Interesting Africa Facts

Africa is the second largest and most populated continent in the world after Asia. It is situated south of Europe and is surrounding by two major oceans; the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the south-east. The Mediterranean Sea is located to the north of Africa and the Red Sea to the north-east. The equator runs directly through the center of the African continent meaning that it is located in both the southern and northern hemispheres.

The continent of Africa spans a total area of around 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles), and covers around six percent of the Earth's surface area, and 20.4 percent of the total land area of our incredible planet.

Africa has 54 fully recognized countries. These countries are often referred to as sovereign states. The continent of Africa is home to a growing population of approximately 1.2 billion people, which is around 16 percent of the world's total population. Africa’s population is the world’s youngest with a median age of 20 years, while the median age worldwide is 30.4 years.

Africa Fact File:
Countries / Sovereign States of Africa: There are 54 countries in Africa *** Surrounding Oceans and Seas of Africa: Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea *** Area Size of Africa: Approximately 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles) *** Estimated Population of Africa: 1.2 billion people *** Largest Country in Africa: Algeria in North Africa

Interesting Facts: Largest Cities in Africa
The names of the biggest cities in Africa include Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Dar es Salaam, Alexandria, Abidjan, Algiers, Kano, Casablanca

Interesting Facts: Geography and Landmarks of Africa
The geography of Africa is really interesting and this beautiful continent is home to many famous landmarks including Mount Kilimanjaro, Table Top Mountain, Victoria Falls, Lake Victoria, Nile River, Niger River, Suez Canal, Sahara Desert, Namib Desert, Kalahari Desert, Egyptian Pyramids, Great Sphinx of Giza and Pharaohs' Tombs

The 54 countries of Africa in alphabetical order:
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

North Africa Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids: North African countries
There are several countries in North Africa which include Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, plus the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The largest country in North Africa is Algeria which is situated top north of the continent on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Although Algeria is the largest country by area, Nigeria, situated in the northeast, is the largest North African country by population. Explore interesting facts about the countries of North Africa with information about each country's population, location, size, language, religion, people, history, culture, geography, landscape and landmarks.

Interesting Facts for Kids: North Africa location
North Africa and the continent of Europe are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s narrowest point measures around 14.3 km (8.9 miles). The Strait of Gibraltar has become one of the main entry routes of African and Eastern immigrants into Spain over the past years, where over 1,000 people are rescued from the waters by Spain’s authorities every year.

Interesting Facts for Kids: North Africa history facts
North Africa was once part of the Roman Empire: during the reign of Justinian I (527 A.C. – 565 A.C), the Empire reached its greatest glory and spread to North Africa. Later on, the assassination of Emperor Maurice (582 A.C. – 602 A.C.) created a divide between the Roman Empire and the original Byzantine Empire, spreading in Northern Europe. Byzantium remained a powerful and advanced society during the Middle Ages until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

East Africa Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids: East African countries
The names of the countries located in East Africa include Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Discover amazing facts about all of the countries of East Africa including information about their culture, geography, famous landmarks, size, population, language, location, main religion and history

Interesting Facts for Kids: Animals in East Africa
The region of East Africa is renowned for the 'big five' African animals: elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and black rhinoceros. However, wildlife populations have heavily declined in recent times due to contamination, environmental destruction, and hunting.

Interesting Facts for Kids: East African Geography
East Africa boasts the most stunning and scenic geography of the continent thanks to the platonic forces underneath. For instance, the East African Rift shaped both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the tallest peaks in Africa.

Interesting Facts for Kids: Homo sapiens remains
East Africa is accepted as the cradle of humanity. It is home to the country of Ethiopia, where the fossils of Lucy, the very first homo sapiens, remains were discovered. The eastern region of the continent is defined by geopolitics and geography.

Central Africa Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids: Central African countries
Central Africa is home to numerous countries including Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, and Sao Tome and Principe. Take a journey through these amazing African countries with our interesting facts about the geography, famous landmarks, size, population, language, location, main religion, culture and history of Central Africa.

Interesting Facts for Kids: Central Africa facts
The biggest country by area in Central Africa is Angola. It is also the most populous country, followed closely by the much smaller country, Cameroon. A variety of official languages are spoken in Central Africa including French, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and English.

West Africa Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids: West African countries
The names of countries belonging to West Africa include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Countries situated on the west coast enjoy beautiful beaches and views of the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more important facts about the location, climate conditions, population, language, fauna, wildlife, people, religion, geography, famous landmarks, history and culture of the countries of West Africa.

