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Notes on the Geography of Sudan: Nile Corridor

The Nile dominates Northern Sudan as much as it does Egypt: it's the only substantial body of water, and it's fringed by land that's otherwise next to useless.

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Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 1

The combined White and Blue Niles near Sabaluka, at the 6th Cataract of the Nile.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 2

The flight from Cairo to Khartoum takes two hours. When Britain ruled both Egypt and Sudan, travel was mostly by rail and ferry. Along this section, around Sabaluka, it was by rail.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 3

The banks of the river are often irrigated.  Here, we're looking upstream on the White Nile, where long narrow fields are irrigated by water electrically pumped from the river. 

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 4

Farther from water, the country north of Khartoum is intensely arid.  Everything is built of stone or, more likely, mud, and the occasional tree is an event.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 5

Public meetings are typically held in a tree's shade.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 6

The surrounding plains stretch out forever.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 7

Mosques are important enough to be built in stone.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 8

So is the occasional tomb. This one commemorated a man who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca. No big deal today: the flight from Khartoum to Jedda is an easy one, with Boeing 747's operating daily in the 1980s.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 9

The Blue Nile at Khartoum, flowing front to back, south to north and splitting around Tuti Island.  Khartoum proper is on the left; Khartoum North is on the right. The bridge in the foreground carries cars; the one behind it also carries a railroad.

Sudan: Nile Corridor picture 10

A ferry crosses the broad reservoir formed on the White Nile by the Jebel Aulia Dam, well upstream from Khartoum but built by and for Egypt.  The reservoir creates a very welcome cool breeze.

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