Africa is one of the world’s seven continents. It is the second largest continent in the world, with the second largest number of people.
The continent takes up about a fifth of the total land area on Earth, at 30,343,580 square kilometers in size.
There are about one billion people living in Africa. Africa is known as the “cradle of humankind” because scientists have discovered that the very first human beings lived there.
Some of the earliest evidence of human life we possess comes from Africa, in the form of objects called fossils. There are 54 countries in Africa, and many of them are very famous tourist destinations: for example, Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa.
The continent of Africa is full of history and is home to more 3,000 different types of indigenous (native) people. Most of these groups have their own legends, cultures, recorded histories, and even languages, making it a very diverse location for historians to research.
However, many of these countries are very poor and suffer from famine and a lack of technological development.
The poorest countries in Africa are referred to as “Third World” countries, an expression you might have heard before in school. Some examples of Third World countries included the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, which are some of the poorest in all of Africa.
Historically, African countries were often colonized (invaded and overtaken) by countries from the First World, like Spain, France, and England. This is why in some countries, like Morocco, European languages like French are so common.
The colonization of African countries has led to the disappearance of a lot of local cultures. However, there are still over 2,000 different languages in Africa, and lots of native art and culture for historians to examine.
Africa was also the home of the Ancient Egyptians, one of the world’s most powerful empires. The Ancient Egyptians contributed a huge amount to the rest of the world in terms of both technology and art and was even the birthplace of the first system of democracy, which gave the people the power to choose their own government.
Some of the most famous tourist attractions in Africa are located in Egypt; for example, the pyramids, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.
The cultures of Africa were influenced greatly by the geography of the continent. The longest river in Africa is the River Nile, which is also the longest river in the world at 6,695 kilometers.
The River Nile was so important to Africans that it became a central part of the Ancient Egyptians’ religion – and this is not the only example of how African geography impacted the development of the cultures found there.
Because there are so many deserts and arid regions in Africa, (dry, sandy land where it’s very difficult to grow crops.) it was difficult for early settlers to find a good place to call home.
This led to the development of tribes who kept moving from place to place during the year, instead of choosing one place to settle.
These people are called “nomads,” and the “nomadic” lifestyle that they live means that they live their whole lives on the move, with just a few farm animals to give them food.
However, there’s also a lot of very fertile land in Africa; for example, the African savannah. The African savannah is a tropical grassland which covers about half the continent.
The most famous part of the savannah is the Serengeti, due to a large amount of wildlife found there. There are many exotic animals in Africa, including elephants, cheetahs, and lions. In fact, Africa is home to over 50% of the world’s remaining population of lions and elephants.
Facts about the countries and continent of Africa:
- Africa is one of the world’s seven continents.
- There are 54 countries in Africa.
- It is the second largest continent in the world, at 30,343,580 square kilometers in size.
- Africa is also home to the second largest number of people out of any continent, with about one billion people living there.
- Africa is known as the “cradle of humankind” because scientists have discovered that the very first human beings lived there.
- Despite the impact of colonization on Africa, there are still over 2,000 different languages there.
- Africa was the home of the Ancient Egyptians, one of the world’s most powerful empires.
- The cultures of Africa were influenced greatly by the geography of the continent. This can be seen in how important the River Nile was in the Ancient Egyptians’ religion!
- How many countries are there in Africa?
- Give an example of a European language which is spoken commonly in Africa.
- What river was very important to the Ancient Egyptians?
– The River Nile.
- What is a “nomad?”
– A person who constantly moves from place to place, choosing not to settle in any one location.
- How big is the continent of Africa?
– 30,343,580 kilometres.
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