Nature: 26 Mighty rivers

Last modified 01.04.2022 | Published 15.12.2014World abstracts

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Join me and visit 26 mighty rivers This article might be a mistake, because it is going to mention a large number of rivers across almost the entire globe.



This post is part of a series portraying the classic Elements of Nature: Earth, Fire, Water, Air. Rivers are examples of the third element, Water.

In preparing this article I set about listing up the mighty rivers that I have been swimming in, sailed or crossed. I came up with a list of 26 mighty rivers, and there might be more as well. In addition there are countless rivers of a lesser size, but not necessarily less picturesque or memorable. The images are from other rivers as well.


Brazil - On the way to Manaus - The meating of the Solimoes and Rio Negro tributary rivers

Brazil – The meating of the Solimoes and Rio Negro tributary rivers to the Amazon


But why bore the readers of this website with such a list?

I don’t really know. And I don’t really know which rivers to drop. So I include them all.


Laos - Luang Prabang - Mekong River

On a river boat up the Mekong River


Rivers and human beings

Even though it is beside the objective of this series, rivers have also been very much part of human development throughout history. The Nile in northern Africa and the Mekong in South-East Asia are both examples of rivers shaping the history of empires and everyday life, past and present. The banks of the Douro in Portugal and the Rhine in Germany have been cultivated, often in terraces, for the sake of wine production.

Rivers have also been very much part of art, literature, movies and music. Think of the ancient Chinese ink drawings from the Li river, Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Acopalypse Now”, and Johann Strauss’ “An der schönen blauen Donau”.


Germany - The Rhine

Germany – The Rhine


The origin and course of a river may vary. Some have their source in a mountainous area. Some (eventually) flow through valleys and may form canyons or gorges, usually very picturesque. Others meander along a flat terrain.

In essence a river is life and a river creates life. Almost endlessly and without external influence. (Human endeavours have at times and places sought to change or control rivers. The flow of water may be controlled by the use of dams and riverbank fortifications to stop flood from devastating the surrounding area. Canals are dug to lead the river in other directions, and so on.)


Uzbekistan - Amu Darya River

Uzbekistan – Amu Darya River


If you have read this article this far, you will have noticed quite a few pictures from the following list of 26.


I have been on a boat on

1. Li River, China
2. Pearl River (Zhujiang), China. I sailed it from HK to Guangzhou
3. Danube, I have sailed it in Budapest but it runs through several countries
4. Amazon, Brazil for my part, but it also extends into Peru and Colombia.
5. Nile, Egypt
6. Mekong, I have sailed it in Laos but it runs through several countries
7. Ayeyarwady, Myanmar
8. Moskva River, Moscow, Russia
9. Vltava River, Prague
10. Thames
11. Seine



Russia - Moscow - Boat on the Moskva River

Russia – Moscow – Boat on the Moskva River


In Europe I have crossed

12. Loire
13. Rhone (including “sur le pont…”)
14. Seine
15. Tagus
16. Elbe
17. Spree
18. Rhine
19. Douro
20. Thames
21. Vistula

…and a lot more….



In the Middle East I have crossed

22. Euphrates
23. Jordan River


Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway I crossed these mighty Russian rivers

24. Volga
25. Ob – Irtysh
26. Yenisei


France - Paris - Banks of the River Seine

France – Paris – Banks of the River Seine


Further reading

That was 26 mighty rivers. Missing anything? For sure, I’ve had to skip some of my images related to this subject and refrained from mentioning some of my visits. Feel free to search this website for more. In addition, you are surely missing famous places or your own favourites. Chances are I haven’t been there, and I only include my own images and visits in this series.

(This article was published in 2014. After that I have crossed the Zambezi in southern Africa.)


All articles in this series

(1) Introduction

(2-7) Element: Earth

(2) Great Caves

(3) Strange Rock Formations

(4) Dramatic Cliffs

(5) Amazing Mountain Views

(6) Great Highlands

(7) Dry Deserts

(8) Element: Fire

(8) Active Volcanoes

(9-14) Element: Water

(9) Dramatic waterfalls

(10) Fascinating Beaches

(11) Mighty rivers

(12) Picturesque Lakes

(13) Important Straits

(14) Snow and ice

(15) Element: Air



Here are images tagged “river” on this website. Click to enlarge and browse.