The Five Longest Rivers in the World

By Vandana Singhal

There are thousands of rivers in the world, but only a few which are thousands of miles long and span through many countries! Learn about the top five longest rivers in the world here.

The five longest rivers in the world are all thousands of miles long, and some run through several different countries. The Nile in North Africa and the Amazon in South America are the two longest rivers which run through more than one country. The Yangtze in Asia, Mississippi-Missouri in North America and the Yenisey in Asia are the other three entrants.

The Nile

nile The Nile is the longest river in the world. The length of this river is about 4,135 miles (6650 km). It is located in Africa and runs through ten countries, more than any other river in the world.

Though the Nile is mainly associated with Egypt, only about 1/5th of the river runs through this country. Originating in Burundi, it flows towards Northeastern Africa, then through Egypt and finally drains into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile flows through various African countries such as Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Eritrea, and Kenya.

There are two major tributaries of the river Nile: the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile originates at Lake Victoria in Uganda and is larger than the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile starts from Lake Tana in Ethiopia. Both tributaries of the Nile meet in Sudan and flow northwards. Egypt is often known as the gift of the Nile as most of the cities in Egypt are located near it.

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amazon Located in South America, the Amazon is the second longest river in the world. It is 3,980 miles (6400 km) long. Though it is the second longest river, it is the widest river in the world; at times, about 6 miles in width. The water of the Amazon forms 20 percent of all the water from all the rivers on the earth pouring into the oceans. Starting from the Andes Mountains, it runs through countries of Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guyana to the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon is part of the vast Amazon Rainforests.

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yangtze Located in China, the Yangtze is the third longest river in the world and the longest in Asia. It is about 3917 miles (6385 km) long. It originates from the Tanggula mountains in west-central China and turns in several directions in China before draining into the East China Sea near Shanghai. Several tributaries flow into this river to make a single large river system. At some spots, the width of this river is about 1,000 to 1,300 feet and the depth is more than 30 feet.

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mississippi Part of the Mississippi-Missouri river system, the Mississippi is the fourth longest river in the world. It is about 3,870 miles (6275 km) long. Originating at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, it flows southwards and reaches New Orleans, Louisiana and then flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The variation in the depth of the river is quite interesting as at the headwaters in Minnesota, it is about 3 feet and at the Algiers Point in New Orleans, it is about 200 feet.

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yenisei Flowing through Russia, the Yenisei River is the fifth largest river in the world. It is 3,434 miles (5539 km) long. Rising in Mongolia, it flows northwards in the West Siberian plain and drains into the Kara Sea. This is the largest river in the world falling in the Arctic Ocean.

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