Interesting Facts for Kids: West African history facts
During ancient times, West Africa was home to the Nok culture, the Ghana Empire and the Mali Empire, but they all fell to France and Britain. The European powers controlled most of Western Africa from the 19th century until around half of the 20th century. Thus, the countries in many of the West African regions are heavily influenced by foreign cultures, languages, and trade.

Southern Africa Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids: Southern African countries
Southern Africa hosts the economic powers of the region and has become one of the fastest-growing emerging markets in the world. There are numerous countries in the region, most of them suffering from political turbulences. The names of countries of Southern Africa include Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.

Interesting Facts for Kids: Southern African facts
There are many important facts about the countries of Southern Africa. Check out our information on the overall size, location, official language, religion, culture, geography, famous landmarks, people, history, size and population of each of these African countries.

Facts about African Deserts

Interesting Facts for Kids: Names of African deserts
The formation of the African continent consists of many deserts including the Sahara Desert, Kalahari Desert, Namib Desert, Nubian Desert, Libyan Desert, Karoo Desert, Blue Desert, Western Sahara, Algerian Desert and Atlas Mountains. The Sahara Desert occurs across the majority of North Africa and is the largest hot desert in the world. The recent discovery of a 7 million year old sand dune has led experts to believe that the history of the African deserts did in facts begin millions of years ago.

Interesting Facts for Kids: African desert facts
Discover the most important facts about African desert ecosystems, biomes, rainfall, history, formation, animals, birds, plant life and vegetation, climate conditions, temperature, size and locations with our fun fact file of information on African Deserts.

Horn of Africa facts

The Horn of Africa is the most conflicted zones in Africa. HOA, as the Horn of Africa is frequently abbreviated, refers to the north-east part of the continent and includes the countries of Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. The Horn of Africa was likely home to the ancient Puntites, a civilization that had a very close relationship with the Pharaonic Egypt.

There are as many as 129 different ethnic groups between the 4 countries of the Horn of Africa, which has fueled numerous conflicts throughout history, but the different cultures have also played major roles in creating cultural manifestations like music, literature, and architecture. For example, Ethiopia, being the country from which Coffee Arabica originates, is the cradle of coffee.

The geography of the Horn of Africa is formed mainly by mountainous regions and includes Great Rift Valley. It protrudes into the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean and spans across an estimated area of 2,000,000 km2. With a huge population of around 115 million inhabitants, its no wonder that this part of the Africa is famous for its cuisine, traditions, music, art and architecture.

Climate and geography facts

Africa has thee climate zones: the hot desert climate in the Sahara Desert; the tropical climate of Central and Western Africa; and the hot and semi-arid climate of the Sahel.

Most of the continent of Africa is formed by a series of ancient and stable plateau surfaces, while the entire continent is surrounded by a narrow continental shelf. It causes the land to be flat, arid and deserted on the majority of the continent. More than 25 percent of Africa is desert, and sources of fresh water are far and scarce.

The countries along the Mediterranean coastline of North Africa often enjoy a warm, pleasant climate regulated by the Mediterranean Ocean. Where as, other less fortunate countries of Africa can experience extremely high temperatures and suffer long, devastating periods of drought that often result in fatalities. Ethiopia is an example of devastation caused by hot weather conditions. Ethiopia often records some of the highest temperatures in the world.

African wildlife facts

The most popular types of animals found living in Africa include elephants, lions, tigers, zebras, rhinoceros, buffalos, giraffes, hippopotamus, plus many more types of safari-like mammals.

The countries of East Africa are home to the most diverse species of wildlife including wild dogs and grey parrots. Namibia and Ethiopia are specifically known for their wildlife conservation programs because they maintain safe spaces for endangered species such as black rhinoceros.

One of the most interesting animal species belonging to the continent is arguably the African penguin, also known as the jackass penguin. This type of penguin can be found living in African waters.

