Four fascinating facts about some of the world’s most incredible rivers

May 17, 2018

National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures show you the world’s mightiest rivers, cradle to some of the most vibrant creatures and cultures on the planet. Observe wildlife from a mokoro, a traditional African dugout canoe, in the Okavango Delta, a massive wetland that hosts hundreds of migratory animals each year, and learn about the National Geographic-funded Okavango Wilderness Project. Explore the Amazon River by riverboat, searching for elusive species in the depths of the jungle. Drift down the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (Burma) on the way to ancient temples and Buddhist sites. With National Geographic Journeys, see firsthand how life-giving rivers nurture our planet. Here are four fascinating facts about just some of the powerful rivers you can visit on our National Geographic Journeys collection of tours.

The Amazon River

Did you know: The Amazon used to flow in the opposite direction? Until about 15 million years ago, the Amazon’s waters flowed west, into the Pacific Ocean, rather than east, into the Atlantic. The Amazon changed direction when the Andean mountain range was formed, and freshwater lakes and tributaries were created.

Want to see the mighty Amazon River? Check out our Explore Machu Picchu & the Amazon River tour.

The Ganges

Did you know: There are sharks in the Ganges? The Ganges shark is a critically endangered freshwater shark that inhabits the waters of India’s most holy river. Unfortunately, due to overfishing and habitat destruction, the Ganges shark is critically endangered — though the species is now protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of India.

Float down the Ganges on our India River Cruise: The Holy Ganges tour.

The Chobe River

Did you know: Depending on where you are in Africa, the river might have a different name? In northern Botswana (but first in Angola), the river is known as the Cuando; it then becomes the Kwando in Namibia. The river is also known as the Linyanti in Botswana. The river feeds the rich Okavango Delta of Botswana, and also is part of the river system that flows over the mighty Victoria Falls.

Visit some of the majestic waterways of Botswana and Zimbabwe on our Botswana & Zimbabwe Safari tour, on our Southern Africa Safari Experience, or on The Great Southern Africa Safari.

The Irrawaddy River

Did you know: Because of a poem by the writer Rudyard Kipling, the Irrawaddy River is often referred to as “The Road to Mandalay”? Kipling — perhaps best known as the author of The Jungle Book — wrote his poem, "Mandalay", in 1892 as an ode to the sometime-capital of Myanmar (then Burma). The Irrawady River flows through Mandalay, and Kipling’s poem was adapted to music in 1907 by American composer Oley Speaks, in a song called The Road to Mandalay.

See the mighty Irrawady on our Heart of Myanmar tour.

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