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Facts about Africa

Amazing Facts About Africa That'll Change Your Perception

A compilation of some facts about the continent of Africa, which make it one of the most interesting places on the Earth. After all, there are not many places in the world wherein you will find deserts, diamonds, pyramids, and rich wildlife together.
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
With its rich geography and interesting history, the continent of Africa boasts of a lot more than infamous issues like poverty and Apartheid. Of the 54 African nations, and some disputed territories, the largest happens to be Algeria. Similarly, Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the largest city of the African continent.

Interesting Facts about Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in terms of size and population. Its total area of approximately 11 million square miles accounts for 5.7 percent of the total surface of the Earth (and 20 percent of the total land surface of the planet). Given below are more of such interesting facts about the continent, which are bound to leave you amazed.
  1. Interestingly, the African continent measures almost the same in terms of length and breadth, i.e., approximately 4,660 from north to south and almost same from east to west.
  2. Other than being the second largest, Africa is also the second most populous continent in the world, housing 12 percent of the world population.
  3. The most populated country in Africa is Nigeria, with an estimated population of 120 - 140 millions, while the least populated country is the Seychelles, with an estimated population of 80,000 people.
  4. There are approximately 3,000 distinct ethnic groups in Africa. Nigeria, alone, has around 370 officially recognized tribes.
  5. There are around 2,000 different languages spoken in Africa, each of which has several dialects. Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the continent.
  6. The Equator runs for around 2,500 miles from west to east of Africa, dividing the continent into two halves: north and south. It passes through half a dozen African nations, including Uganda, Congo, Somalia, and Kenya.
  7. If fossils are to be believed, Africa is the first continent which hosted humans. Fossil remains suggest that humans existed on this continent as long as 7 million years ago.
  8. Africa is also the home to the longest river in the World, the Nile, which runs for more or less 4,150 miles before emptying itself in the vast ocean. It flows through several African nations, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt.
  9. Victoria Falls, located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is the largest waterfall in Africa. It is approximately a mile in width and 355 feet in height.
  10. Africa is also home to the largest desert in the world, the Sahara desert, which spans across a dozen countries and over an area of 3.5 million square miles.
  11. The largest mountain in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet), while the largest lake in Africa is Lake Victoria (26,560 square miles).
  12. Off the east coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, lies Madagascar. With a length of around a 1,000 miles and width of 350 miles, it is the largest island in Africa and the 4th largest island in the world.
  13. Africa is also known for its flourishing wildlife. It is home to four of the world's fastest land animals, i.e., cheetah, gazelle, wildebeest, and lion.
  14. Approximately, 50 percent of the gold and diamonds produced in the world come from Africa alone, while the rest of the world accounts for the remaining 50 percent of the production of these valuables.
  15. South Africa is home to the largest green canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon. The canyon also boasts of being the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon (United States) and Fish River Canyon (Namibia).
  16. Vilakazi Street in Soweto, South Africa, is the only street in the world, which boasts of housing two Nobel Prize winners: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
With all these things to its credit, it is no surprise that this continent is a popular destination for people from various walks of life ... right from vacationists to wildlife enthusiasts. It would be surprising, if you don't add a trip to Africa to your things-to-do-before-you-die list right now.
Making a Splash With Gold and Diamonds
Madagascar Political Map
Victoria Falls
Oil rig in the yards