The richest continent on the planet. Eastern Africa is recognised as the place of origin of humans, considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on earth.
The total population of Africa is over 1.1 billion making it the 2nd most populous continent with 15% of the worlds population. There are 54 countries on the planet though 2 are disputed and a few territories. The most sovereign countries on any continent. All countries are a member of the African Union except Morocco. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world with over 2000 recognised languages. Although most of them are of African origin, some of the languages spoken there are from Europe or Asia. 45% of the population are Christians, 40% are Muslims, and 10% follow traditional religions. A small number of Africans are Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist, Baha’i, or Jewish. There is also a minority of Africans who are irreligious
Blessed with abundant natural resources, about 90 percent of world’s cobalt, 90 percent of platinum, 50 percent of gold reserves, 60 percent of the worlds diamond reserves and many other minerals such as chromium, manganese, uranium and bauxite are believed to be in Africa. 66% of the worlds chocolate comes from Africa.
Africa lies in the centre of the earth with the equator passing through its centre. It is the only continent that stretches from the northern template to the southern temperate zones. With over 30.3 million km(11.7sm), it covers 20.4% of the earths total land area and 6% of its total surface area, making it the second largest continent. Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the east and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Northern half of Africa is primarily desert, or arid. Southern and central areas of the continent have areas which are savannah plains or very dense rainforest regions. The converging areas between these two have vegetation patterns such as Sahel and steppe. Europe and Africa are only separated by 14.3 km (8.9 mi) of ocean and there are talks of creating the longest bridge ever. Africa is the only continent to have land on the prime meridian and the equator. The most northern point is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia, while Cape Agulhas in South Africa is the most southern point, the distance between both is approximately 8000km(5000miles). The most western point is Cape Verde, while the most eastern part is Ras Hafun in Somalia, the distance between both is approximately 7400km(4600miles). The geographic centre of Africa is located within Lobeke National Park in far south-eastern Cameroon.
Africa is a hot continent as the solar radiation intensity is always high. The hottest continent with over 60% of the entire land surface area being drylands and dessert. The climate is largely tropical. Only the northernmost and the southernmost fringes of the continent have a Mediterranean climate because they aren't located under the tropics.
The rich and diverse African culture varies not only from one country to another, but within each country as well. The culture of each ethnic group centres on family and can be found in each group’s art, music, dressing, food, oral literature & much more. Across the board, there is general respect for the elders
Africa boasts one of the world's largest combination of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores such as lions, hyenas and cheetahs, and herbivores such as buffalo, elephants, camels and giraffes ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of "jungle" animals including snakes and primates and aquatic life such as crocodiles and amphibians, major animals include addax, Egyptian mongooses, giraffe(tallest), zebra, cheetah, lion, African elephant (the largest land animal) In addition, Africa has the largest number of megafauna species, and the largest population of camels in the world. The deadliest animal in Africa is the hippopotamus like giraffe, zebra, gorilla, hippopotamus, chimpanzee and wildebeest, which are unique to the continent and only found here. Lake Malawi has more fish species than any other freshwater system on earth. The Serengeti (Tanzania) hosts the world’s largest wildlife migration on Earth. Home to a lot of endangered species. Africa has over 3,000 protected areas, with 198 marine protected areas, 50 biosphere reserves, and 80 wetlands reserves.
Africa's economy is based largely on agriculture and oil. A developing continent, the growth in Africa is driven by the human resource, natural resources, agriculture and other upcoming industries in the area. Nigeria is the biggest economy on the continent. There are over a hundred thousand millionaires on the continent.
FUN FACTS: Graca Machel is the only woman to have been first lady of two separate countries: Mozambique and South Africa. ~ There are more people speaking French in Africa than in France. ~ Most of the world's fastest runners come from a single tribe in Kenya, Africa, called the "Kalenjins ~
The tourism industry is on a steady rise over the last few years with a growing number of visitors yearly, and expected to increase in size as the economy improves and the continent becomes more developed. Africa boasts a rich variety of attractions that draw in tourists from around the world. Take a trip around the continent.
