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Africa is the birthplace of human culture and the world’s second largest. Africa alone is larger than South America and Europe combined. In fact, Africa is directly south of Europe, across the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, some of the countries in Northern Africa can be visited as day trips from Spain, Italy, or Greece.
The many nations in Africa can be grouped into several areas as follows:
- 1. Northern Africa: ( is a region of deserts, oases, and Islamic culture). These countries, roughly from west to east are (Morocco, Mali, Tunisia, Egypt (which is sometimes grouped with the Middle East), and Ethiopia.)
- 2. West Africa: ( is a region which is highly influenced by French culture.) These countries include Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Ivory coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
- 3. Central Safari Belt: ( is a region, located just to the east of West Africa). It is most visited countries. These countries include Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Formerly Zaire) , Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
- 4. Southerly Central Victoria Falls Region: ( is a region that involves countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe).
- 5. Southern Africa (Countries in this region, include South Africa, Namibia , Botswana, and the small nations of Lesotho and Swaziland ( currently known as Etiswatin).
- 6. Islands that lie off the shores of Africa (Include the Seychelles, Madagascar, and Mauritius). The others are northwest of Africa and can be stop – off points on flights between Europe and North America; the Azores, the Canary Islands, the Madeira Islands, and the Cape Verde Islands.
The most prominent feature in Africa.
Sahara desert is the most prominent feature in Africa , which covers most of the continent’s northern third, and the Kalahari desert which takes up much of southern Africa (For more details – read more on continents profile section of this fantastic website about Africa at large). Much of the rest of the African continent is actually grassy savannah and veldt, with rivers and a few large lakes here and there. Furthermore, most of Africa consists of flat coastal and plateau regions, though some major mountains rise up in the North West and along the continent’s eastern side. And the equator splits Africa almost directly across its center. The features of Africa are a major part of what makes this land so adventurous and exotic.
- Bodies of water.
Two oceans lie on either side of Africa; Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east. Along the northern boundary is the Mediterranean sea , dividing the continent in the northeast from the middle East (which is connected to Europe and Asia ) is the Red Sea. In the area separating the Middle East from Africa, is the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean with the Gulf of Suez. Through much of the region is desert, there is quite a network of rivers. Indeed, some of the most famous rivers in the world flow here. Emptying into the Mediterranean is the mighty Nile River, which dominates northeastern Africa. Several major rivers flow off the west coast of Africa into the Atlantic, including the Congo and Gambia Rivers. A major rainforest surrounds the Congo River basin. And the Niger River runs through northwestern Africa. Emptying at the east coast is the Zambezi River, which begins in the central Africa and flows southward , then eastward, tumbling at midpoint over mighty Victoria Falls, a major tourist destination. Victoria Falls is often visited in conjunction with stays in Zambia, Zimbabwe, or Botswana. Africa has few lakes, but Lake Victoria is quite large and stands out in eastern Africa. Below it are couple of long, thin lakes; Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa (Malawi). In the north, just south of the Sahara, is Lake Chad.
The Atlas Mountains in the NorthWest corner and the many mountains (most are volcanoes) of the eastern regions. Indeed, lofty Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), the highest mountain in Africa, rises more than 19,000 feet above sea level. One other prominent feature stands out; the Great Rift Valley, which begins in the Middle East and continues down to east – central Africa.
Africa tends to be dry year – round, as is Namibia, on the Southwestern coast. The coastal areas of western and central Africa are very rain (here are the rainforests and jungles). The rest of Africa has moderate rainfall patterns. Rainy seasons vary widely from place to place in Africa. Certain countries near the equator, like Kenya, even have two distinct rainy seasons.
Top attractions in Africa;
Hot – air ballooning over the Serengeti plains of Tanzania’s famous safari park, which borders the Kenyan Maasai Mara has become a rite of passage for travel enthusiasts. The flights depart at dawn and fly over the awakening herds of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and giraffe.
Uganda has 10 national parks, 10 wildlife reserves and seven wildlife sanctuaries. Located in the extreme north of the country, the more open savannah of the remote Kidepo Valley National Park makes for easier viewing of lions, giraffes, elephants, leopards, ostriches and cheetahs.
Namibia is ideal for these looking for more independence and self – drive safaris are well established here, meaning it is perfect for families and older travelers looking for “soft” adventure. Highlights include the Wild Skeleton Coast and game – rich Etosha National Park.
This is where the Safari concept was born over 50 years ago. It needs not stretch your budget, as there are plenty of price points available, from the famous Maasai Mara on the border with Tanzania to the Samburu National Reserve and the enormous Tsavo East and West, famed for sightings of the Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros.
Covering most of Tunisia’s southern region, the Sahara Desert is an evocative landscape of shimmering sand dunes, palm – fringed oases and seductive sunsets. Tours take visitors across shifting sands, where adventure seekers can enjoy ballooning, camel trekking and sand skiing.
There are a total of four seated statues of Ramses The great, the most famous of the pharaohs. Each is 65 ft. in height and at the feet of them stand depictions of his favorite children.
Formerly known as Nyasaland, Malawi became independent in 1966, with Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda as its first president. Bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, the country is home to Nyika National Park, where you can enjoy game drives, horseback safaris and vast open spaces.
The country is known for its upmarket appear, excellent camps and exclusive game – viewing safaris. The Okavango Delta is the best place to spot wildlife, with around 200,000 animals present at its peak, from buffalos and wildebeest to lions and rhinos. Chobe National Park has the world’s largest concentration of African elephants and the Kalahari Desert offers an insight into the San Bushmen.
The Gambia is renowned across the world as a paradise for birdwatchers, with thousands of Ornithologists coming to the country for the chance to observe more than 560 species of birds, many of them dazzlingly plumed. Kotu Bridge, located close to resorts and hotels, is probably the best spot if you wish to hire the guiding services of a well - informed local Ornithologist.
While it is neither the highest nor the wildest waterfall in the world, Victoria falls – named by Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone after Queen Victoria – is said to be the largest. This is based on the falls being 5, 604 ft. across and 354 ft. high, therefore forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
The shoreline of Ghana is famous for its ancient slave trading forts and castles, palm – shaded beaches and fishing villages, where you can enjoy fish, lobster and sea fruits. You can visit most of the 15 forts along the 150 – mile coast; dating mostly from the 17th century, they were built by the English, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Danish.
At nearly 2 million hectares, this is the flagship of South African national parks, having been established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the Lowveld.
Botswana has upmarket appeal, with excellent small camps and exclusive game – viewing safaris. The Okavango Delta is best for spotting wildlife, while Chobe National Park has the world’s largest concentration of African elephants and the Kalahari Desert offers an insight in to the San Bushmen.