Major Rivers in West Africa

Posted on Jun 27 2014 - 7:20am by Tyler Coleman

West Africa is well known for its numerous countries along the Atlantic coast. Some of these countries include: Ghana, Niger, Congo and Mali. All of these countries are well known for their different landscapes and major rivers that run through them. Some of the climates of these countries include: grassy savannas and tropical rainforests. Many people that visit these countries have a strong interest in seeing or exploring the rivers in these areas. For those interested in visiting West Africa, there are a few major rivers that you need to know about. Knowledge of these rivers can enhance your trip.

Major Rivers in West Africa

The Senegal River

The Senegal River is one of the major rivers that flows through West Africa. This river flows through the country of Senegal as well as Mauritania, that spills into the Atlantic Ocean. The Senegal River begins in the rise of the mountains of Guinea. This 1700 mile river is used by the locals surrounding it’s banks. This river is used for hydroelectricity and agriculture to help power the economy of these towns. Fishing is another major economic focus of these towns. However, overfishing of these areas has caused to very limited fishing opportunities for these towns.

The Niger River

The Niger River is one of the longest river found in West Africa, stretching about 2,600 miles. This river flows through many of the major countries found in West Africa. These countries include: Lagos, Niger and Mail. Niger is one of the most populated cities on the continent of Africa. Stretching an impressive 2,600 miles the Niger River runs through five countries and empties out into the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to the Niger River’s delta, the river has become major resource of oil and gas. This area of the world also acts as a major transportation hub for the entire continent.

The Congo River

The Congo River is the second longest river in West Africa. This river stretches nearly 3,000 miles through numerous countries. The depth of the Congo River has been measured to reach more than 750 feet deep. Compared to all other rivers in the world, the Congo River is the deepest one in the world. The Congo River also is an incredibly fast moving river, that is second only to the Amazon River in Central America. The Congo River borders nearly 10 different countries in Africa.

The Volta River

The Volta River is the combination of three different rivers that collect together. These rivers include: Black, Red and White Volta rivers that eventually create this large river. This river is incredibly shallow and flows incredibly slow through Ghana until it ends in the Atlantic Ocean. One dam located in Ghana makes use of the Volta River to power certain parts of the region. Lake Volta has become a very well known reservoir of water that can be utilized by the inhabitants. Along with powering this region, the Volta River acts as an awesome fishing location for the residents. Many local fisheries make a great living from exporting fish.

Major Rivers in West Africa

The major rivers located in West Africa all help shape the economy of the countries and regions that they run through. The rivers acts as hydroelectric stations to power the countries and also fishing opportunities for citizens. The five major rivers of this region all share common characteristics including: stretching longer than 1000 miles and dumping into the Atlantic Ocean. When coming to West Africa it is a good idea to make a stop by one of these major rivers. There are a number of things to do and see in each region near the river.

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