Cataracts of the Nile
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The cataracts of the Nile are shallow stretches between Aswan and Khartoum where the water's surface is broken by numerous small boulders and stones that lie on the river bed, as well as many small rocky islets. This is called "white water".
River cararacts often go with a rapid down-drop of the river,
The six first cataracts of the River Nile were the main obstacles for boats sailing on the Nile in antiquity. Counted upstream (from north to south), the First Cataract is in modern Egypt; the rest are in Sudan.
- The First Cataract is near Aswan
- The Second Cataract (or Great Cataract) was in Nubia and is now submerged in Lake Nasser
- The Third Cataract is around Tombos / Hannek
- The Fourth Cataract is in the Manasir Desert and will be flooded by the Merowe Dam from 2006 onwards
- The Fifth Cataract is near the confluence with the Atbara River
- The Sixth Cataract is where the Nile cuts through the Sabaluka pluton near Bagrawiyah
The cataract faces north, not south, because the river flows north, from Lake Victoria in the south.
The 1899 book "The River War" by Winston Churchill explains each of the cataracts.
Other websites[change | change source]
- The Cataract Nile and the Great Bend -University of Texas
- Photo links