous Niagara Falls, depending on the season (interesting facts about waterfalls).
- The waters of the Niger River are rich in life, there are a lot of different fish, so the locals are willing to fish.
- In all of Africa, only the Congo and Nile rivers surpass the Niger in length and water surface area.
- Rain replenishes most of the volume of the Niger River. Tributaries and soil feed it only slightly.
- Its water is surprisingly clear for a river. In the same Nile, it is about 10 times more muddy (interesting facts about the Nile River).
- The Niger River annually carries more than 65 million tons of river silt and other sediments into the ocean.
- Ancient The Greeks believed that the Niger flows into the Nile. Time has shown that they were wrong.