Home | Facts about Africa

Facts about Africa

Considered by many scientists to be the origin of mankind...

Considered by many scientists to be the origin of mankind, Africa is a continent of 54 independent countries and a rich mix of native peoples, cultures, economies and history.

The scenic beauty and variety is quite stunning, it is home to vast deserts, tropical rain forests, rugged mountains and fertile grasslands. It is abundant in flora and fauna unsurpassed by any other continent.

An ever-increasing number of tourists from around the globe are drawn to this incredible continent every year to experience its wonders.

Yet despite its natural wealth and beauty, Africa includes the fifteen least developed nations in the world, 70% of its population survives on less than $2 a day, disease and famine continue to kill millions of its people each year, and even the most basic education is denied to a large percentage of its children.

See Our Map Of Africa

Quick Facts About Africa

Continent Size: Second largest in the world

Area: 11,700,000 square miles

Estimated population: 877 million people

Largest City: Cairo, Egypt, 9.2 million people

Largest Country:  Algeria - 919,595 square miles (was Sudan, 968,000 square miles)

Longest River: Nile, 4,160 miles

Largest Lake: Victoria, 26,828 square miles

Tallest Mountain: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, 19,340 feet

New York Times Quote of the Day for June 2, 2002:

"Africa is still the poorest continent in the world, the biggest sufferer of HIV and AIDS, the continent with the most external debts and the least foreign investment. But we are lot more hopeful than we were 5 or 10 years ago." ~ IBRAHIM GAMBARI, United Nations special representative for Africa

Some Interesting Facts

Africa on the globeAfrica is considered to be the second largest continent in the world with a total area of around 11 million square miles that account for 5.7% of the earth's surface as well as 20% of the total surface of land on our planet.

It has a rich geography as well as an interesting history thus making it a continent with such biodiversity that is awe inspiring. Africa has much more to it than poverty and apartheid, for which it is well known the world over.

There are 54 countries as well as quite a few disputed territories. Sudan used to be the largest country in Africa until it was split into Sudan and South Sudan. Algeria is now the largest African country by geographical area. Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and is also the largest city.

As far as the size is concerned along with the population Africa is the second largest continent. Africa is filled with some of nature’s greatest wonders, there are a few facts about Africa given below that will help you to understand more about this beautiful continent.

Amazing Facts About Africa

• One of the most interesting facts about Africa is that the length and breadth of this continent are about the same. It measures around 4,660 from north to south and from east to west.

• Africa is not only the second largest but the second most populated continent as well and houses about 12% of the world population.

• Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has an estimated population of 120-140 million. The population in Seychelles is around 80,000 people and is the least populated country.

• The African continent has approximately 3,000 distinct ethnic groups while Nigeria alone has about 370 of these tribes that have been officially recognized. You will find more information on African culture here.

• Around 2,000 different languages are spoken in Africa and each of them have different dialects while Arabic is the language that is most widely spoken in the African continent.

The Equator goes around 2,500 miles from the west to the east of the African continent thus dividing this continent into two separate halves – north and south. It passes through many of the African nations such as Congo, Somalia, Uganda as well as Kenya.

• If we go by the records of the fossil remains Africa seems to be the first continent where humans were found. The fossil remains have suggested that humans had inhabited the African continent around 7 million years ago.

• Africa also boasts of having the longest river in the world which is the Nile that runs for around 4,150 miles before it meets the ocean. It flows through several African countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda as well as Egypt thus making the land extremely fertile.

The Victoria Falls as seen from Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls

• The largest waterfall in Africa is the Victoria Falls and it is located on the Zimbabwe and Zambia border. It has a height of 355 feet and the width of the water fall runs into almost a mile.

• The largest desert in the world the Sahara desert is also situated in Africa and it spans across at least a dozen countries - around 3.5 million square miles.

The extent of the Sahara Desert across Africa

The Sahara desert covering a chunk of northern Africa

• Mount Kilimanjaro is the largest mountain in Africa and stands tall at 19,340 feet. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa measuring 26,560 square miles.

• Madagascar is the largest island in the African continent and it lies just off the east coast of Africa. It has a length of around 1,000 miles with a width of around 350 miles. This island is also the 4th largest island in the world.

• Africa also boasts of the best flora and fauna in the world. It has the most flourishing wildlife in the entire world. It also houses some of the fastest animals on land such as the cheetah, wildebeest, gazelle and lion. Find out more information on the African animals here.

• Africa’s mining is well known and the continent produces at least 50% of the diamonds and gold in the whole world. The rest of the countries around the world contribute to the remaining 50% of the production of these precious stones and metal.

• South Africa is also home to the ‘largest green canyon in the world’ and it is known as the Blyde River Canyon and this is also the 3rd largest Canyon in the world.

If you know any other interesting facts about Africa that you would like to share with us please contact us and we will happily display them here.

More Topics on Africa

Click on the links below for detailed information on these topics relating specifically to Zimbabwe..

[Top of Page]

Download this 100% FREE Travel Guide with all things Victoria Falls

our Bi-Monthly E-Newsletter

Each issue has a destination update, loads of information about conservation and wildlife, specials offers, traveller tips, community projects, website highlights and tons more...

Find out more about our Bush Telegraph

"Your newsletter keeps me informed about new and old and is the best I've seen in a long while - informative, not commercial, just plain perfect!"  - I.Skliros

Don't worry. Your e-mail address is totally secure. I promise to use it only to send you The Vic Falls Bush Telegraph.



Return from Facts About Africa to our Victoria Falls Home Page

Download this 100% FREE Travel Guide with all things Victoria Falls

Simunye - We are One - Live theatre show in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Click to book!
Luxury Journeys by train from Pretoria to Victoria Falls, on the Rovos Rail
Stone Dynamics Gallery in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


Powered by SBI!

Copyright© 2008 - Tony and Boo Peel. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.