Africa is the second-largest continent on Earth. It stretches from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in south, and from the Red Sea in east to the Indian Ocean in west. With over 50 countries, it is home to a vast array of cultures and languages. In this post I'll show you where these are on the Map of Africa!
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world
It's also the least densely populated. About two-thirds of Africa's people live within 300 miles (480km) of the coastline, and more than half live in a region called Sub-Saharan Africa that includes West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana and East African nations such as Kenya and Ethiopia.
Map of Africa in Video
The climate on the African Continent
The Sahara Desert stretches across a vast part of northern Africa, creating very hot and dry conditions.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world and the third-largest desert overall, but is smaller than the cold deserts of Antarctica, and the Northern Arctic.
The North African climate is more humid than those to the south. This is because of it's proximity to the rainforests like Congo Rainforest in central Africa.
People who live in Africa experience a range of different climates. In Africa, there are:-
Equatorial climates - with high temperatures all year round, 26-28 degrees Celsius (78.8F to 82.4F).
Tropical wet and dry climates, also known as the tropical savanna which have wet and dry seasons.
Tropical Monsoon climates, have monthly mean temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F) in every month of the year.
Semi-arid climates or semi-desert climates are usually found around the edges of an arid (desert) climate.
Arid climates (desert) are very hot, with daytime temperatures as high as 54°C (130°F)
Subtropical Highland climates found in the mountainous regions of south east Africa.
Africa is generally hot throughout the year and has little variation in its weather by temperature. The climate of Africa is more variable by rainfall than by temperature.
Africa holds many heat-related records. One such record is the hottest extended region year-round.
Map of Africa by Rainfall
Map of Africa by Vegetation
The continent of Africa is home to five major vegetation regions: forest, grassland, tundra (patchy, low-to-ground vegetation consisting of small shrubs), desert, and ice sheet.
These separate areas can be recognized based on altitude or soil type; however, what makes them different is the amount of rainfall.
Africa is home to some of the world's most diverse ecosystems, with an incredible number of plant and animal species across each.
There are 5 main ecosystems across Africa’s landscapes. These are coastal environments, deserts, mountains, savanna grasslands, and forests.
The ecology and climate change dramatically in each environment. The people of Africa have learned to adapt to all of these extremely well.
Africa is a continent full of different cultures, ethnicities, languages, and religions. Although it's the second-largest in size and population on earth with an estimated 1.3 billion people, Africa remains one of the least developed regions in the world. Many countries struggle to provide basic needs like clean water for their citizens due to poverty or war each day.
Political Map of Africa
There are 54 countries on the continent, many with unique cultures. An estimated 2000 different languages/dialects are spoken. Many African countries are landlocked without access to an ocean or sea.
The African Countries
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, The Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, IvoryCoast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Several African countries have experienced a recent boom in economic growth.
Africa has a variety of economic sectors, including trade, industry, agriculture and human resources.
Africa is a natural resource-rich continent with a wealth of mineral and energy resources. Recent economic growth has been due to the rise of commodities, services, and manufactured goods sales.
West and East Africa are expected to reach a combined GDP of US$29 trillion by 2050.
Africa is home to many wonders, both Natural and Man-Made, here are the main wonders.
As one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders, the Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe serves as Ambassador Wonder to the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. These are:-
Tanzania - Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and one of the world's tallest. The 19,340 ft (5,895 m) freestanding stratovolcano (a volcano built up of alternate layers of lava and ash) is located near the equator and has a tropical climate with no permanent snow-cap.
Fish River Canyon
Namibia - The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is the largest canyon and longest ravine in Africa. 100 miles (160km) long, it has a width of up to 16.7 miles (28 km) at points.
The Sahara Desert
The largest hot desert in the world and the third-largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic. Covering 3,552,140 square miles (9,200,000 sq. km) of land between North Africa and Southern Libya. The desert spreads east to west across 2,983 miles (4,800 km).
The Serengeti is an African ecosystem that spans northern Tanzania and southwestern Kenya. The Mara in Kenya is the part of the Serengeti known as the Maasai Mara. This location hosts one of the world’s largest earth mammal migrations.
Ngorongoro Crater is an unbroken caldera (a large volcanic crater) often referred to as Africa's Garden of Eden. It is home to over 30,000 animals including lions, leopards, rhino, elephants, various buck, and hippopotami to name a few.
The Nile River is the longest river in the world. It extends 4,132 miles (6,650 km) crossing through 10 different countries with two sources – The Blue Nile and White Nile - originating in Uganda and Ethiopia respectively.
The largest inland delta (wetlands) in Africa, the Okavango Delta is a haven for animals and rare ecosystems. The delta has been preserved by Botswana with the purpose to promote peace and protect wildlife.
Interesting facts about Africa
People, Languages & Religion
Islam is the dominant religion in Africa. Christianity is the second.
Nigeria has the highest population (154.7 million people) in Africa. This represents 18% of Africa's total population.
Arabic is the language that is most widely spoken in the African continent.
More than 50% of the world's French-speaking population lives here on the continent.
Angola has more Portuguese speakers than Portugal.
Africa is 11,668,598 sq mi (30,221,532 sq km)
Both the world's tallest and largest land animals come from Africa. They are the giraffe and African elephant, respectively.
Algeria is the biggest country in Africa by land area.
The world's hottest place, Ethiopia is in Africa.
Africa is the hottest continent on earth.
Nature and Animals
The major animals in Africa include cheetah, African elephant, lion, zebra, Egyptian mongoose, giraffe, addax.
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 waterfall runs into almost a mile.
Africa has a pink lake in Senegal.
The continent's terrain was inhabitable and remained unknown for thousands of years, earning it the name of 'Dark Continent'.
Africa has the shortest coastline 18,950 miles (30,500 km) in length despite being the second largest continent in the world.
Africa is the most centrally located continent in the world.