Second-largest of the Earth's seven
continents - covering about 30,330,000 sq km (11,699,000 sq mi),
which makes up about 22 per cent of the world's total land area.
Egypt's capital city, Cairo, is the largest city in Africa with
an estimated 9.2 million population
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Lake 'Asal (153 m/502 ft below sea level) in Djibouti
The River Nile is the longest river in Africa and in the world.
It is formed from the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in
Ethiopia, and the White Nile, which originates at Lake Victoria.
Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any
lake in the world.
It is the world's oldest desert, and the only desert in Africa
inhabited by elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion.
Many fastest land animals live in
Africa - the cheetah (70 mph), wildebeest, and lion.
South Africa has a penguin colony, thanks to the cold Antarctic
currents on the west coast near the Cape.
The island ofMadagascar is the home of the world's largest as
well as the smallest chameleons! Almost half of the world’s chameleon
species live here.
The largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere is a Cape
Cross in Namibia.
The world's biggest frog (the goliath frog) is found in Cameroon.
The Nile crocodile is the planet's largest living reptile - growing
to an average length of 5 m.
The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
An elephant can weigh up to 6-7
tons and has no natural enemies for he is not a predator and there
is none large enough to challenge him.
Having a wingspan of only ½", the smallest butterfly
is in the world is found in South Africa. It is known as the Dwarf
The only place where shools of fresh water sardines are found
is in Lake Tanganyika.
Africa has a number of overlapping cultures. The most conventional
distinction is that between sub-Saharan Africa and the northern
countries from Egypt to Morocco, who largely associate themselves
with Arabic culture. Whereas, the nations to the south of the Sahara
are considered to consist of many cultural areas, particularly that
of the Bantu language group.
Divisions may also be made between
French Africa and the rest of Africa, in particular the former British
colonies of southern and East Africa. Another cultural difference
is that between Africans living traditional lifestyles and those
who are essentially modern.
African art too reflects the diversity
of African cultures. The oldest existing art from Africa are 6,000-year
old carvings found in Niger, while the Great Pyramid of Giza in
Egypt was the world's tallest architectural accomplishment until
the creation of the Eiffel Tower.
African music is one of its most
dynamic art forms. Egypt has long been a cultural focus of the Arab
world, while remembrance of the rhythms of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly
west Africa, was transmitted through the Atlantic slave trade to
modern samba, jazz, rap, and rock and roll. Modern music includes
the highly complex choral singing of southern Africa and the dance
rhythms of soukous(a musical genre that originated in the Congos
during the 1930s and early 1940s, that gained popularity throughout
Africa). A recent development of the 21st century is the emergence
of African hip hop.