The Sahara Desert is home to many animal species including mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, arachnids and arthropods. Such animals include desert rats, sheep, oryx, addax (white antelope), baboons, cheetahs, hyenas, gazelles, jackals, fox, camels, snakes, scorpions, lizards, frogs, spiders, and birds

African History Facts for Kids

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Africa is considered the birth place of humankind and civilization. Evidence suggests that the Hominidae clade (great apes) are the earliest hominids, and they originated on the continent of Africa. Other human ancestors have also been spotted in Africa, including Sahelanthropus Tchadensis, Australopithecus Africanus, Homo habilis, and Homo Ergaster.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
The remains of the earliest homo sapiens, which we accept as the modern humans, were found in Ethiopia, Africa, with the discovery of the bones of 'Lucy' in 1974 by Donald Johanson. The remains are believed to date around 200,000 years ago.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Africa was also home to most of the first human advanced civilizations because of its favorable climate conditions. History records the surge of Ancient Egypt, the Sahel, the Maghreb, and the Horn of Africa in ancient times. During the middle Ages, Islam spread from Arabia to Egypt by the hand of Prophet Muhammad (570 A.C – 632 A.C) and fueled the advance of the different kingdoms living in Africa, including Numidia and Mauretania.

African Culture Facts for Kids

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
African people are very proud of their cultural inheritance. There are over 2,000 different languages spoken on the continent of Africa (the main languages are Berber, Arabic, Igbo, Hausa, Swahili, Yoruva, and Amharic) and twice as many ethnics, each of them with their own traditions, food, and music.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
The most important cultural heritages in Africa include singing which is an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation; and music, which accompanies events like marriages, rites of passage, births, hunting, and even political activities. Drumming is the main component of both the songs and music of Africa.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Also, many African cultures sing and dance to pay respect to the good spirits and ward off the evil ones. Dancing includes symbolic gestures, body painting, wearing costumes and masks. African dance movements are often complex actions which include fast rotations. As for food, African cuisine is very diverse and has been greatly influenced by foreign cultures.

The economic situation in Africa

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Africa is a resource-rich continent, is home to more than 1.07 billion people, across 54 different countries, suffering from high levels of economic inequality and poverty. Since 2013, the World Bank considers Africa as the poorest continent on Earth, however, the institution expects that most nations in the region will reach a 'middle income' status by 2025, meaning its citizens will earn an average of US$1,000 a year. The economy of Africa consists in the trade of commodities, but many problems have aroused since 2014 due to climate change, lack of rain, low oil prices, and unstable currencies due to political turmoil.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
After almost a decade of strong economic growth, most sub-Saharan countries have suffered multiple shocks to its economies. Growth fell in 2015 to its lowest level since 15 years: the GDP growth rate fell 5.1 percent in 2014 to 3.4 percent in 2015, and then declined about 1.6 percent more, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The indicators differ across countries, with oil buyers fairing reasonably better than oil exporters. Oil-exporting countries had the largest blow to their economies: African countries such as Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, and Nigeria saw their economies shrink by 9.9, 13.1, and 1.7 percent, respectively. Furthermore, recent setbacks are hurting the top 4 economies in Africa.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Almost two-thirds of the world’s arable lands are in Africa, but the continent has suffered from severe droughts since 2015, a crisis that was worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon. The drought has affected the natural water sources of the continent and has brought widespread economic consequences to the entire region.

The United Nation states 29 million people in southern Africa will not have a reliable food or water supply in 2017, and 10 million in east Africa will be in need of food aid. Currently, the poorest country in Africa is Zimbabwe, with a wealth per capita of $200 and a steady economic declines during the last 15 years.

The Sub-Saharan big 4: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Angola

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
The future of Africa’s most prosperous economy, South Africa, is not too bright. The country grew only about 0.6% on 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund, and became one of the countries with the slowest economy in one of the world’s faster-growing regions.

South African rand lost 26% of its value in the six months after problems emerged in the Chinese markets in June 2015, and kept falling during 2016 about 30% more. The instability that came during the impeachment of President Jacob Zuma is a big factor for the currency fall. Zuma kept his position despite the highest court in South Africa found him guilty of breaching the constitution over how he used public funding to renovate his house.

Interesting Africa Facts for Kids:
Nigeria’s economy is falling under the low oil prices. The country relies on the commodity for 70% of its government revenue and accounts for 90% of its export revenue. Meanwhile, the private industry has very little room to grow. In the midst of a fuel crisis, Nigeria had a growth below 2.2% on 2016, the lowest rate in 15 years, according to the IMF. Kenya has found many problems in the banking sector as two banks shut down last year, a third one had to sell to a last-resort buyer, and a fourth one is under investigation. A dozen banks may end up under control of the central bank during the year. And Angola, which depends on oil for 95% of its government revenue, is currently asking the IMF for financial support. The country grew about 3.5% during 2016, down from 6.8% in 2013.