Lake Nasser / Lake Nubia

Arabic: buhayra nāsir

The lake is some 550 km long and 35 km across at its widest point, which is near the Tropic of Cancer. It covers a total surface area of 5,250 km≤ and has a storage capacity of some 157 km≥ of water.

The Egyptian name is in honor of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was the main proponent of the controversial High Dam project.
When Lake Nasser was being created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam, across the Nile, between 1958 and 1970, the anticipated rising waters behind the dam required major relocation projects that were carried out during the 1960s. There were 18 ancient temples in the area.
Several important Nubian and Ancient Egyptian archaeological sites were dismantled block by block and moved to higher ground, most notably Abu Simbel. The prior Sudanese river-port and railway terminal of Wadi Halfa was lost beneath the waters, and a new town was built nearby; and Egypt's entire Nubian community from the upper reaches of the Nile – numbering several hundred thousand people – saw their villages disappear and were forced to relocate.

Rising lake levels through the 1990s resulted in what the Egyptians term the spilling over of waters, others claim deliberate leakage, westwards into the Sahara Desert, forming the Toshka Lakes beginning in 1998.

Ferries take passengers and road vehicles between Aswan in Egypt and Wadi Halfa, from where the railway goes to Khartoum, capital of Sudan. Since it is prohibited to cross the Sudan-Egypt border on land, and no paved roads connect the two countries, the ferries are the only alternative to air travel; currently, they constitute a link in the Cairo-Cape Town Highway.

Sport fishing among tourists, especially for Nile Perch, has become increasingly popular, both on the shore and from boats.


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