Steamers on the Nile River serve as the only means of transportation for goods and people during the flood season in parts of The Sudan. Between May and November road transportation is not possible in this region. Many of the towns are located on or near the riverbanks throughout Egypt and the Sudan. In The Sudan alone, 2,400 miles are served by steamer service along the Nile and its tributaries. Portions of the Blue Nile are navigable only when the river's water level is high. Other sections of the Nile are served by the steamers on a seasonal basis.
In The Sudan the river is only navigable in three portions due to the cataracts that occur north of Khartoum. The first navigable area is from Egypt's border to the southern end of Lake Nasser. The second portion is between the third and fourth cataract and the third goes from Khartoum south to Juba. The third navigable section is the most important. As the Nile continues through Egypt its waters are utilized by shallow-draft steamers and sailing vessels as far as Aswan. Smaller boats are found throughout the remainder of the Nile and the delta waterways as they lead to the Mediterranean Sea.
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