Rivers are an important part of our economy, culture and psyche.
History, adventure and travelogue combine as Simon Reeve journeys down three of the world’s major rivers: the Nile, Yangtze and Ganges.
Through the stories of the people who live alongside these great waterways, he uncovers their vast influence, and reveals how they unite, and divide, some of the most extraordinary parts of the world.
Tracing the course of each river from source to mouth, this series delves deep into the beliefs and practices that underpin the lives of those living along its banks.
Travel from the twin temples of Abu Simbel to the Nile delta; down the Yangtze from the giant Buddha of Leshen to the Three Gorges Dam and on to Shanghai; and along the great mother Ganges in a world caught between ancient traditions and astonishing modernity.
Along the way, experience a riot of colour, extraordinary spectacle and unexpected encounters.
Full of wonder and breathtaking, magisterial landscapes, Simon Reeve’s Sacred Rivers is a potent mix of revelation and hands-on adventure.
The Nile is generally regarded as the world’s longest river, flowing at a length of 6,853km (4,258 miles).
The Ganges is sacred to Hindus, who worship the river as the goddess Ganga.
The amount of grain produced on the Yangtze river basin would cover half of the whole nation. Rice accounts for 70% of the total, but other crops such as cotton, barley, wheat, maize and bean are also produced in the area.
The Nile is an international river that shares its water resources between 11 countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
The Ganges river basin covers nearly a third of India and has the highest population of any river basin in the world, containing over 400 million people.
There are more than 50 bridges spanning the Yangtze river, but none of these were built until after 1955. Before then, people crossed the river by ferry.
The Nile is not one long single river. Instead, it has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
In 2007, the Ganges was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world. Today, it is ranked number six.
The Yangtze is Asia’s longest river and the third longest in the world.