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It is a fine-documented fact that early civilizations almost without exception were situated along navigable river systems. Rivers were significant not only for fresh drinking water however also for transportation of people and goods, communication and for moving armies throughout warfare. Rivers were as well used for exploring the heart of continents once the coast area had been settled. There are five main rivers in Africa. They are, the Nile in the northeast, the Congo on the west coast flowing via the Congo Rain Forest and emptying to the Gulf of Guinea, the Zambezi River flowing from south central Africa via Mozambique and emptying to the Mozambique Channel, the Niger River in northwestern Africa and the Orange River in the very southwestern point of Africa. These rivers do give drinking water though there is a main difference between these rivers and those of say North and South America. The rivers in Africa just flow a few miles inland before waterfalls and cataracts of significant size are encountered. The Nile is the one exception flowing hundreds of miles before important falls bring ships to a halt.

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