30 Surprising & Interesting Facts About Africa

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Everyone knows Africa is the second largest continent in the world but did you know there are 54 countries in Africa? Countries like Algeria, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe to name a few.

  • Arabic is surprisingly said to be the most widely spoken language in Africa.
  • Africa has approximately 30% of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.
  • Africa is the world’s hottest continent. The highest land surface temperature ever recorded was 58° C in the Sahara Desert, at El Azizia, Libya, on September 22, 1922.
  • Africa is the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent with a continental GDP that accounts for just 2.4% of global GDP.
  • Around 90% of all malaria cases in the world are in Africa accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Africa’s sahara desert is bigger than the USA. Being one of the harshest environments on Earth, it covers 3.6 million square miles (9.4 million square kilometers) which is nearly a third of the African continent.
  • Africa is the second most populous continent with about 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population.
  • Africa took part in the shortest war ever recorded in history. The Anglo-Zanzibar War, (August 27, 1896), was brief conflict between the British Empire and the East African Island. The war lasted no longer than 40 minutes, making it the shortest war in recorded history.
  • It’s the biggest single source of gold throughout mining history.
  • Africa has eight of the 11 major biomes and the largest-remaining populations of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cheetah, hyena, leopard and hundreds of other species.
  • Tunisian buildings are made with Fish bone.
  • Almost 40% of adults in Africa are Illiterate – two-thirds are women. Adult literacy rates are below 50% in Benin, Burkina faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra leone and the Gambia.
  • South Africa’s Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world. It alone has more flower species than England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland combined.
  • Lake Malawi boasts the largest number of fish species. It is estimated there are 500 different species belonging to ten families, with the most notable being the cichlidae family. More than 400 species of this fish alone live in Malawi’s waters, with only five identified as not native to the lake. In fact, Malawi holds some 30% of the world’s population of cichlidae fish.
  • Over 25 million people are Hiv-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already. The reasons are bothbiological and social, including high rates of teenage pregnancy, an epidemic of gender-based and interpersonal violence, lack of quality education and widespread poverty and unemployment.
    High rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increase the risk of HIV acquisition, and mental health issues can lead to risky behaviour.
  • The Palace of the Lost City is the biggest theme resort hotel in the world and the largest building project undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere. It was inspired by the myth of a Lost African Kingdom. Fun fact, the 2014 movie ‘Blended’ starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, was shot at the Palace of The Lost City.
  • Africa is the source of the world’s longest river- The Nile. Its main source is Lake Victoria in east central Africa. From its farthest stream in Burundi, it extends to 6,695 km (4,160 miles) in length.
  • South africa has the longest stretching wine route in the world. Spanning a distance of 850km, Route 62 is said to be the longest wine route in the world, stretching from Cape Town, Constantia, to Port Elizabeth.
  • South africa is a home to the highest bungy jumpy in the world. One of the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy at 216 metres (709 ft) above the Bloukrans River. It is situated at Bloukrans Bridge on the N2 Highway at the border between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area of South Africa’s Garden Route.
  • South africa is the largest producer of meat in Africa.
  • The World’s largest, tallest and fastest animals come from Africa. The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal, they are gigantic in fact that they can weigh over six tons and they be up to seven meters long in size. The world’s tallest animal, the giraffe, Male giraffes can
  • reach up to 6 m in height, while females can reach about 4,6m. The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah, lives in Africa . It speeds of up to around 60 miles per hour (96.5 kilometers per hour).
  • The official name of South Africa is the Republic of South Africa.
  • In 2011 the population of south africa was around 52 million. The continent’s population will more than double to 2.3 billion people by 2050.
  • South africa has 11 official languages, including Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa and English.
  • The first human heart transplant was performed in a cape town hospital in 1967.
  • Cave paintings have been found in south africa that date to around 75000 years ago.
  • Over 25% all languages are spoken only in africa with over 2,000 recognised languages spoken on the continent.
  • South africa is the only place in the world where Mercedes Benz manufacture right hand drive cars.
  • The Serengeti (Tanzania) hosts the world’s largest wildlife migration on earth with over 750,000 zebra marching ahead of 1.2 million wildebeest as they cross this amazing landscape.

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