Visit the Notre Dame d'Afrique in ALGERIA, see the mysterious Black rock formations at Pundo Andogo in ANGOLA, visit the Royal palace museum in Porto-Novo BENIN REPUBLIC, camp at the Nxai pan national park in BOTSWANA, explore the ruins of Loropeni in BURKINA-FASO, watch rare and stunning birds in their habitat at Lake Rwihinda in BURUNDI, learn pottery and how to weave a basket near Lake Ossa in CAMEROON, enjoy the marine life scuba diving alongside Loggerhead sea turtles in CANARY ISLAND, experience 3 natural wonders in the Blue eye Sal island in CAPE VERDE, enjoy a picturesque view of fishermen in their traditional canoes at the riverside capital of Bangui in CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, visit the Royal walls of Ceuta & take a boat ride through the moat in CEUTA, catch a Camel race in the Tibesti mountains in CHAD, climb the Mount Karthala and descend into the crater of the largest active volcano in the world in COMOROS, explore the architectural heritage, and artefacts in Brazzaville CONGO, visit the UNESCO World heritage site of Garamba national park, formerly home to the last population of wild northern white Rhinoceros in the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, have a swim in the beach of Ghoubet al Kharab with black lava cliffs bordering the beach in DJIBOUTI, marvel at the sight of thousands of butterflies on the Arena Blanca beach in EQUATORIAL GUINEA, experience the traditional coffee ceremony in ERITREA, shop at Africas largest market Mercato in ETHIOPIA, visit the $800million presidential palace in GABON, learn how to play the Kora in GAMBIA, cross Africas first canopy walkway at Kakum national park in GHANA, go sea fishing in Bijagos archipelago in GUINEA-BISSAU, hike the hills in Fouta Djalon in GUINEA-CONAKRY, experience Abidjan nightlife in IVORY COAST, see KENYA from up high in a hot air ballon ride, watching wildebeest migration and floating over the wildlife of the Masai Mara national reserve, go skiing in the highlands of LESOTHO, climb Mountain Woligizi and view 3 countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone & Guinea) from the top in LIBERIA, drive through the desert & sand dunes of the Great sand sea in LIBYA, relax sea side by the turquoise waters of Indian ocean beach in MADAGASCAR, watch the traditional Gule wamkulu dance in MALAWI, explore the town of Gao in MALI, an important town on the trans-saharan trade routes and home to the mosque of the richest man that ever lived Musa I, visit the Banc d'Arguin where the Sahara desert slips into the Atlantic ocean in MAURITANIA, have a romantic getaway on any of the lush luxury beaches in MAURITIUS, experience the haggling at the Marrakech souk bazaar in MOROCCO, visit the Gorongosa national park in MOZAMBIQUE, volunteer for conservation work at a non-profit rehabilitation centre caring for cheetahs, leopards and other endangered species in NAMIBIA, sail the Niger river in NIGER, taste the famous jollof rice in NIGERIA, Go Whale and Dolphin watching in the Indian ocean in REUNION ISLAND, visit the Kigali genocide memorial centre and pay tribute to the victims in RWANDA, embark on a full island tour of ST HELENA ISLAND, explore the Boca de inferno seawater fountain in SÃO TOME & PRINCIPE, float in the pink waters of lac Rose in SENEGAL, go snorkelling in SEYCHELLES, climb Mount Bintumani in SIERRA LEONE, see the cave paintings of Las Geel in SOMALIA, tour Kirstenbosch botanical garden in Cape-town SOUTH AFRICA, witness the worlds largest animal migration at Bona national park SOUTH SUDAN, unwind in hot mineral springs in SWAZILAND, conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in TANZANIA, try the popular dish of Akume in TOGO, cruise over the sand dunes of the Grand erg oriental in TUNISIA, visit Bwindi impenetrable national park in UGANDA, take a canoe ride on the Zambezi river in ZAMBIA & marvel at the natural beauty of Victoria falls in ZIMBABWE.