Top 10 Longest Rivers in the World

Read up on the top 10 longest rivers in the world – measured from the source to the mouth of the river. Can you guess which is the longest?

10. Amur River

Amur River
By LostInfidel at en.wikipedia  [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
The Amur River runs across the eastern regions of Russia; formed by the union of the Shilka and Argun rivers. With a length of 4,444 km and the also the world’s biggest undammed river, the Amur River takes the 10th spot on the list.

The Amur River is the habitat of a diverse species of fish and birds and it is also the home of the endangered Amur Leopard. Fishing remains the principal economic activity on the Amur.

The river and its branches are navigable when they are ice-free, which is usually from April to November.

9. Congo River

Congo River
By Bsm15   [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The Congo River in Africa is 4,700 km long; beginning at the confluence of the Lualaba and Luvua rivers – running southwest to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the ninth longest and also the deepest river in the world.

The Congo River is the source of endemic fish, and the tropical rainforests surrounding it are full of different kinds of animals; such as crocodiles and snakes.

The navigable system of the river serves as the chief passenger and cargo transportation in Africa. However, some areas of the river make navigation hard due to high waterfalls and strong rapids.

The people living around the river also use its resources to fish and to irrigate their crops.

8. Parana River

Parana River
By Maurice Chédel  [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The eighth longest river in the world runs 4,880 km south along South America – this is the Paraná River. The river begins at the union of the Paranaiba and the Rio Grande rivers flowing through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, until it reaches the Uruguay River and finishes at the Rio de la Plata estuary of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cruise ships and other ocean-going ships often pass through the navigable waters of the river.

The Parana River delta is the go-to place of bird enthusiasts with its rich variety of bird species.

7. Ob-Irtysh River

Ob-Irtysh River
I, Ondřej Žváček [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Another Asian river on the list is the Ob-Irtysh River. Its main part comprises of both the Ob and the Irtysh River making it the seventh of the world’s longest rivers, running a 5,410 km course. The Ob River’s formation arises when the Biya River merges with the Katun River until it exits through the Gulf of Ob into the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean.

The river is frozen for almost half a year making navigation impossible. However during warmer times, it becomes a major transportation and the home of rich plant and animal life – travelling through the heart of Russia.

6. Yellow River

Yellow River
By Jucember  [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A river named after the distinct color of its silts takes the sixth spot of the world’s longest rivers. The Yellow River of China travels a course of 5,464 km passing through nine Chinese provinces until it empties in the Gulf of Bohai.

The river brings its people many uses. It supplies water for the villages and towns, irrigates their farmlands and provides a main route for transportation.

Passenger ships still make their way along the river’s navigable waters. The Yellow River is also a popular tourist destination for its rich history and natural beauty.

5. Yenisei River

Yenisei River
By Tulip meadow   [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The Yenisei River of Russia forms where the Bii-Khem River merges with the Kaa-Khem River and empties at the Kara Sea. Its 5,539 km northern course stretches all throughout central Siberia, which is why it is ranked fifth of the longest rivers of the world.

Similar to its neighbor, the Ob-Irtysh River, it is mostly frozen throughout the year. However, the river still houses vast marine life – most notably the Siberian sturgeon. Its human inhabitants make a living through hunting, fishing, fur farming and reindeer breeding.

4. Mississippi River

Mississippi River
By USGS ([1] from [2]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Running a 6,275 km long course is a river that lies completely within the United States of America, the Mississippi River. It originates from Lake Itasca and runs all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Its many and diverse roles make it very essential. Nearby towns heavily depend on its water supply for drinking and waste disposal.

Its waters pave way to the smooth flow of commerce in the area by the accessible shipping of trade goods from one place to another. The Mississippi River and its surrounding land also house a large population of plant and animal life.

3. Yangtze River

Yangtze River
By Andrew Hitchcock   [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Earning the third place on the list is another great river of China, the Yangtze River. At a length of 6,300 km, it is also the current title-holder of Asia’s longest river. Before reaching its output on the East China Sea, it has to cross eleven regions of the country.

Within the Yangtze River is the Three Gorges Dam, which supplies hydroelectric energy and holds a reservoir of water for the nearby provinces. Its waters are also used for crop-irrigation for rice and wheat. The Yangtze River is also abundant of different fish species, with fishing a primary industry of inhabitants.

2. Amazon River

Amazon River
By Pedro Szekely from Los Angeles, USA  [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The second longest river is none other than the legendary Amazon River, home of the infamous anaconda! Its 6,400 km length starts from the Ucayali-Apurímac River before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

The drainage basin of the river houses one of the world’s largest tropical rainforests, the Amazon Rainforest. Both the Amazon River and Rainforest serve as homes to a very diversified and widespread species of plants and animal life.

1. Nile River

Nile River
By Fakharany  [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Nile River in Egypt still reigns as the longest river in the whole world. It runs a 6,650 km path travelling northward from Burundi, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the Egyptian people reside near the river for food and water.

The Nile River used to be populated with various kinds of fish, especially during the flood season, but the fish gradually disappeared since the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1970s.

About the author

Michael Jones

Created and runs the Holiday Point travel brand, incorporating a network of 9 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia. With 15 years of online experience, Michael not only writes content for the website and is the face of social media, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

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