River Benue, largest tributary of the River Niger; it is navigable for most of its length of 1,400 km/870 mi.
The Benue joins the Niger at Lokoja. Its headwaters rise in Cameroon, converging to flow 800 km/497 mi through eastern Nigeria. Navigable for small craft along most of its length (unlike the Niger which is interrupted by rapids), the Benue River was historically important in providing access to northeast Nigeria; it was explored by the Scottish explorer William Balfour Baikie (1825–64) between 1854 and 1862. The wide floodplain is used for agriculture, with crops including sugar and rice