Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent in the world. At about 30.3 million km² (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of Earth‘s total surface area and 20.4 percent of its total land area. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population. Scientists have formerly concluded that it is the birthplace of mankind, as large numbers of human-like fossils (discovered no where else) were found on the continent, some dating back 3.5 million years. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.
Facts and Figures About Africa That You May Not Know About…
- Africa, second-largest of the Earth’s seven continents – covering about 30,330,000 sq km (11,699,000 sq mi), which makes up about 22 per cent of the world’s total land area.
- Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well.
- Africa is the continent that has more countries than any other continent of the world. with 54 full recognized sovereign states (countries).
- Africa is the hottest continent on earth; dry lands and deserts comprise 60% of the entire land surface.
- The geographic center of Africa is located within Lobeke National Park in far southeastern Cameroon at 2° 37′ N 16° 06′ E. (see map)
- Horizontal Width: 4,355 miles (7,009 km) from Dakar, Senegal, east to Mogadishu, Somalia (see map)
- Vertical Length: 4,504 miles (7,248 km) from Cape Town, South Africa north to Tripoli, Libya: (see map)
- The Sahara Desert (including its satellite deserts) is the world’s largest hot desert, and temperature above 37.78 °C (100 °F) are common. In fact, the record for the highest temperature ever recorded was set in Libya in 1922; 58 °C – (136 °F).
- Highest and Lowest Point
Mount Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Point – (5895m/19,340 ft) in Tanzania while the lowest point is Lake ‘Asal (153 m/502 ft below sea level) in Djibouti.
- Northernmost and Southernmost Point
Cape Blanc (Ra’s al Abyad;) in Tunisia is the Northernmost point while Cape Agulhas in South Africa is the Southernmost point.
- Nigeria with 173.6 million people (2013 world bank statistic) has the largest population in Africa, and is the most populous black nation in the world.
- The smallest African country by population is The Seychelles (an Island) with a population of roughly 93,000
- Algeria is the largest country in Africa by area, covering a total area of 2,381,741sq. kms – (919,595 sq. miles)
- The smallest African country by area is The Seychelles (an Island) covering an area of 453 sq km but Gambia is the smallest of the mainland African countries, covering an area of 11,300 sq km (4,363 sq mi).
- Madagascar is the Largest Island In Africa and the fourth-largest island in the world. Covering a total area of 587,040 square kilometres (226,660 sq mi) with 581,540 square kilometres (224,530 sq mi) of land and 5,500 square kilometres (2,100 sq mi) of water.
- The Sahara desert is the largest desert in Africa and the third largest desert in the world at approximately 3,500,000 sq. miles (9,065,000 sq. km) in total size.
Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world (including its satellite deserts) is the world’s largest hot desert, and temperature above 37.78 °C (100 °F) are common. The Sahara Desert alone is expanding southwards at an average of 0.8 km (½ mile) a month.
- The Namib Desert is the world’s oldest desert, and the only desert in Africa inhabited by elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion. The Namib desert is a coastal desert in southern Africa that stretches for more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 km (120 mi) inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment.
- Kalahari Desert is about 100,000 sq. miles (259,000 sq. km) in size and covers much of Botswana, the southwestern region of South Africa and all of western Namibia. The desert plateau is criss-crossed by dry rivers beds and dense scrub. A few small mountain ranges are situated here including the Karas and the Huns. Large herds of wildlife are found in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, located in South Africa near its border with Namibia.
- Madagascar is the country with diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife, home to thousands of animal species . 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.
- The Serengeti (Tanzania) hosts the world’s largest wildlife migration on Earth with over 750,000 Zebra marching ahead of 1.2 million Wildebeest as they cross this amazing landscape.
- Megafauna like Giraffe, Zebra, Gorilla, Hippopotamus, Chimpanzee and Wildebeest are unique to Africa and are only found here.
- Africa has over 85% of the world’s Elephants and over 99% of the remaining Lions are on the African continent.
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