It is mind-boggling how people get confused about the second largest continent in the word both in terms of size and population. Africa, a continent which mostly referred to as a country by a few ignorant folks I have encountered is about 30.3 million km² (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands. I must agree with Daniel J. Boorstin that “the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge”. Africa covers 6% of the earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of its total land area and it accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population. Africa shown to the world is the one that is stricken with poverty, diseases and hopelessness. Though some people refer to it as “the dark continent”, Africa has become a ground breaker over the years The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea to the north, both the Suez canal and the red sea along the Sinai peninsula to the northeast, the Indian ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. Africa contains 54 countries, 9 territories and 2 de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Some facts that should interest you about one of the beautiful continent in the world;
Algeria is Africa’s largest country by area, and Nigeria by population. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa.
The Seychelles Africa’s smallest country in terms of size and by population
Africa’s highest point is Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Africa’s lowest point is Lake Assal in Djibouti
Two of Africa’s most interesting geographical features are the Nile River System and Sahara Desert; both impressive in so many ways which I will cover in my subsequent posts.
The countries of Africa are on Standard Time throughout the year. There are a few exceptions: Canary Islands (Spain), Ceuta (Spain), Egypt, Madeira (Portugal), Melilla (Spain), Morocco, and Namibia all observe Daylight Savings Time.
Namibia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so it begins Daylight Saving Time in the fall and reverts to Standard Time in the spring.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in two time zones; CAT (Central Africa Time) and WAT (West Africa Time).
Most of Africa is in the tropics, and except for the peaks of mountains in the Great Rift Valley, it never freezes. The continent’s northern half is primarily desert, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rain forest) regions.
Africa is the hottest continent on earth; dry lands and deserts comprise 60% of the entire land surface. 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).
To the immediate south of the Sahara Desert in the Sahel region, drought and annual rains way below average are rather common, and major dust storms are a frequent occurrence. In the central African rain forests (along the Equator) warm to hot climate conditions are the norm with very high humidity; Africa’s heaviest rains fall in this area.
In the far south, the Kalahari Desert, a large semi-arid sandy Savannah covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Rainfall is sparse and summer temperatures run high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain each year. The continent is sometimes appellated as the “mother continent” because it is the oldest inhabited continent on earth. Africa remains the world’s hidden gem with beautiful lakes and beaches, mountains, wildlife and awesome diversified culture. And this is where you will find some of the most beautiful places on earth. Geographically, we have Eastern Africa (19 countries), Middle Africa (9 countries), Northern Africa (8 countries), Southern Africa (5 countries) and Western Africa (17 countries). So the next time the continent Africa comes to mind, remember it isn’t one big country but you will rightly point out the country in Africa you want to refer to.