Are you one of the many people who think that Africa is a country. We've got news for you - Africa is actually a really big continent with no less than 53 countries. And the majority of Africans may be black, but that doesn't mean they share the same culture, speak the same language or even dress the same. But there is a feeling that all the people subscribe to - it's the pride in being called an African.

Africa straddles the equator and has many climate areas. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. The climate ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. Its northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions. In between, there is a convergence where vegetation patterns such as sahel, and steppe dominate.

Africa boasts perhaps the world's largest combination of density and "range of freedom" of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs) and herbivores (such as buffalo, deer, elephants, camels, and giraffes) ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of jungle creatures (including snakes and primates) and aquatic life (including crocodiles and amphibians).

   AREA 30.2 million sq km. Africa is 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20% of the total land area
   POPULATION 14% of the world's population at 900 million people
   BOUNDARIES The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the South East and the Atlantic Ocean to the west
   ELEVATION The highest point is Mount Kilimanjaro which rises to 5 895m above sea level.
The lowest point is Djibouti's Lake Assal whose surface is 157m below sea level


Saharan Africa

The mostly desert and often landlocked nations that span the Sahara Desert

Countries in this region: Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan

West Africa

The tropical Atlantic coastal nations.

Countries in this region: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Togo

Central Africa

The heart of Africa.

Countries in this region: Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe

East Africa

The nations that border the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Countries in this region: Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda

Southern Africa

Nations at Africa's southern tip.

Countries in this region: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho , Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia , South Africa , Swaziland, Zambia , Zimbabwe

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