Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A brief Geography of Africa
With a vibrant and diverse population of over 1 billion inhabitants, Africa is the second largest continent in the world, encompassing an aggregate surface area of approximately 28.490.000km2 (11 million ml2); which accounts for 5.7% of the planet’s overall surface area; and 20% of its total area on land. The continent stretches from the Mediterranean Sea in the North to Cape Town in the South. A feature quite marvelling about Africa is that, the broadest point of its width is similar in dimension to its length. The continent has a total of 54 recognised sovereign territories; with South Sudan being the latest to that effect, following its official dissociation from Sudan on July 9, 2011.
In Africa, the equator stretches along a distance of about 249km (2,500ml), from the west to the east, passing through the six African countries of Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Kenya and Somalia. On Africa thrives about 3000 distinct ethnic groups, while about 2000 ethnic languages are spoken in the continent; each of them having a variety of dialects. The Sahara Desert in North Africa is the world’s largest desert. This mighty arid region which spans almost 9,000,000 km2 (3.5 million ml2); lies mostly in proximity to several North African countries; and constitutes a natural chasm between the countries of North Africa and those of Sub-Saharan Africa. River Nile is Africa and the world’s longest river, with its length spanning 6650 km (4,132ml); and runs from the mountainous regions of Tanzania in East Africa, right through to Egypt in North Africa. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake and it’s situated in an area bordering the countries of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. With a size of approximately 68,800km2 (26,560ml2), Lake Victoria is also the second largest lake in the world.
The world-renowned Victoria Falls depict Africa’s largest waterfalls, and are situated in the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Southern Africa. The Victoria Falls are approximately 1.7 km (1 mile) wide and 108 m (355 feet) high. Each year, this stunning aquatic spectacle attracts millions of visitors from around the world. The lowest point in Africa is Lake Assal in Djibouti, which lies at 155m (515 feet) below sea level; while the highest mountain in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa; with a high of 5895m (19,340 ft). In general, Africa is naturally graced with the splendour of dramatic features; including escarpments, valleys, plains, shift-flowing voluminous rivers, magnificent waterfalls, alluring lakes, mind-blowing caves, staggering mountains, beautifully undulating hills, astounding beaches etc.
The continent is embellished with a startling array of inspiring vegetation; amongst which are, majestic evergreen equatorial forest, spectacular highland montane forest, enticing semi-deciduous stretches and vast fields of breathtaking wooded savannah. Africa maintains a highly thriving and most extensive wildlife population on earth, rendering it the planet’s most celebrated treasure-bearer of the animal Kingdom. Whether you opt to nourish your sight on inspiring evergreen equatorial forests, be marvelled by vast stretches of savannah grassland, or be ecstatsised by the genial mellows of nature on vast stretches of pristine and pacifying sandy beaches, the latitude is yours. Whether you opt to imbibe the charm of its enchanting lakes, consume the tranquilising echoes of its smooth-flowing rivers, intimately capture the awe of its fascinating mountains and escarpments, or view the splendour of animals in their natural habitat, the discretion is all yours. Whether you are a diehard adventurer, an adrenalin fanatic, eco-enthusiast, cultural explorer, a hedonistic pursuer, a curiosity quencher, or simply seeking spontaneous and organic remedy to your stress and nervous breakdown, Africa awaits to fulfil your demands , needs, wants, fantasies and above all, your cherished expectations. Welcome to Africa.