“One cannot resist the lure of Africa”, said Rudyard Kipling. He was describing the unique charm of the world’s second-largest continent. The diversity of cultures, languages, wildlife, and landscape is fascinating.
Many oceans encircle Africa. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the north, with the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea on the northeast. On the southeast coast lies the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean is on the west. The climate ranges from tropical to subarctic. There are deserts, savanna plains, and dense rainforest regions.
With 1.3 billion inhabitants it is the second-most populous continent. Residents speak up to 1,500 distinct languages (Encyclopedia Britannica).
This article created by our team at MapSVG (the #1 WordPress map plugin) helps you to discover some intriguing facts about African countries, and use the links to obtain a blank map of Africa.
The African continent contains 5 subregions. These are Northern Africa, Western Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, and Central Africa.
The topography of the continent is varied. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, forests cover about one-fifth of the total land area. Woodlands, bushlands, grasslands, and thickets occupy about two-fifths. The remaining portion consists of deserts.
Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet, or 5,895 m) is the highest peak, while Lake Assal is the lowest point at 515 feet (157 m) below sea level.
Africa boasts the longest river in the world – the Nile. It is about 4,132 miles (6,650 km) long. On the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is another unique attraction, the breathtaking Victoria Falls. This waterfall is about twice as wide and twice as deep as Niagara Falls.
The African continent is famous for its unique fauna and flora. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, typical herbivores include the African antelope, zebra, giraffe, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and African elephant. The carnivores include the lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and others. Africa is also home to the world’s largest ape, the gorilla.
African flora boasts the well-known baobab tree, which grows in the savanna regions of the continent. Succulents populate the deserts, and ironwood or iroko trees grow within tropical forests.
The continent is famous for its national parks. Almost every African country has at least one. However, these vary in their accessibility and degree of protection.
Tanzania is home to Africa’s largest national park, the Selous Game Reserve. It also features the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the home of the semi-nomadic Maasai. Also located in Tanzania is the Serengeti National Park. This park is known for its massive annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.
The Kruger National Park is located in South Africa. People come here to see The Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo.
Namibia is host to the Etosha National Park. Visitors can spot the endangered black rhinos there. The Namib-Naukluft National Park offers a different type of landscape with typical orange dunes. The animals include hyenas, jackals, and snakes.
In Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park boasts pink flamingos and other birds. Visitors may also see white rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, and more.
Visit the Virunga National Park to see rainforest, volcanos, mountains, and swamps. It’s home to the protected mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas. The park is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
To visit Victoria Falls, it’s necessary to travel to the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. This park is also home to elephants and lions.
Africa consists of 54 countries, Algeria is the largest one by area. The smallest country is the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Nigeria is the most populated state.
Some of the largest cities in Africa include Cairo (Egypt), Lagos (Nigeria), and Kinshasa (the Democratic Republic of the Congo). African nations cooperate through the African Union.
Encyclopedia Britannica reports that the majority of Africa’s peoples are indigenous. The first colonial settlers were Dutch and arrived in South Africa in 1652. Other European settlers arrived at the end of the 19th century.
The Atlantic slave trade (16th-19th century) led to up to 10,000,000 people being transported to the New World. The encyclopedia continues: “Such a loss of people, together with the devastating warfare and raiding associated with it, was the major cause of the subsequent weakness and decline of African societies.”
If you enjoyed reading this article about the blank map of Africa, you should read these as well: