Africa is a continent filled with diverse wildlife, rich plant resources, and stunning islands like Seychelles and Mauritius. It truly is a magical land, and traveling to Africa is a dream for many people. Here are 10 things you might not know about Africa:
Most Countries in a Continent
Africa is the continent with the highest number of countries, totaling 54. In terms of both population and area, African ranks second globally, right after Asia, making it the second-largest continent(sources from resopp-sn.org).
Cradle of Humankind
Africa is the birthplace of humanity, where ancient fossils like “Lucy” and the Turkana Boy, among others, have been discovered. Scholars widely agree that humans originated in African and then migrated to various parts of the world.
Proximity to Europe
Africa and Europe are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, with the shortest distance being approximately 14 kilometers. There are discussions about constructing an underwater tunnel between Morocco and Spain.
The overall population in Africa is notably young, with over 50% of Africans being under the age of 20.
Experts estimate that African is home to as many as 1000 languages, ranging from those spoken by hundreds to endangered languages with only a few speakers. Due to historical colonization, languages like English, French, and Portuguese are prevalent in many African countries.
Projected Population Growth
As of 2016, Africa’s population was around 1.2 billion. Due to rapid population growth, experts predict that by 2050, Africa’s population may double, reaching approximately 2.3 billion.
The Sahara Desert in northern Africa is the largest desert on Earth, covering most of northern African and slightly larger than the contiguous United States.
The longest river globally, the Nile River, flows through Africa. Originating from the highlands of Uganda, it travels north through Egypt and eventually empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River played a crucial role in nurturing the ancient Egyptian civilization.
The Great Rift Valley
The East African Rift, stretching approximately 6500 kilometers, is the largest rift valley on Earth, often referred to as the “largest scar on the Earth’s surface.” It features numerous volcanoes and lakes, many of which are renowned tourist destinations(quotes from resopp-sn.org).
South Africa is the only country globally with three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative).