Top 20 Facts About Africa
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world by both area and population. It borders both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with a coastline that stretches more than 16,000 kilometres (10,000 miles).
Africa’s northernmost point is Cape Agulhas on South Africa’s southern coast. The continent’s southernmost point is Cape Agulhas on South Africa’s southwestern coast. It is bordered to the west by Western Europe; to the north by Sahara Desert of North Africa; as well as Asia and Arabia (though Egypt) from east and southeast respectively; and its easternmost point lies in the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar Island of East Africa’s western coast.
Geologically, Africa is extremely old, with some parts formed more than 3 billion years ago. Mountains and plateaus are found in the Eastern, Southern, and smaller parts of North Africa and in the Western parts as well. The highest point is Mount Kilimanjaro 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) in Tanzania. The lowest point is the Congo River’s sea level 0 meters (0 feet). Tropical savannas are common in Africa’s southern regions; however, tropical rainforests can be found across the continent due to its large size and climate differences. Deserts are located mainly in northern parts of North Africa as well as the Sahara Desert of Egypt.
About one-third of Africa is used for arable land. About half is used as pastures and grazing land. The remaining one-fifth is forested, mainly in the northwestern parts.
There are several ecoregions on the continent of Africa. Various ecoregions are in southern, southwestern and eastern parts of the African continent such as Southern Africa, Western Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa and Northern Africa. Some of these ecoregions could be further divided into smaller ecoregions such as Western Cape Floristic Region (Southwestern South Africa) near Cape Town or Drakensberg mountain range (Eastern South Africa).
The climate of Africa ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. It is subtropical along its northern coast and deserts are located in the North Africa and Middle East regions. The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world, covering most of Northern Africa. The central Eastern part of Africa is a large area with a mild climate and many inland waterways, lakes and islands. The equatorial climate is found along the equator line and parts of Africa such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya (the Rift Valley) and Madagascar that are close to this line have tropical climates with a rainy season during the summer.
Africa is home to a vast variety of mammals and birds. The largest population of elephants in the world lives in eastern Africa. In southern and southwestern parts of Africa there are many species of primates including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and baboons. Africa is home to many large carnivores such as lions and African leopards as well as herbivores such as okapi, antelopes and buffaloes. The Nile River and surrounding rainforests are home to numerous primates, big cats and crocodiles. Africa is also known for its many active volcanos and high mountains which are the result of tectonic plate movement.
The fauna of the continent includes many large mammals. There is a great variation in climate across Africa; this has led to many adaptations throughout Africa due to evolution. Soil types, food sources and vegetation differ from place to place creating a variety of habitats for different animals as well as humans. Much of the fauna has been affected by human interactions such as hunting and habitat destruction especially in eastern parts of Africa (mainly around poaching).
Facing some of the most difficult terrains in the world, plant life in Africa is diverse in its nature and distribution. There are two main climatic regions, tropical and temperate. The tropical parts of Africa support one of the richest diversity of plant life on earth. Savannas in southern sub-Saharan Africa are dominated by acacia trees. Other plants there include baobab trees, cassowary trees, wild apricot trees and several species of palm tree including coconut palms. Woodlands include oaks and other deciduous trees such as walnuts and hickories. In the tropical rainforests, there are trees that tower above 100 meters (330 feet) such as the Coast She-Oak and giant baobabs. Grasslands are located in eastern parts of Africa. The grasslands are dominated by acacia trees, with other small shrubs and bushes surrounding them. Rainforests are located in tropical regions such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon or Tanzania.
Flowering plants also grow well in Africa due to favorable conditions for their growth. The most famous flowering plant in Africa is the giant baobab tree. Other well-known plants include the South African Aloe and popular begonia.
The biodiversity of Africa is a varied one folded within different ecosystems such as tropical rainforests, deserts etc. There are various species of animals and plants in this region which have adapted to the numerous ecological niches due to evolution and become capable of withstanding harsh climatic conditions. The following are some examples of biodiversity:
Africa’s protected areas cover 19,816,541 hectares (205,865 square kilometres), or 1.55% of the total land area. This is, however, less than the five percent recommended by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Protected areas in Africa are managed under various levels of protection, ranging from protected areas that are wholly restricted from human interference to those where resource use is allowed based upon sustainable management practices.
Natural World Heritage Sites on the African continent cover 665,288 km² and include some of the most spectacular and most endangered ecosystems in the world. Examples include baobabs on Madagascar, Table Mountain National Park (South Africa), Lake Malawi National Parks (Malawi), Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape (Namibia) and Mount Kilimanjaro National Park (Tanzania).
Facts about Africa
1. Africa is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent on Earth.
2. There are 54 countries in Africa and more than 2000 languages spoken.
3. One of Africa’s best resources are its rich natural resources including gold and diamonds, petroleum reserves.
4. In terms of population, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa, and it also has the largest economy. Nigeria’s population is 200.96 million people, which represents 18% of Africa’s total population.
5. The continent is made up of many countries that are predominantly Christian and Muslim. Even though most of the African countries have a high concentration of Christians, there are also African countries that have a large Muslim population.
6. Africa has a population of 1.3 billion people.
7. In addition to being the second largest continent by area, Africa is also the most centrally located. The prime meridian, which divides the world into eastern and western hemispheres, and the equator, which divides the world into northern and southern hemispheres, both cut across Africa.
8. The highest point in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet above sea level.
9. the longest river in the world is the Nile River which runs through North Africa and Egypt.
10. The northeastern part of the continent of Africa is sometimes called middle or inner Africa because it is not as developed as other parts of Africa.
11. the Sahara Desert covers most of northern Africa and almost all of Sahara Desert lies in north Africa.
12. The Sahara Desert extends over 3,000 miles and covers most of northern north Africa.
13. Morocco is Africa’s closest country to Europe due to its proximity to Spain.
14. Algeria has a very high percentage of its land desert at 60%.
15. The following three countries have a population density of less than 1 person in every square mile: Djibouti, the Maldives, and Mauritania.
16. Africa is home to the world’s most diverse range of cultures.
17. Both the tallest and largest land animals in the world hail from Africa. These are the giraffe (the tallest) and the African elephant (the largest), respectively.
18. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake (68,800 km²). It is also the world’s third-largest freshwater.
19. Africa is the second largest continent in terms of area (after Asia) and the most populous continent (after Asia).
20. Egypt are home to some of the ancient wonders like Great Pyramids, Sphinx and more; nowadays Egypt continues to fascinate tourists from all over the world by its ancient culture, pyramids, camel transport and deserts filled with camels.
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