Africa, known for safaris, wild animals, and the extreme poverty, is the second largest continent of the 7 continents in the world. It is rich in history, language, culture, and geographic diversity. Africa plays host to some of the most incredible deserts, mountains, animals, reptiles, birds, insects on planet earth.
General Information About Africa
Africa is comprised of 55 separate countries and nine territories, and two de facto states that are basically their own entities with no special rights or recognition. Africa is made up of approximately 11.7 square miles and has about 22% of the world’s land mass. Africa has the world’s youngest population, with half of their over billion people being under 19 years of age. Learn more about the countries of Africa.
Geography of Africa
Africa is comprised of desert, tropical, savanna grasslands, jungle and even subarctic climates. The top half of the continent is comprised of desert, and the Sahara Desert, the world’s hottest desert, is located in Northern Africa, and at 3.5 million square miles is approximately the size of the United States or China. The Nile River, which runs through 11 different countries in Africa, is the longest in the world, over 4,000 miles long. The world’s second largest lake and largest tropical lake is Lake Victoria, located in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Africa is located in between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, and to the north is the Mediterranean Sea. Africa is the only continent large enough to be in both the northern temperate and southern temperate zones. The equator also runs through several countries in Africa.
At 19,340 feet, the highest point in Africa is Mt. Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania and is a popular mountain climbing destination. The lowest point on the African continent is Lake ‘Assal, located in Djibouti, at 502 feet below sea level.
Animals of Africa
Africa is known for its many magnificent animal species, and many people come to Africa for the very purpose of catching a glimpse of these amazing animals in their native habitat. Among the most popular animals native to Africa are the African Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Vervet Monkey, Hippopotamus, Cheetah, Hyena, Lion, Gazelle, and
Rhinoceros. Many African animals have earned distinctions, among these, the African Elephant is the world’s largest land animal, the cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal and the giraffe is the tallest animal on land. There are several species of fish native to Africa, and Lake Malawi has more species of fish recorded than any other lake in the world.