Top 10 Longest Rivers in the World By Length

Rivers are a necessary part of human civilization. They provide water, nutrients for crops, and transport. Some of the longest rivers span multiple nations and their basins cover more area than many of the largest countries in the world. Here is the list of the top 10 longest rivers in the world by length. 

Longest rivers in the world

1. Nile River (Length 6650 km)

The Nile is often titled the longest river in the world. Its basin spans 11 African Nations. The Nile travels northward from its origin until it mixes with the Mediterranean. The Nile, even though it’s the longest by length, seems like a brook in front of other big rivers because it has so little water.

Some big cities that are built on the Nile are Cairo, Giza, Aswan, and Khartoum. A river cruise along the Nile gives an amazing view of Egyptian monuments. The Pyramids of Giza and the Luxor temple are quite popular attractions along the Nile.

nile river
Nile river

2. Amazon River (Length 6400 km)

With a discharge of 0.2 million metric cubes, the Amazon river is one of the longest rivers in the world that carries almost 100 times the water of the Nile! The Amazon River collects water from multiple tributaries before falling into the Atlantic in north Brazil. There are multiple Nature reserves and National Parks in the basin that are home to a myriad of species of tropical flora and fauna.

The Amazon River is also home to many exotic animals like the amazon dolphin. A boat ride along the river may give you a glimpse of the wonder that the Amazon rainforest is. Some of the big cities on the banks of the Amazon are Manaus and Iquitos.

Also Read: Top 10 Largest Islands in the World by Land Area

amazon river
amazon river

3. The Yangtze River (Length 6300 km)

The Yangtze (meaning ‘the long river’ in Chinese) River starts from the Tibetan mountains and traverses across China until it finally merges with the East China Sea. The Yangtze basin is home to many endangered species in the world like the giant panda and the now extinct, Chinese paddlefish. A considerable section of the Chinese economy is based along the Yangtze River.

Major economic centers are Shanghai, Chongqing, and Liuzhou. Traveling along the river you will find historical monuments, modern wonders, and unparalleled natural beauty. There are also stretches of emerald green waters that are unaffected by human activities. Surely a sight to behold!

yangtze river
Yangtze river

4. The Mississippi River(Length 6275km)

The Mississippi River flows all the way from the Canadian border through the United States and eventually drains into the Gulf of Mexico. It is nicknamed the ‘Father of Waters’ by the natives because of its vastness. The Mississippi basin is one of the most productive agricultural zones in the world. It accounts for more than 90% of American farm exports.

New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, and Minneapolis are some important cities on the river. The Great River Road along the Mississippi River has tons of mesmerizing views. You can capture mountains, hills, green fields, and enchanting valleys while traveling on the road and feel close to nature.

Mississippi river
Mississippi river

5. The Yenisei River (Length 5,539 km)

The Yenisei River originates in northern Mongolia, flows northward, and crosses all of Russia, eventually draining into the Arctic. This river provides marine access to landlocked Siberia. Krasnoyarsk city on the river had a secret factory that produced bomb-grade plutonium which released radioactive discharges, thereby contaminating the river. A woolly mammoth skeleton that was hunted by humans thousands of years ago, was discovered in the basin recently, proving that life existed this far north even back then.

Yenisei river
Yenisei river

6. The Yellow River (Huáng Hé) (Length 5,464 km)

It is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze. It originates in the Bayan Har Mountains near the Mongolian and Chinese border, traveling across China and finally merging with the Bohai Sea.  The name Yellow refers to the perennial yellowish color of the water due to the silt carried by it. The basin of the Huang He is rich in nutrients and minerals.

It also has numerous tourist spots along its course. Some big cities located on the banks of the river are Kaifeng, and Luoyang Zhengzhou. The river has changed its path many times so these cities may not always be on its banks. The city of Xi’an which has numerous museums, palaces, temples, and the famous terracotta army also lies near the river. 

Also Read: 10 Countries With Longest Coastlines With Pictures

Yellow River
Yellow River

Image Source: Wikipedia

7. The Ob-Irtysh River (Length 5,410 km)

The Ob River system flows almost parallel to the Yenisei. The river starts from the Altai Mountains and flows in a northerly direction until it mixes with the Arctic Ocean.  The river extends multiple climatic zones. The upper course has watermelon farms while the lower course stays entirely frozen for six months a year. 

Important Russian cities like Novosibirsk and Barnaul are situated on this river. The river system is a major navigable waterway that connects the interior of Siberia to the ocean and provides a trade route for supplies.

Ob river
Ob river

Image Source: Wikipedia

8. The Parana River (Length 4,880 km)

The Parana River is joined by many big rivers along its course, forming an enormous stream of water that flows into the Atlantic near the Argentine and Uruguayan border. The delta formed by the Parana River is famous for its bird-watching sites. The Paran River basin is also the habitat of endangered capybara. 

There are numerous cathedrals, parks, and gardens on the river. A boat ride on the river on a sunny day is a nice way to get away from all your troubles. The basin spans an area of about 2.6 million sq. km and has some big cities like Buenos Aires, Brasilia, and São Paulo.

parana river
Parana river

9. The Congo River (Length 4,700 km)

The Congo River basin covers an area of more than 4 million sq. kilometers which is more than the total land area of India!  The basin is also home to a wide variety of endemic and common plant and animal species.

Also Read: Top 10 Deepest Rivers In The World

Congo river
Congo river

Image Source: CIFOR (Flickr)

10. The Amur River (length 4,444 km)

The Amur is also called Hēilóng Jiāng (Black Dragon River). The river flows through China, Mongolia, and Russia and empties in the Strait of Tartary. Lying on the border areas, the river is still undammed and flows freely. The Amur River basin is the natural habitat of the endangered Amur Leopard and many others.

Amur river
Amur river

These are the longest rivers in the world in terms of length. Kindly share and do post your comments.