Africa – Land of Splendor
Africa is famous for its beautiful landscapes, amazing animal life, and diverse human culture. It is the second largest continent on Earth, after Asia. More than 50 countries make up the continent and more than one eighth of the world’s population lives there. It is the oldest continent.
The Sahara, the world’s largest desert, lies in the north of the continent and covers almost all of northern Africa. The Kalahari and the Namib, two other major deserts, are in southwestern Africa.
The African continent has two major rivers, the Nile and the Congo. The Nile is the longest river in the world. Lake Victoria, at the southern end of the Nile, is Africa’s largest lake. The length of the Victoria Falls is more than a kilometer, and the height is more than 100 meters. Its noise extends 40 kilometers around.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa, which rises 5,895 m.
Africa has many different kinds of animals, though their numbers were greatly reduced in the 1900s.
Most of the rare animals, that are not found elsewhere, live in Africa. For example, hippos, giraffes, okapi and others. Previously, hippos lived throughout Africa, today they are found only to the south of the Sahara Desert.
The continent has some of the world’s largest shares of minerals, including oil, natural gas, and coal; metals such as gold; and gems such as diamonds.
In about the 700s BC the Phoenicians established the city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia. In the 100s BC the Roman Empire took control of part of North Africa. Arabs from the Middle East spread into Africa in the AD 600s. Great trading states, including the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires, flourished in western Africa.
In the late 1400s the Portuguese arrived in Africa. Europeans traded slaves from Africa to the Americas from the 1500s to the early 1800s.
In the late 1800s Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, and Germany ruled most of Africa as colonies. In the 1900s the colonies were granted independence.
– There is an ancient custom in Togo: the man who made the compliment to the girl, must certainly take her as his wife.
– Some tribes of African Aborigines still do not know what fire is.
– The tribe of Matabi, who lives in the territory of West Africa, loves to play football. Only instead of a ball they use a human skull.
– In some African tribes women can have male harems.
– On August 27, 1897 there was the shortest war, which lasted 40 minutes.
– Graça Machel is the only African woman who was the first lady twice. The first time she was the wife of the President of Mozambique, and the second time she was the wife of South African President Nelson Mandela.
– African Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world with the length of 1435 meters.
– The Baobab tree, which grows in Africa, can live from five to ten thousand years. It stores up to 120 liters of water, so it does not burn in the fire.
– Ethiopia is the only African country that has never been under the rule of the European colonialists.