75 Amazing Facts About Africa

  1. Africa is the 2nd largest continent by both area and population. It covers around 20% of the total land area and contains 16% of the world’s human population.
  2. Africa’s Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake. It is the world’s second deepest, second largest by volume, and the second oldest freshwater lake. (Source) (Source)
  3. Lake Victoria, one of the African Great Lakes, is the world's largest tropical lake and the second-largest freshwater lake. (Source)
  4. Lake Nyos and Lake Manoun in Cameroon and Lake Kivu, at the border between Congo and Rwanda, are known as exploding lakes. These lakes can explode and cause extensive damage due to the release of stored Carbon dioxide. (Source)
  5. Loango National Park in Gabon is known as Africa’s Last Eden. This park is one of the few natural parks without suffering from human interference. (Source) 
  6. Africa has the world’s only quadripoint where four countries meet. The borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet at the point known as the “four corners of Africa.” (Source)
  7. The last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania. This practice came to an end in this African country in 1981. (Source)
  8. The world’s largest hot desert (Sahara) covers the whole of North Africa.
  9. Around 60% of land in Africa is either desert or dry land (semi-desert, savanna, etc.).
  10. Researchers have found huge underground water reserves in the Sahara and other extremely drier parts of Africa. These underground reserves are 100 times more than the amount of water present on the surface of that area. (Source
  11. The hottest average annual temperature (34 Celsius) on earth is recorded in Dallol (Ethiopia). (Source)
  12. The 2nd and 4th cloudiest places are in Africa (Congo and the border between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea). The world’s most cloud-free area is also in Africa, at the border between Egypt, Sudan, and Libya. (Source)
  13. Cidade Velha in Cape Verde was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. It was established in the 15th Century and played a major role in the European colonization of African and Atlantic countries. (Source)
  14. Congo rainforest is the world’s second-largest rainforest after the Amazon rainforest. It spans six countries in Central Africa. Five national parks in the Congo rainforest are designated as World Heritage Sites. (Source
  15. The Nile in Africa is the world’s longest (or 2nd longest) river.
  16. Africa has more than 1000 species of termite, the highest in any continent. (Source
  17. Islam and Christianity are the two main religions in Africa. They are divided along the northern and southern parts of Africa, respectively. 
    Map of religious distribution in Africa
    Islam and Christianity are main religions in Africa

  18. Yamoussoukro Basilica on Ivory Coast is the largest Christian church in the world. The church can accommodate 18,000 worshipers. (Source)
  19. According to fossil records, early humans lived in Africa around 7 million years ago. Later, they migrated to other parts of the earth from Africa. (Source)
  20. Egypt and Ethiopia are the oldest and the 4th oldest countries in the world. (Source)
  21. Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia and Lake Retba in Senegal are the saltiest and 2nd saltiest water bodies on earth. The salinity of these lakes is 43% and 40%, respectively. (Source)
  22. Africa has a few of the world’s largest artificial lakes. Lake Kariba in Zambia and Zimbabwe is the world’s largest man-made lake. Lake Volta in Ghana and Lake Nasser in Egypt are the 3rd and 6th largest artificial lakes in the world. (Source)
  23. Africa has 16 of the 44 landlocked countries in the world. It is the highest number of landlocked countries on any continent. (Source)
  24. Aliko Dangote from Nigeria is Africa’s richest person. He has been holding this place for the last ten years. There are 18 billionaires in Africa. Egypt and South Africa have five each on this list. (Source)
  25. The Ancient Egyptian civilization of Africa is among the world’s most prominent ancient civilizations. Egyptian pyramids and mummies of Pharaohs (rulers) of ancient Egypt display the uniqueness of this civilization.
  26. Africa is rich in several natural resources like chromium, cobalt, platinum, tantalite, manganese, coltan (used in the production of electronic devices), gold, uranium, and diamond.
  27. African countries have the youngest population in the world. Among the top 30 youngest countries (ages below 18 years), 29 are in Africa. (Source)
  28. Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world. 19 out of 20 counties with high fertility rates are in Africa. (Source)
  29. The longest-ruling monarch ever was the king of Swaziland. Sobhuza II remained the king of his country for more than 82 years before his death in 1982. (Source)
  30. Mali and Burkina Faso are the hottest countries in the world. There are 5 African countries among the eight countries with the highest temperatures year-round. (Source)
  31. Okavango Delta in Africa’s Kalahari Desert is the world’s largest inland delta. It covers an area of more than 5,500 km2. (Source)
  32. The second-longest mountain range in the world is in the southern part of Africa. The Southern Great Escarpment covers many countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, and Angola. (Source)
  33. Makgadikgadi Pans in Africa are the largest salt pans in the world, with an area of 30,000 km2. (Source)
  34. The world’s shortest land border is in Africa. The border between Botswana and Zambia is just 0.15 km long. (Source)
  35. Pyramids are usually associated with Egypt, but Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt. Compared to 138 pyramids in Egypt, there are around 250 known pyramids in Sudan. However, these pyramids in Sudan are comparatively smaller in size. (Source
    Pyramids in Sudan
    Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt

  36. Between the 17th and 19th Centuries, more than 12 million Africans were traded to the New World (the Americas) as slaves. Most of these slaves were from modern-day Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. Most of the descendants of this transatlantic slave trade are now present in the USA, Brazil, and the Caribbean. (Source)
  37. Rwanda and Mozambique, both African countries, are the only two Commonwealth nations without a British colonial past. (Source)
  38. African countries have the lowest literacy rates in the world. South Sudan is the world’s most illiterate country, with a literacy rate of just 27%. There are 9 African countries on the list of the world’s ten most illiterate countries. (Source)
  39. Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, and D.R. Congo in Africa are the most culturally diverse countries in the world. (Source)
  40. Three African countries (Chad, Madagascar, and the Central African Republic) have the lowest light pollution in the world. (Source)
  41. Benin Iya are ancient walls and moats in Benin. Benin Iya is four times longer than the Great Wall of China. (Source)
  42. Ivory Coast and Ghana are the two largest cocoa producers in the world. There are 4 African countries among the world’s top 5 cocoa producers. (Source) 
  43. Before World War 1 (1914-18), the whole of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was under the occupation of European colonial powers. Scramble for Africa was the name given to this occupation of Africa.
  44. After World War 2 (1939-45), African colonies started gaining independence. Now, there are 54 internationally recognized independent countries in Africa.
  45. But even today, not all parts of Africa are independent. European countries still control a few parts of Africa. Current European colonies in Africa include Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (British Overseas Territory), Madeira (autonomous region of Portugal), Mayotte and Reunion (overseas departments and regions in France), and the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla (autonomous community and autonomous cities in Spain). All these European dependencies are islands located around mainland Africa.
  46. Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe is the world’s largest dam. Akosomba Dam in Ghana and Aswan High Dam in Egypt are the 3rd and 6th largest dams in the world. (Source)
  47. Lesotho, a tiny country in southern Africa, is the world’s only independent state that entirely lies above 1,000 m. (Source)
  48. African pygmy tribes are present in tropical Africa and the Kalahari Desert. Most of these tribes are located in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. (Source)
  49. The world’s worst aviation disaster occurred at Tenerife Airport, Canary Islands (a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa). The collision of two Boeing 747s on the runway resulted in the demise of 583 passengers. (Source)
  50. The African bush elephant is the world’s largest land animalwith around 6,000 kg weight and 3.3 m (about 11 ft) in height. 
  51. Africa is also home to the world’s tallest animal giraffe, with a height of up to 5.7 m (18.7 ft). 
  52. Gorillas are the largest primates that reside only in Africa. 
    A Somali ostrich on grass
    Many large birds and animals are endemic to Africa

  53. Ostrich is the largest (flightless) bird. It is present only in Africa.
  54. The largest flying bird (Kori bustard with an average weight of 10.6 kg) is also present solely in the southern part of Africa. 
  55. The world’s largest frogs, Goliath frogs, are present in the Central African countries of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. These giant frogs are also extremely powerful. (Source)
  56. Africa records 88% of all the cases and 90% of all the deaths from malaria in the world. (Source
  57. Out of 36 million HIV/AIDS-affected people around the world, around 67% are living in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 20% of people in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Swaziland have HIV or AIDS. (Source
  58. African countries have the highest death rate from road accidents in the world. The top 10 countries in this list are from Africa, and most countries in the top 40 are also African. (Source)
  59. The Central African Republic has the lowest life expectancy in the world, less than 53 years. 11 countries with the lowest life expectancy are in Africa. (Source)
  60. French is spoken as a first or second language in 31 African countries. (Source)
  61. Kinshasa in DR Congo is the 2nd largest French-speaking city in the world. There are 6 African cities on the list of the ten largest Francophone cities. (Source)
  62. Arabic is the most spoken language in Africa. There are more than 100 million Arabic speakers. (Source) 
  63. The world’s oldest library, inside the world’s oldest university, is situated in Morocco. (Source
    A children's library
    World's oldest library is in Africa

  64. In Ghana, it can take several years to bury a dead body. The burial does not take place until all the disputes related to the family of the deceased person are solved. (Source)
  65. In 1996, Burundi became the poorest country to win an Olympic gold medal. This landlocked African nation won that gold medal in the 5,000 m race. It was also the first appearance of Burundi in the Olympic Games. 
  66. The three poorest countries in the world are in Africa. These countries are DR Congo, Mozambique, and Uganda. (Source
  67. Mozambique has the world’s only national flag, which features a modern weapon (an AK47 rifle with a bayonet). (Source) 
  68. Africa is famous for the discovery of the world’s largest and most fascinating diamonds. These diamonds were found in South Africa, Congo, and Sierra Leone. (Source)
  69. Liberian president Taylor was the first head of state after World War 2 convicted by the international court for war crimes. He received a sentence of 50 years imprisonment. (Source)
  70. The conflict in DR Congo is the deadliest in the world since World War 2. The war claimed the lives of around 5.4 million people in ten years (1998 to 2008). (Source)
  71. Angola’s capital Luanda remained the most expensive city for expats for almost a decade before 2018. (Source)
  72. The Central African Republic is the hungriest country in the world. There are 6 African countries among the world’s seven hungriest countries. (Source)
  73. Eight countries with the highest percentage of polygamous relationships are in Africa. Burkina Faso tops the list with 36% of polygamous individuals, followed by Mali (34%) and Gambia (30%). (Source)
  74. Africa is the only continent that lies in all four hemispheres. Most African countries have unique weather patterns and seasons compared to other parts of the world. (Source)
  75. Mt. Nyiragongo in DR Congo contains the world’s largest lava lake. This volcano has erupted more than 30 times since 1882. (Source)

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