Africa Map

Map of Africa - Click on any Country for its Map and Information

Map of Africa
Africa Map

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Africa Map 2016

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About Africa Map - The map of Africa depicts the various countries of the continent, the international boundaries and neighboring continents. Oceans and seas adjoining Africa are also depicted on the map. The Africa Map is available in different formats.

Africa is home to more than one billion people and the second largest continent in the world. Africa can lay claim to being the birthplace of civilization with ancient Egypt being the first literate society. Today, Africa is one of the world’s most diverse continents and is home to dozens of different countries and cultures.

Geography of Africa

Africa covers an area of 11,730,000 square miles. This makes it the second largest landmass on earth. It is also the largest southwards landmass on the globe.

Africa comprises a number of well-known geographic features. The famed Nile is the continent’s longest river measuring 6,853 km in length. This river passes through eleven different countries and is the primary source of water for both Sudan and Egypt.

The source of the Nile River is the Great Lakes region in central Africa. Among the Great Lakes is Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Victoria covers an area of just under 68,000 square kilometers. The lake takes its name from Queen Victoria. In 1858, the British explorer John Speke was the first European to document the lake naming it after his Queen.

The highest mountain in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro with a summit of 5,895 meters above sea level. Mt. Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano consisting of three volcanic cones. It was first summited in 1889 by the German climbers Ludwig Purtscheller and Hans Meyer. Since then it has become a destination for both professional and amateur climbers.

Countries and Cultures of Africa

Africa is made up of 64 different political territories. These are made up of 54 sovereign states and 10 non-sovereign states. Of the 54 sovereign states, 53 are part of the African Union. The only exception is Morocco. The most populous country in the African Union is Nigeria with approximately 188,462,640 people. This is followed by Ethiopia with a population of 99,391,000 people and Egypt with a population of 89,125,000. The least populous country in Africa is the Seychelles with only 97,000 people.

Christianity and Islam are the two dominant religions in Africa. Traditional African religions also play an important, although lesser, role. Islam is the continent’s largest religion. Approximately 47% of the population of Africa is Muslim. Islam in Africa began when disciples of the Prophet Muhammad migrated to Abyssinia. Christianity is the second most popular religion in Africa with 40% of the population adhering to the faith. It is the largest religion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

History of Africa

Frequently referred to as the “cradle of civilization”, Africa is the world’s oldest landmass. About 97% of the continent’s land has been virtually the same for the past 300 million years. Between five and ten million years ago, a type of African ape called the Australopithecines started to walk upright. This set along an evolutionary path towards what became approximately 200,000 years ago the modern Homo Sapien.

Around 150,000 years ago, a woman was born in an area close to what is known as modern-day Ethiopia. Scientists refer to this woman as “Eve” because humans are said to have descended from her. Flash forward another 50,000 years down the timeline and a group of Homo Sapiens started to move out of North Africa and into the Middle East. While it is estimated that this group may have only contained several dozen people, it was from them that the other continents would come to be populated.

Africa has been home to some of the greatest civilizations in human history. One of the most important of these was the Kingdom of Sheba. The kingdom was located in what is known as modern-day Yemen. The foundation of the Kingdom of Sheba lay in an ideal location along a key trade route. In the period around 1000 B.C., caravans of traders would undertake journeys from the area around modern-day Oman to the Mediterranean. As they did so they passed through Marib, which at that time was an abundant oasis. It was also one of the only two sources of frankincense (aromatic resin). The city of Marib was known throughout the Arab world for its great fortunes.

The people of the Kingdom were known as the Sabeans. They ruled the region between the tenth to the sixth century B.C. The Sabean society collapsed after the spice route was changed.

From the 7th century A.D. Onwards, the area around Mozambique to Tanzania was home to a number of highly successful city states. The rulers of these city states were the Swahili Sultans. The people in these city states lived in stone houses and were robed in silk.

The Swahili Sultans eventually fell victim to infighting. Ambitious viziers and emirs sought to take power from the ruling family. In a weakened state the Swahili Sultans were vulnerable when in the 16th century they came in contact with the Portuguese. Through force and guile the Portuguese were able to turn the region into vassal states.

The 19th to 20th century was the period known as the “Scramble for Africa”. During this period, the European countries sought to colonize the continent. The involvement of multiple European countries in Africa inevitably lead to conflict.

The French sought to create a continuous region under their rule from the West to the East coast of Africa. This put them in direct opposition to the English who wished to build their own empire along the North and South Axis. In 1898, this lead to what is known as the Fashoda Incident. French forces arrived in the Southern Sudan to claim the area. They were confronted by a much larger force of British troops. The French were eventually forced to withdraw. Eventually, an agreement was reached which gave Britain control of Africa and France the power over Morocco.

Until the 1950s, Africa was largely divided and ruled by European powers. In 1951, the decolonization of Africa began with Libya gaining its freedom. This move toward decolonization peaked in 1960 when 17 African nations declared their independence. This is now known as the year of Africa.

Popular Attractions in Africa

  1. Table Mountain: Located in South Africa, it is the country's most photographed attraction overlooking the city of Cape Town.
  2. Rwandan rainforest: Take a trip down to the Rwandan rainforests and you are sure to spot a mountain gorilla.
  3. Victoria Falls: It will be apt to call the majestic waterfalls the 'Jewel of Zambia and Zimbabwe.'
  4. Pyramids of Giza: Located in Egypt, the Pyramid of King Cheops was built around 2650 BC. It took 2.5 million blocks of limestone to build this magnificent structure.
  5. Draa Valley: Located in Morocco, the Draa Valley is worth a visit. Here, a traveler would come across some of the most splendid landscapes.
  6. The Great Sphinx, Egypt: Another ancient masterpiece located in Egypt, the Sphinx is in the form of a body of a lion and the head of a human.
  7. Masai Mara National Reserve: Pristine beauty, acres of greenery and abundant wildlife greet the visitors as they enter the Masai Mara National Reserve southwest of Kenya. It is home to over 450 bird species and also holds one of the highest lion densities in world.
  8. The Serengeti National Park: Located in Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeest. It is also home to 250,000 zebra and several Nile crocodile.
  9. Robben Island: located less than 7 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, Robben Island is the place where former president of South Africa spent 18 of the 27 years of his prison life.
  10. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: If you are looking for adventure, then do take a trip to Tanzania where you will encounter the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.

Interesting Africa Facts

  1. Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent in the world.
  2. It was formerly known as Ifriqiya or sunny place.
  3. Before Africa fell prey to colonial rule, some 10,000 different states and autonomous groups comprised the continent.
  4. Sahara is the largest desert in the world.
  5. Victoria is Africa's largest lake. It is also the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
  6. The longest river in the world is the Nile River.
  7. Ancient Egypt’s Pharaonic civilization is the oldest literate civilization in the world.
  8. The continent is rich in natural resources, especially coal, petroleum, natural gas, uranium, radium, iron ores, diamond, and gold.
  9. South Africa, alone, contributes to around 50 per cent of the manufacturing output of the entire continent.
  10. The continent’s population will more than double to 2.3 billion people by 2050.
  11. Africa is the world’s second driest continent (after Australia).
  12. Africa has approximately 30% of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.
  13. Africa has over 85% of the world’s elephants and over 99% of the remaining lions are on the continent.
  14. Africa has over 25% of the world’s bird species. More Africa Facts...

Last Updated on: June 24, 2017

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